Google and Samsung have agreed to provide spare parts for their phones. Ifixit CEO Kyle Wiens has been fighting for right-to-repair for years.
Motorola was the first to sign on nearly four years ago. In October, the United States made it legal to open up many devices for the purpose of repair. Now, the necessary parts are arriving.
Some legislation is getting through anyhow. One French law in particular might have been the tipping point. The French law might have helped the right-for-repair.
Samsung commissioned a study to check whether the French repairability scores were meaningful. It found a staggering 80 percent of respondents would be willing to give up their favorite brand for a product that scored higher.
There have been extensive studies on the scorecard and it’s working.’it’s driving behavior, it’s shifting consumer buying patterns,’ says Wiens.
Wiens suggests, pushed these companies to take up iFixit on the deal. See an opportunity, Wiens says, pushed them to take on iFixit.
The campaign for the right to repair at the US public interest research group (US PIRG) still thinks the stick is primarily to thank.’it feels cheeky to say 100 percent… but none of this happens unless there’s a threat of legislation’.
The European parliament just voted 509-3 in favor of asking the EU to force manufacturers to make devices more repairable. Now they’re all announcing them, says Proctor.
I think there’s a growing realized and resignation that phones are going to last longer,’ says Wiens.’there’s nothing they can do about it,’ he says.
Google is a huge, huge company, but their pixel phone sales are not a big part of the market, says Proctor. The company’s sales are n’t the dominant player.
Ifixit provides repair guides and specially designed tools that make people less likely to screw up. Wiens says they’re a bit overblown.
Ifixit wo n’t be selling any boards with chips, so you’ll still need Google to fix it.’there are supply chain challenges around making those,’ says Wiens.
Ifixit says it’s committed to supporting phones even if factories quit making them. The manufacturers are helping some, sharing data with iFixit.
Wiens wo n’t say if tech companies are subsidizing the parts or how much you’ll pay. Ifixit says it does have to buy them and will sell them at a markup.
Ifixit’s repair kits will come with the same kind of waterproofing gaskets that Google and Samsung use to re-seal their own phones.’as long as you do it right, get the seal all the way around, then you’re good again,’ says Wiens.
Manufacturers use adhesive to waterproof gadgets to wear out over time. Manufacturers use it to waterproof their gadgets in the shower.
A good-enough phone can stay good-enough for far longer than it otherwise might might be. Politicians, governments, regulators, shareholders, and advocacy groups like us PIRG are putting on the pressure.
A phone that lasts might be another way to get customers to stick around.’the incentives are now a bit more aligned with what’s better for people on the planet,’ says Proctor.
Apple seems to be backing off on the right-to-repair. Apple did n’t respond to a request for comment this week about its self service repair program.
Carriers brought back the subsidy model last year to spur sales while society was still stuck at home. Apple is reportedly looking to sell the iPhone as a subscription service now.