Win for the ‘right to repair’ movement as Samsung gives customers ability to repair their own mobile devices under new repair program
Samsung Electronics America has announced a ‘Self Service Repair’ plan, in a major shift for the South Korean electronics giant.
Like Apple, Samsung had been reluctant to open up the repair process for its devices, but it has now announced its new Self-Repair Program in the United States, but it is only expected to arrive in the summer.
It comes after Apple in November last year announced its own Self Repair Service, that will allow people to purchase Apple spare parts such as displays, batteries and camera modules.
Apple said at the time it would also provide access to its repair manuals, but unfortunately this repair service has not yet official launched, and is limited to just the iPhone 12 and 13 to start with.
Samsung however said it is collaborating with iFixit, the leading online repair community, on this program, and more information be be shared once self-repair is available.
“Today, Samsung Electronics America announced that Galaxy device owners will be able to take product repair into their own hands for Samsung’s most popular models, the Galaxy S20 and S21 family of products, and the Galaxy Tab S7+ beginning this summer,” it said.
Samsung consumers will also get access to genuine device parts, repair tools, and step-by-step repair guides.
Previously, Samsung users had to rely on the company’s in-house repair service to fix devices.
Samsung’s new Self-Repair Program will start be allowing Galaxy device owners to replace display assemblies, back glass, and charging ports. Customers can also return used parts to Samsung for responsible recycling.
In the future, Samsung plans to expand self-repair to more devices and repairs to its product portfolio.
“At Samsung, we’re creating more ways for consumers to extend the lifespan of our products with premium care experiences,” said Ramon Gregory, senior VP of customer care at Samsung Electronics America.
“Availability of self-repair will provide our consumers the convenience and more options for sustainable solutions,” said Gregory.
“We are excited to be consulting with Samsung to help them develop a solution for DIY parts and repair information,” added Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit. “Every time you fix a device, you’re helping the planet.”
Samsung said it has a vast network of same-day service, covering 80 percent of the US population, where consumers can access more than 2,000 locations for mobile products.
Samsung also has over 550 ‘We Come To You Vans’ offering in-person service within a 30-60 minute drive – and a repair time of typically two hours or less.
Or customers can ask Samsung to send them an empty box in order to package their phone and schedule at-home pick-up for free via Samsung’s Mail-In Service. Or consumers can also drop off their package at a local UPS store.
Right to repair
It is worth noting that all of the above is for the United States.
There is no word on when, or indeed if, Samsung’s Self-Repair Program will be available on this side of the pond, or the rest of the world.
But the Right To Repair movement has been gaining traction of late.
In October last year the US Copyright Office waded into the right to repair movement, that is now being supported by the US President Joe Biden.
The US Copyright Office said it was expanding a legal shield for fixing digital devices, including cars and medical devices.
It comes after the office submitted new exemptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which bans breaking software copy protection.
And other countries are also expanding right to repair regulations.
Last July the UK government introduced new legislation which obliges manufacturers to make spare parts available to consumers so appliances can be fixed.
The European Parliament has also voted in favour of establishing stronger “right to repair” laws that will ensure that goods can be repaired for up to 10 years, in order to to reduce electrical waste.