Under iFixit’s scoring rubric, a highly repairable device:
- Is straightforward to disassemble and reassemble, nondestructively and reversibly
- Requires only inexpensive, widely available tools for common fixes, and
- Gives priority access to critical components—those most crucial to device function and/or most likely to require service.
These three aspects of the product design can get you pretty far on your way to a successful repair. But most repairs are only possible if replacement parts and instructions are also readily available.
With that in mind, 10% of the is reserved for a public service manual provided by (or with help from) the team that makes the device and knows it best. Another 10% represents the public availability of OEM replacement parts.
In the case of a pre-release (or just released) device, iFixit understands that instructions and parts may not yet be available. Awarding a provisional score allows us to evaluate the design of the product, helping to inform future product design and consumer decision-making in these early stages. Provisional scores are labeled as such, and OEMs are required to use the provisional labeling.
Provisional scores rely on OEM attestation for parts and documentation. A provisional score assumes full credit for public instructions and parts availability, focusing on the remaining 80%—that is, design for repair.
Increasingly, software calibration and/or parts pairing constitutes a major barrier to repair. If repairs using OEM replacement parts require non-public software tools to initialize or calibrate, it’s often the same as no repair at all. iFixit strongly advocates that such software tools be made publicly available. While the full version of the scorecard reflects that, a provisional score does not. If parts pairing is detected and there is no publicly-available remedy, the final score may be reduced significantly.
After a provisional score is awarded, iFixit will later re-evaluate the device, verifying the parts, documentation, and software status. The provisional label gets removed and the repairability score may be revised as needed in order to fully reflect the repair experience available to end users.