My partner has a Samsung phone with the curved/wrap around edge screen. The screen is cracked. She's been trying to get it replaced for months, but none of the "Samsung approved" repair shops around here can get a screen. Apparently they have screens meant for the same phone in different colors, but do not have the screen for her phone color. Samsung WILL NOT allow them to use a screen from a different color of the same phone, despite being a working part. Samsung has provided no ETA when the part will be available. This is the kind of problem that shouldn't exist. Would love it if our legislators would tell manufacturers to shove it, and if they want to be the exclusive source for parts that the parts must be sold at some limited/reasonable profit percentage and if they're not available they should not be able to limit the availability or function of 3rd party parts.
As a hardware engineer:

Right to repair is a nice idea and it's heart is in the right place, but won't ever work for something like a consumer phone. Further, IMO, it's really just a band aid for the US's extremely poor consumer protections which manufacturers are hell bent on exporting to the rest of the world.

The most effective way to approach this problem is known and proven: mandate long (I think 5 years is fair) 100% repair/replace/refund waranty periods with no cost to the consumer (including shipping).

Then the manufacturer themselves will figure out the details on how to meet that. And don't worry they are perfectly capable of it because it's what they do RIGHT NOW.

The hardware will become more reliable or it'll be repairable or they'll just refund you or a combination of those.

Batteries just need a requirement such as minimum 80% of capacity at 5 years. Overnight they'll become replacable/over-provisioned/better chemistry/better thermals or again a combination of those.

I've never had "repairability" raised to me as an engineer. It's a nebulous thing nobody understands or cares about and can be just paid lip service to or effectively ignored. But waranty IS something bean-counters and managers understand. It's: "this thing must work for X time or it costs us money" with the added threat of "lawyers might get involved".

It's not perfect, but still far more effective and practical than "right to repair".

Samsung is just consistently frustrating. Their hardware for consumer electronics (not appliances) is generally pretty good in my experience, but the attitudes they take towards their customers via this planned obsolescence and software/dark pattern "shove it down your throat and you better like it" hostile crap.

I've fundamentally had to change how I work with my phone because of garbage like "just save all the clipboard history, too bad if you don't want that" and "here you'd better like a dedicated button to Bixby" and now "LOOK WE HAVE AI NOW ON YOUR PHONE" as well as being one of the most egregious in the TV data thieving.

There are several way different groups are viewing right to repair

Consumer: right to repair means fixing my broken display will be a DIY job for $50? Sweet!

Repair shop: right to repair means I can source a display from lowest bidder, charge $150 for broken screen, and make $120 in profit? Let’s go!

Apple: right to repair means you must buy $275 display module to fix a broken display. So we can keep some nice nice profit.

Samsung seems to be there with Apple. Looking at the price of display module I am worried iFixit is also there with Apple. And iFixit and Samsung couldn’t find a good split on who gets to keep the profits.

It is crazy that an iPhone display module from iFixit appears to cost more than Apple 1st party repair.

Don't forgot the recent Samsung repairman incident where the guy cut a customers tv with a box cutter, then claimed the customer did it. Just to avoid having to fulfill the customers warranty claim:


Pity for them that it was all clearly captured on camera.

The Right to Repair people remind me a lot of the Free Software people. Which is to say, fundamentally correct, but struggling to get consumers to care enough to influence purchasing decisions.

I don't have the answer to this, but somehow getting consumers to factor in repairability is going to be key to creating the kind of leverage that can drive real change in the industry.

I've been 'anti' Samsung for 15 years and generally don't think of the brand. Someone recently gave me a SM-T670 tablet (View) which had lolipop on it. I don't think it ever received a significant update. Well, I tossed LineageOS on it and while it provides some improvements, notably de-ghoulgle and Samsung bloat, the ROM was last updated in 2022 and I'm pretty sure never again.

The only thing I say about Samsung positively, is that they are capable of, but not necessarily committed to, building good hardware. Unfortunately they are the epitome of planned obsolescence and however nice their products may or may not be, they prefer the shortest life possible.

Samsung sucks.

I'm on my 3rd battery on a (used) iPhone 6s. I think it is a feature that I can't get the regular updates anymore. At least now when I turn a 'feature' off it stats off since the os doesn't update and erase my settings every week. I hate apple but nothing in the android world makes me think things there are better. Why is this market so hostile to consumers?
Well that's disappointing from Samsung. But I'm glad iFixit actually followed through and decided it wasn't working out, rather than just declaring victory and walking away.

You've also gotta think that surely they notified Samsung before the announcement and gave them some time to try to salvage the arrangement before ending it. The fact that Samsung didn't suggests it's really not high on their priorities list, even with the expected PR backlash.

Samsung as a whole is a shit company to work with. The mobile startup I worked at a decade ago partnered with them and they were a nightmare. Literally working all hours of the day and night on projects that made little financial sense but looked good to someone's boss in SK. Their appliances are literal garbage as well. Brother's Samdung fridge no longer makes ice (and only did for like a month). My front loader washing machine broke within 5 years. The matching dryer was repaired twice in that timeframe. Fuck Samsung.
I worked for Samsung for ten years and I love the people I worked with.

However, as someone with a buy-it-for-life consumer mindset, I would never buy a Samsung product. Support and maintainability never factored into the hyper-development and release cycles of the products.

Glad I just had my Samsung repaired last week by ifixit. I replaced the screen which cost $340. Price for the repair felt a bit like extortion but I needed my phone and it was the least painful option. I could have mailed it into Samsung to have the repair done for $200 but who has that kind of flexibility?
I have a Samsung phone because it is the only brand with a stylus in its flagships, but I, too, would like to end my collaboration with them.
Samsung had existing repair partnerships. Many were run by other Koreans, and very much had the feeling of a big family run conglomerate. Of course iFixit is going to get the short end of the stick unless they're providing real value to Samsung.

For Samsung, repair services are valuable to keep carrier customers happy so that the carriers keep pushing their phones. External repair services don't have that tie in. They probably even reduce sales of new phones. iFixit's partnership just doesn't offer the same value proposition.

My last Samsung monitor was great, and it still is. The new one's screen died about a week after I got it. I had better luck returning it to the local store than dealing with Samsung support. The replacement, however, had the same issue about two weeks later. I feel like Smansung has a monitor quality control issue. I didn't even bother dealing with Samsung support. Instead, I gave up and returned it to the local store for a refund.
I had thought that phone manufacturers were coming around to the concept of repairability, so this is bad news. I've had a few Samsung phones and never had any problems. My S22 Ultra is over 3 years old now and still an excellent performer. I thought I'll have to change the battery this year - but after checking the instructions I changed my mind, crazy complicated.
I can’t wait until they end their recently announced Lenovo collaboration on the same grounds. Absolutely fucking awful vendor in the last few years. Shipping dead batteries, not even shipping anything and having little to no parts stock. And at least here the NBD service is worthless.
I had a power button fail on an S21, only a few places were willing to quote and the cost to replace was over £300, more than the phone was worth. I now use the always on screen, so I can unlock without the power button, hopefully prolonging it's life!
FWIW, I have three kids so I've had to repair a fair share of broken phones. Two kids have Galaxy A52's and one has an iPhone 7. The A52's are WAY easier to work on.
If you have ever had to try to RMA a Samsung drive you will know to never buy Samsung again.

The worst manufacturer I’ve ever dealt with by orders of magnitude - it’s not even remotely close.

besides regional support, by and large this has been a core reservation behind these initiatives for me. this goes beyond just parts design being harder to repair. fairly priced first-party components throughout the support lifecycle is yet to be achieved.

i can empathize with the supply chain challenges but unless we have regulatory pressures, none of these parties have the incentive to see things through. without any accountability, all the device support promises are only good on paper.

Thank you for standing up to Samsung. I was extremely disappointed that A. Ifixit didn't have even charging ports in stock B. If they did they would be basically the same price as having someone replace it. C. All official and licensed repair spots must replace _all_ components if they even replace one. I have a cracked screen and don't care, but it would have driven the price up to 1/3 or 1/2 the cost of the device. I would have just bought a new one.

I ended up having to get it repaired at some sketch mall shop.

I want to end my collaboration with them too. What is the most open, repairable phone out there that would run my banking app?
Samsung should never be trusted for anything.
"It’s with a heavy wrench that we have decided ..." Nice pun when originating from a repair shop!
Samsung official repairs are a major ripoff. They offered to repair my tablet for 3/4 the price of a new one. I said no, paid the non-refundable deposit, bought an entire logic board and did it myself. It worked out very cheap.
It’s honestly not surprising. Sometimes initiatives from well meaning employees can be given the green light because they’re low enough in the company to avoid attention but high enough to get a director’s sponsorship. But as soon as the employee begins to get Legal or someone at a VP involved and they’ll have to eat the loss on sales, it’s killed. 80% of a company’s money goes to driving “sales or savings”, the rest goes to “keeping the lights on.” Being responsive for anything that impacts sales in the negative is a huge deal for everyone in their chain of command.
My sister broke her curved Samsung screen and the replacement part alone was (last year) £150. This wasn’t even a new model, it’s an (if I remember correctly) an s21.

Ended up just buying a used iPhone for not much more.

Samsung makes terrible products anyway. Their phones are bloated with spyware to the gills, their customer service/repairs are poorly done (if at all), and their appliances are some of the least durables I know of. Their TVs are advertisers wet dreams, they are extremely intrusive.

Especially after the company a close friend used to work at was swallowed by Samsung, I’ve vowed to never ever buy anything Samsung ever again (ok except semi conductors if they’re part of another product but even then their after sales sucks for these parts). They have a terrible internal culture as well, where quality and security fight each other constantly for least priority. No thanks.

There's a economic reason mobile phone manufacturers don't want you to repair the phone - they prefer you to buy a new one.
Ostensible collaboration to frustrate DIY R2R.

My friend's independent, non-certified cell phone and laptop repair business is suffering greatly due to the lack of availability of reasonably-priced repair parts or any repair parts, especially screen assemblies for flagship phones.

I just want to say that was very well written.
Last 2 phones were Samsung. I got sick of the stock apps being put on the phone so I finally got a pixel running grapheme os
So what's the current non-enshittified phone? Preferably at non-flagship price.
Sure, Samsung is bad, but not sure why iFixit pretends to be the embodiment of right to repair. In my opinion they have harmed the cause more than anything else: instead of actual repair material (like schematics or low/high level servicing manuals) they are selling half-devices. And whoever supplies those half devices is called the repairability-king of the day. Neither Nokia, nor any other of their partners are any better. Fairy dust all around, without actual repairability :(

(But I guess it works for everyone: iFixit gets sales, $BRAND gets positive PR. And the customer gets some feel good news. Not actual repairability, but almost as good, I guess)