Back in March, Samsung joined a growing list of hardware manufacturers that have announced user self-repair programs. The list includes similar services offered by Apple and Google, finding the companies responding positively to potential right-to-repair legislation. Both Samsung and Google have partnered with the popular repair site iFixit to offer low-cost tools to fix common device problems.
Starting today, the companies are offering kits to repair broken screens, replace back glass and repair charging ports on the Galaxy S20, S21 and Tab S7+ tablets to customers in the United States. The repair kits include parts, tools and step-by-step repair instructions, as well as return labels to send broken parts back to Samsung, with kits for other devices and repairs to follow.
This is a departure from Apple’s approach, which offers professional-grade equipment for iPhone users, including the same glue melters that its Genius Bar service staff use in the store. However, the kit was launched to negative reviews due to its unavailability and high pricing, leading many to believe that making the self-repair process difficult may have been part of Apple’s purpose. On the other hand, iFixit offers tools that significantly lower the barrier to entry, but may lack the precision of some professional-grade products.
Still, anything that makes it easier for users to access repair services and delay the life of their devices is likely to be positive, and how many people will actually accept their offer is another question entirely.