Why iFixit ended its repair deal with Samsung: 'We tried to make this work'

iFixit wanted to make device repair more accessible. Did Samsung?
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
June Wan/ZDNET

iFixit is ending its two-year partnership with Samsung, citing "divergent priorities" regarding device repairability. 

The repair specialist teamed up with Samsung in 2022 to create a "repair hub," set a gold standard for repair documentation, and provide local independent repair businesses with the tools, parts, and -- most importantly -- the information needed to keep Samsung smartphones running longer.

Also: Apple to allow used parts for some iPhone repairs

Today marks the end of this arrangement. Scott Head, iFixit's operations and logistics supervisor, expressed concerns about Samsung's dedication to the project and questioned "Samsung's commitment to making repair more accessible."

Head cited several issues, ranging from an inability to obtain parts at reasonable prices and quantities to Samsung's unwillingness to supply batteries that weren't pre-glued to the displays, making a simple battery replacement cost-prohibitive. Additionally, it appears that Samsung imposed a limit on the number of parts -- seven, to be exact -- that repair shops could receive per quarter, according to the post.

Moreover, iFixit said it had developed an upcycling and device reuse initiative, but Samsung never implemented the program.

"We tried to make this work," wrote Head. "But with such divergent priorities, we're no longer able to proceed."

Starting in June 2024, iFixit will no longer serve as Samsung's designated third-party parts and tools distributor. iFixit plans to continue providing all the information currently available on its website as well as selling parts and repair kits for Samsung devices, seeking out OEM parts when available, in preference to aftermarket suppliers.

Also: The best Samsung phones to buy: Expert tested

Speaking to The Verge, Samsung's head of mobile customer care, Mario Renato De Castro, said, "We're proud of the work we've done together with iFixit. We can't comment further on partnership details at this time."

In related news, 404 Media reported on a leaked a contract that Samsung had independent repair shops sign. In exchange to being allowed to buy parts, repair shops had to supply Samsung with the name, contact information, phone identifier, and customer complaint details of everyone who had their phone repaired.

Additionally, Samsung required repair shops to "immediately disassemble" any smartphones that customers brought in if they had been previously repaired with aftermarket or third-party parts. The repair shops also had to "immediately notify" Samsung that the customer had used third-party parts.

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