We’re Ending Our Samsung Collaboration

We’re Ending Our Samsung Collaboration

Two years ago we launched iFixit’s Samsung Repair Hub with the goal of building an incredible, repair-friendly ecosystem. We aimed to set the gold standard for repair documentation and empower local independent repair businesses with the tools and parts they needed to thrive, all while keeping Galaxy devices running.  

Despite our best efforts, we have not been able to deliver on that promise.

As we tried to build this ecosystem we consistently faced obstacles that made us doubt Samsung’s commitment to making repair more accessible. We couldn’t get parts to local repair shops at prices and quantities that made business sense. The part prices were so costly that many consumers opted to replace their devices rather than repair them. And the design of Samsung’s Galaxy devices remained frustratingly glued together, forcing us to sell batteries and screens in pre-glued bundles that increased the cost.

It’s with a heavy wrench that we have decided to end our partnership with Samsung. Despite a huge amount of effort, Samsung’s approach to repairability does not align with our mission. This means:

  • Starting June 2024, iFixit will no longer be Samsung’s designated third-party parts and tools distributor.
  • Also starting next month, we will no longer have a quantity limit of seven Samsung parts per repair shop per quarter.
  • No existing information will be removed from iFixit, but we will not collaborate directly with Samsung to develop new manuals.
  • We will continue to sell parts and repair fix kits for Samsung devices, sourcing OEM parts when available and clearly indicating whether parts are original or aftermarket. Just like we do for Apple repair parts.

We will continue to sell parts and repair fix kits for Samsung devices, sourcing OEM parts when available.

Continuing Our Mission

Though we are sad that Samsung isn’t coming along, we’re continuing our march into a more-repairable future. We’re shipping more parts to people all over the world, expanding awareness of third-party repair, and proving to manufacturers of all stripes that repair is good business.

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Repair guides and troubleshooting for e-readers manufactured by Rakuten Kobo.

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The tide is shifting in favor of more repairable gadgets and our other partnerships have been fruitful. We just launched repair parts with e-reader manufacturer Kobo and have more announcements in the works. So far this year we’ve added over 10,000 new repair parts ranging from laptop batteries to refrigerator ice makers.

Independent repair businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, but monopolization has driven small repair businesses out of the market. Some companies hinder repair by blocking the distribution of essential parts and tools, requiring proprietary software to complete repairs, insisting on suffocating contracts, requiring expensive certifications, and pricing out the competition. This makes repairs cost more and take longer, and we won’t abide by unfriendly repair practices. 

We’ve been trying to counteract this trend by working to pass repair-friendly legislation and advocating for the Federal Trade Commission and the Copyright Office to take common sense steps to protect everyone’s Right to Repair. When manufacturers reach out to us seeking to make their products last longer we are excited to help them unlock a galaxy of repair. 

Samsung Didn’t Work Out

The original Samsung Galaxy Upcycling booth that caught our attention at Maker Faire. We still think true upcycling of old phones is a great idea—but we don’t trust Samsung to deliver.

Despite skepticism from the repair community, we tried to work with Samsung to create repair documentation for a few initial devices. However, flashy press releases and ambitious initiatives don’t mean much without follow-through. We’ve been through this with Samsung before with Galaxy Upcycling, the amazing device reuse idea that we helped them announce. Then they ghosted us and never released it. We clearly didn’t learn our lesson the first time, and two years ago we let them convince us they were serious about embracing repair.

We tried to make this work. Gosh, we tried. But with such divergent priorities, we’re no longer able to proceed. So what does that mean for our community? 

As Samsung phones are popular devices, we’ve tried to cover them with our in-house repair guides. But as the devices continued to decline in repairability, it made less and less sense. Having repair guides is a crucial part of repairability, but if Samsung is just profiting from unpaid work, do they really deserve that credit? We will be turning our limited guide-making bandwidth onto more deserving tech. Teardowns will proceed as normal—if the device is noteworthy enough (no pun intended), we’ll tear it down, and we still won’t pull punches on our repairability scorecard

That said, Samsung phones clearly need repair. No worries on that front: we will continue selling Samsung parts just as we have since 2015, well before our partnership. Although we won’t be making in-house Galaxy guides, we invite our community to keep sharing what you know about repairing Samsung devices. Anyone can make an iFixit guide—in fact, over half of our 100,000+ guides were not written by our in-house team. And for our repair shop customers, we’re no longer beholden to the miserly quantity limits you’ve been so frustrated by.

We’re bummed but we won’t apologize for our initial optimism. Nor will we let one bad apple spoil the bunch; instead, we’re tossing it out before it can do so. But we also won’t stop you from a chorus of “I told you so”s—honestly that’s fair. The warning signs were there—we reported on them, after all.

But that mix of criticism and optimism is what iFixit is here for. We’re pushing the envelope and pulling all the levers we can to make repair universal.

What Now

Looking ahead, we’re excited to continue our fight for a more repairable world and introduce new manufacturers and enhancements to the iFixit platform:

  • Throughout the summer, iFixit will expand our Repair Hubs with existing partners to support more devices. 
  • We’ll launch more parts in more countries for more devices. 
  • We will release repairability scorecards for more device categories.
  • For repair service providers, iFixit will be partnering with third-party point-of-sale providers to make accessing repair content easier.
  • We’ve expanded our parts catalog with over 10,000 new parts to support an even broader range of devices. Our new offerings include parts for televisions, PC desktops and laptops, coffee makers, appliances, and video game consoles. This expansion is just the beginning. 

Repair, not replacement should be the default. If fixing things was as easy as buying new ones, more people would do it.

We remain obsessively focused on creating a fantastic experience for our customers and enabling independent repair businesses to thrive. We’ll only maintain business relationships with manufacturers that share our vision. As Right to Repair laws take effect this summer, we will be helping more manufacturers roll out repair solutions for their products.