Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2023

In November of last year, Apple announced that it will start making spare parts for Apple products so its consumers could repair their products at home. This has spurred on competition in their main competitor, Samsung, who has unveiled its own plan to enable customers to repair their own devices — a major win for the right-to-repair movement.

Repair their own products

Thanks to the new program, users of some of its flagship Galaxy devices will be able to repair their own products. As part of the program, Samsung will give customers and third-party Fixit companies access to parts, repair tools, and step-by-step repair guides for the first time. That’s in contrast to users having to rely exclusively on the company’s in-house repair services.

The move from both Apple and Samsung to enable users to repair their own devices comes after years of pressure from consumers and regulators to make fixing products easier. The brands have previously been criticized for making it difficult for third-party repair services to access devices, such as using non-removable batteries or using glue instead of screws to hold things together.

The right-to-repair movement

The program will see Samsung collaborating with iFixit, an online community that publishes free how-to repair guides to help people fix their own devices. According to iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens, Samsung’s latest initiative is “part of a sea change where manufacturers are moving to support your right to repair.”

“Extending the lifespan of electronics is essential for the future of the planet and providing consumers with self-repair options is an essential step to making that happen,” he added. Extending the life of electronic devices not only saves consumers money but also prevents e-waste from polluting our environment.

The latest advancement of the right-to-repair movement also comes amidst a push from regulators both in the US and Europe to expand the freedom of users to repair their devices. Last summer, the Federal Trade Commission vowed to prohibit manufacturers from imposing restrictions on independent repair shops and DIY repairs. Meanwhile, an EU law came into effect in December that would force electronics companies to make their products last longer.

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