Google to allow self-repair options for Pixel phones

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Do you miss the days when phones were almost indestructible and the only thing you need to mind after a year or two is the battery you could easily replace? If you’ve ever owned a Nokia phone before, you know that. Unfortunately, phones nowadays have become so complex that fixing them yourself has become impossible – not to mention that the batteries are now built-in. Well, companies are gradually changing that, and Google is one of the leaders in this movement. In an announcement made on April 8, it promises to offer more ways to ‘repair’ your Pixel phone… but how?

“We want you to have a great experience with your Pixel phone, and that includes easy access to high-quality and safe device repair if your phone is ever damaged,” writes Ana Corrales, Consumer Hardware Chief Operating Officer at Google, in a post. “That’s why we’re working with iFixit to make it easier for independent repair professionals and skilled consumers with the relevant technical experience to access the genuine Google parts they need to repair Pixel phones.”

Google’s plan is to make the genuine Pixel spare parts for Pixel 2 through Pixel 6 Pro available on later this year in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, and EU countries where Pixel is available. The company also plans to make it available in the future models of Pixel.

Spare parts will be available for individual purchases or in iFixit Fix Kits, packed with tools like screwdriver bits and spudgers and other specific spare parts like batteries, replacement displays, cameras, and more.

Nonetheless, the company recognizes the doubts of individuals who are not knowledgeable about basic mobile self-repair processes. With this, Google ensures that there will also be an option to bring their devices to its authorized technical experts, who will do the repair for them at affordable rates. 

“We already partner with independent repair providers like uBreakiFix, which has more than 750 locations across the U.S. and Canada supporting in-warranty and out-of-warranty Pixel repairs,” says Corrales. “We have similar partnerships with walk-in support providers in Canada, Germany, Japan and the U.K., with more to come. Pixel repair options are available in all countries where we sell Pixel phones.”

Corrales adds that the company is trying to arm its authorized repair partners with essential materials, from training and documentation to tools and spare parts. She also says that there is a plan to expand the repair options to other Google devices, especially Chromebooks. To do this, Google recently partnered with Acer and Lenovo to start the Chromebook repair program, which will help schools gather info about repairable Chromebooks and develop in-house repair programs. There’s also the Chrome OS Flex that Google introduced to education and enterprise users with the aim to “repurpose old Mac or PC devices to run a version of Chrome OS alongside their Chromebook fleet.”

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