To keep its customers as happy as Apple’s — and save the planet, I guess — Samsung has announced that Galaxy device owners will no longer have to seek third-party help to repair their smartphones and tablets.
Instead, Samsung will make genuine parts, repair tools, and step-by-step guides available to anyone wanting to try their hand at fixing a device. Even better: it’s collaborating with iFixit, which spent years bringing to light how unserviceable Samsung devices are.
The first devices to qualify will be the Galaxy S20 and S21 families of smartphones. You’ll be able to swap out the display, back glass, and charging port and then send the used, broken part back to Samsung for “responsible recycling.” The company plans to expand on what you can fix yourself down the line.
Tablet device owners will also be able to fix their devices. The first tablet that Samsung will support is the Galaxy Tab S7+, with self-repair support starting this summer.
Samsung is using this opportunity to remind users it offers same-day repair services, including over 2,000 locations around the continental U.S. for fixing your mobile devices. The company also has “We Come To You Vans” available, “which offers in-person device service within a 30-60 minute drive of the base station.” For those out of bounds, Samsung will ship you an empty box to get your device picked up and sent out for a fix.
As I mentioned earlier, if this news sounds familiar, Apple made waves when it announced it would sell the parts and tools that its customers needed to repair their iPhones and Macs at home. The program is called Self Service Repair, and it’s serving replacement parts for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineup and Mac computers with M1 chips.
With Samsung joining Apple in making it easier for folks to fix hardware they’ve purchased outright, this could mean a boon for other manufacturers to follow — especially considering Samsung and Apple have the support of DIY watchdogs, iFixit.
“We are excited to be consulting with Samsung to help them develop a solution for DIY parts and repair information,” said Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, in a Samsung press release. “Every time you fix a device, you’re helping the planet.”
It’s especially exciting for users who might be feeling debilitated by how little they can do to the gadget they rely on every day. As a person who used to take pride in building computers, I’ve enjoyed releases like the Fairphone smartphone and Framework laptop, which allow you, the buyer of the device, to swap out and fix parts with support from the first-party that manufactured it.