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Samsung joins Apple with support for DIY phone repairs

In another win for right-to-repair campaigners, Samsung has joined Apple in offering users who’d like to repair their own phones the option of doing so from their own homes, the company announced. The ability to do so will be available first for the Galaxy S20 and S21 phones and the Galaxy Tab S7+ tablet. The service will start in the summer.

This will be a gradual process, with cracked screens, broken backs, and wobbly display ports first on the list to be replaced. While Samsung plans to add more devices later, it’s not clear if it’ll extend this to more fiddly things like cameras. Once the self-repair program kicks in, customers will be able to get device parts, repair tools, and repair guides. In the interim, access to same-day repair through Samsung Authorized Care locations will remain.

“At Samsung, we’re creating more ways for consumers to extend the life span of our products with premium care experiences,” said Ramon Gregory, senior vice president of customer care at Samsung Electronics America. “Availability of self-repair will provide our consumers the convenience and more options for sustainable solutions.”

The company is partnering with iFixit on this project, though it has yet to share precisely how as of the time of writing. It says more information will be forthcoming when the program goes live. “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. “Every time you fix a device, you’re helping the planet.”

In 2021, Apple also announced a similar imitative for iPhones. It would allow users to repair the iPhone 12 and 13 series in the comfort of their very own home, and ship them parts, tools, and manuals to do so. With both Apple and Samsung on board the self-repair train, this is a victory for right-to-repair campaigners who have always pointed out the wastefulness of throwing away perfectly serviceable smartphones. At the same time, there has been an increasing global push for the right to repair, and governments have started to get involved. As we speculated with Apple, Samsung could simply be trying to get ahead of potential regulation. Whatever the motive, it remains laudable all the same.

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