It’s a start — iFixit and Samsung both hope to expand the program in the future. Ron Amadeo – Aug 3, 2022 4:22 pm UTC
Hot on the heels of Google and iFixit launching a parts store about a month ago, Samsung and iFixit’s self-repair program is now live, too. iFixit hosts an official Samsung parts store that Samsung says sells parts “at the same pricing offered to our affiliated repair providers.” The repair site now has a series of official repair guides written in the usual excellent style, and Samsung will start selling parts and iFixit tools in its retail locations.
The official repair program is a good start, but it’s nowhere near comprehensive. Currently, the parts store ships to the US, and only the S21, S20, and Tab S7 series of devices are covered. With three sizes of each phone, that’s support for seven models total. Samsung releases around 40 devices per year, so there’s a long list of devices left unsupported. That list also doesn’t include the latest flagship models, like the currently-in-production S22 phone and the S8 tablet.
The only way to get a display is to buy this combo package of the display, phone body, and battery. It’s like half a phone!
The store’s official guides and parts only cover the back glass, charging port, and a combination “display assembly” that requires you to buy “the phone screen, metal frame, bezel, and battery” in one package. A comprehensive list would look like iFixit’s unofficial iPhone store, which has around 30 individual parts. iFixit has 17 guides for something like the S21, but only three of them are flagged as “official.”
Still, getting companies to care about repairability at all is a major accomplishment. Samsung and iFixit have had a rocky relationship since Samsung abandoned plans for a partnership in 2017, so it’s nice to see the company coming around on the right-to-repair movement. Apple also recently launched a repair program, but again, the details leave a lot to be desired—the system relies on a customer renting an 80-pound repair kit just to open a phone.
iFixit and Samsung both mention plans to expand the program in the future with “more devices and repair options.” Some parts, like the battery/display kit, even come with a return label to ship your old parts back to Samsung for proper recycling.