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« on: May 27, 2024, 04:05:14 pm »

iFixit Ends Repair Relationship With Samsung

Device repair company iFixit is ending its repair relationship with Samsung, iFixit announced in a blog post today. The partnership is being dissolved after a two-year period because iFixit and Samsung have been unable to negotiate a new deal.

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iFixit said that it wanted to build a repair-friendly ecosystem for independent businesses and consumers with its Samsung Repair Hub, something that it has not been able to do. The company says it ultimately doubts "Samsung's commitment to making repair more accessible."

Samsung used iFixit to facilitate a self-repair program for its customers, with iFixit offering step-by-step repair guides for replacing display assemblies, back glass, charging ports, and other components. iFixit says that there were continual obstacles working with Samsung, including the high price of components.

Repair parts "were so costly" that customers ended up replacing their devices rather than repairing them. Batteries and screens, for example, were in pre-glued bundles and customers could not replace a battery without also swapping out the screen, which is a much more expensive repair. iFixit was also unable to provide parts to repair shops at prices and quantities "that made business sense," and iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens told The Verge that Samsung limited iFixit to selling no more than seven parts per customer within a three-month period.

Samsung never even shipped iFixit components for the Galaxy S23 series, the Z Flip 5, and the Z Fold 5, and has not sent anything since the S22 lineup launched. Samsung is instead selling components for its latest smartphones through Encompass. A separate report from 404 Media gives further insight into Samsung's repair requirements, with a leaked contract suggesting that independent repair shops must give Samsung the contact information and other details of every customer that has a repair done. Samsung's contract also has a clause that requires repair shops to "immediately disassemble" any smartphone that has been previously repaired with aftermarket parts.

Starting in June, iFixit will no longer be Samsung's designated third-party parts and tools distributor. Existing repair information won't be removed from iFixit, but iFixit also will no longer collaborate with Samsung to develop new repair manuals. iFixit plans to continue to sell parts and repair kits for Samsung devices using OEM parts when available as well as aftermarket components, which is similar to what it does for iPhone replacement parts.

Samsung previously worked with iFixit to announce a Galaxy Upcycling program that ultimately never materialized, so this is iFixit's second failed Samsung venture. "We clearly didn't learn our lesson the first time, and two years ago we let them convince us they were serious about embracing repair," reads the iFixit blog.

iFixit said that it "tried to make this work," but Samsung was profiting from unpaid work on repair guides. Ultimately, iFixit is "bummed" and won't let "one bad apple spoil the bunch." iFixit is still working with Google, Valve, Lenovo, Motorola, Microsoft, and others on repair ventures.

Samsung will likely bring more of its self-repair options in house, mirroring what Apple does. Apple has a Self Service Repair program that was introduced in 2021, with Apple offering repair manuals and components so customers can do their own repairs.<div class="linkback">Tags: Samsung, iFixit</div>
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