Google promises to sell Pixel replacement parts in partnership with iFixit
Many smartphone manufacturers have been attempting (with mixed results) to decrease the negative environmental impact of their devices, and part of that means keeping existing phones working for as long as possible, so they don’t end up in landfills after just a year or two. Samsung announced last month that it will start selling replacement parts for Galaxy phones and tablets “this summer,” and now Google is working towards the same goal for its smartphones.
Google announced in a blog post, “starting later this year, genuine Pixel spare parts will be available for purchase at ifixit.com for Pixel 2 through Pixel 6 Pro, as well as future Pixel models, in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia and EU countries where Pixel is available. The full range of spare parts for common Pixel phone repairs — things like batteries, replacement displays, cameras and more — will be available either individually or in iFixit Fix Kits, which include tools like screwdriver bits and spudgers.”
Samsung said it was working with iFixit to create repair guides for its phones and tablets, while Google is apparently going a step further and also selling parts directly through iFixit. That seems to be a growing trend with tech companies, as Valve has also partnered with iFixit on repair guides and parts for the new Steam Deck console.
In case you’re like me and don’t have the skill or coordination required to repair a modern smartphone, Google is still partnered with repair shops like uBreakiFix. The company says it will expand availability of training and tools to more repair partners in the future, so we might see more options for repair services soon.
Even though this is good news, we still don’t know what prices Google and iFixit will charge for replacement parts, or how long availability for parts will last. If the cost of repair outweighs the cost of buying a new Pixel, it might still encourage people to toss out phones before they are completely dead.