iFixit terminates Samsung partnership due to costs, difficulty of repairs, and lack of trust

Samsung self repair phone and tool
(Image credit: Samsung)

iFixit is ending its self-repair collaboration with Samsung, just a few months shy of their partnership’s second anniversary. In a recent post, the repair company states the two entities couldn’t see eye-to-eye, claiming “Samsung’s approach towards repairability does not align with [their] mission.” iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens told TheVerge the collab ends on June 17th. 

On that date, iFixit will no longer be an official “third-party parts and tools distributor” for Galaxy devices. However, components and fix kits for Samsung hardware will still be sold – “sourcing OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts when available." iFixit says it’ll indicate whether something is an original or aftermarket component on product listings.

The end of the partnership comes with additional changes as well. Customers will no longer be limited to purchasing seven parts per three-month period, and can now buy however much they want at any given time. The repair manuals for Galaxy devices are staying on the website, but iFixit will no longer work with Samsung to write them or make in-house guides. 

However, community members are invited to share what they know about repairing Galaxy hardware. As TheVerge points out though, this could mean manuals become “less detailed as a result.”

High costs

So what happened between them? Well, Kyle Wiens blames Samsung for a variety of reasons. The blog post even refers to their behavior as “miserly.” Wiens told TheVerge that people just weren’t buying Galaxy parts because A) they’re expensive and B) Galaxy phones are difficult to fix. 

Let’s say, for example, you want to replace your smartphone’s battery. On the iPhone 11, this is really easy – you just buy the battery and the accompanying fix kit for $40, then follow the provided steps.

Samsung doesn’t do this, though. Instead, the tech giant glues a Galaxy’s battery to a display and you can’t split them apart since it’s one solid unit. As a result, it’s expensive. – replacing the battery on a Galaxy S22 requires you to pay almost $170. Then, to finish up repairs, users need to download the Self Repair Assistant, an app that isn’t available on the Google Play Store or Samsung’s own Galaxy Store despite what the manuals claim. We checked. 

TheVerge says you have to head over to Encompass' website, another self-repair company, and download the APK (Android Package Kit) for the Self Repair Assistant there. Installing an APK is not straightforward, speaking from experience. It is a multi-step process that takes a while to complete.

Moving forward

Wiens goes on to explain that Samsung prevented iFixit from helping local repair shops because of the seven-part limit. Additionally, they couldn’t get official components for new models like the Galaxy S23. All that support went towards Encompass.

iFixit attempted to engage with Samsung in good faith, but apparently, the feeling wasn’t mutual, so the partnership ended. Moving forward, the company says it plans to expand its Repair Hubs to introduce support for additional devices and enter new collaborations with third-party providers.

We've reached out to Samsung for comment and we’ll update this story if we hear back. In the meantime, check out TechRadar's list of the Pixel phones for 2024 if you're looking for a repair-friendly mobile device.

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Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.