Google’s Repair Policy Is Broken

Closeup of the cracks in the frame of a tablet

Photograph: Simon Hill

Pixel Imperfect

What is particularly egregious about this lack of repair options is Google knows how to handle this properly. If your Pixel breaks, you can very likely get it fixed.

“Repair options include mail-in service, walk-in repairs at authorized locations, and even DIY repairs with official parts and guides provided by our partner iFixit,” Nickel told WIRED in an email. “Our repair support site, located here, is the best entry point for support.”

You can get genuine parts for the Pixel 2 through the new Pixel 8A from iFixit. If you’re unfamiliar, the iFixit website is a wonderful resource for anyone looking to repair their gadgets. It provides parts, repair kits, and video tutorials, and the company consults with many major manufacturers, including Microsoft, Fairphone, Logitech, HP, and Lenovo, to make their devices more repairable.

Currently, iFixit provides official parts for Google, HTC, Fairphone, Motorola, Teenage Engineering, Vaude, and Valve devices, among others. However, the repair company recently ended its partnership with Samsung due to a lack of follow-through from the electronics giant, though iFixit still offers repair kits for Samsung devices.

Apple maintains rigid control over its repairs, fiercely resisting proper support for unapproved third-party repair shops or amateur home repairs, though it conceded a little ground on iPhone parts recently. Regardless, iFixit does offer kits for many Apple devices too. Still, Apple will at least fix your broken devices, even if it charges a premium.

Nickel says Google does offer replacement parts to DIY support partners, like iFixit, where possible, and it hopes to improve repairability for its gadgets, though this seems to be driven by legislation. While the right-to-repair movement has gained some ground, the impact of federal legislation in the US and the UK remains to be seen, and tech companies continue to resist, making what many campaigners feel are minimal efforts.

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