May 23, 2022

More positive news for phone owners looking to take matters into their own hands. Google announced this morning that it has partnered with iFixit to offer a variety of repair tools for Pixel phones. General repair kits such as battery, display and camera module replacements will be available at launch (later this year).

With these packages, the company says it’s opening up third-party repair options to enable more hardware devices like Chromebooks. Currently, Pixel owners who don’t want to open the phone themselves can take the device to one of approximately 750 uBreakiFix service locations in the US and Canada. Other options are available for residents of Germany, Japan and the UK.

The move follows similar announcements from Samsung, which has also partnered with iFixit, and Apple, which has garnered attention for its long-standing stance against user self-repair. Like others, Google focuses on sustainability messaging.

Ana Corales, COO of Google Consumer Hardware, said in a blog post: “When we created the first Pixel phones five years ago, we made a commitment to designing our hardware products to be sustainable and put our customers first. …but hold on. “There is much more to be done, including expanding our repair network and improving the maintainability of all our products.”

Sustainability is certainly a major issue in our neglected, planned obsolete culture. This is what drives companies like Fairphone to put user-repairability at the center of their product design. Remarkably, this is also at the heart of the long-awaited state and local repair legislation, which has undoubtedly played a role in these companies’ active pursuit of maintainability.

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