Motorola Partners with iFixit for Smartphone Repair


#1

I’m extremely excited about this. (One of my colleagues described my immediate reaction as “he was dancing around the workshop”, which is only half true.)

The company announced that it would begin selling replacement parts for all of its recent phones to customers, and it has partnered with iFixit to sell repair kits for phones like the Moto X, Z, G4, G5, and Droid Turbo 2. The kits come with tools, genuine Motorola-branded replacement parts, and instructions on how to fix your device. iFixit is currently selling replacement batteries, screens, and digitizer assemblies.

Setting aside brand rivalries for a second - although the articles announcing this news have all chosen to compare the move to Apple - this is noteworthy news. Motorola Mobility and their parent Lenovo have officially opened their repair and service channels to everyone by becoming the first smartphone manufacturer to provide parts, tools and service documentation to everyone - not just authorised repairers.

Exciting stuff for others here who, like myself, love taking apart, tinkering and fixing their own kit. You can own, customise, repair and even modify your own devices with backing from the manufacturer, by adding attachments for additional batteries, speakers, gamepads, optical zoom cameras, projectors and even printers if you so desire. Motorola even provides a development kit for electronic hobbyists to produce their own circuits that interface directly with the phone’s hardware.

I don’t think this is intended to compete with Apple, but rather carve out a niche in the market for the enthusiasts, and win some points with the right-to-repair advocates. It’s a bold move, and it’ll be interesting to see if it catches on and if other manufacturers start to follow suit.

It doesn’t seem to be getting much coverage, but I know there are at least a few others here that would find it interesting, so figured it was worth sharing.


#2

Do Motorola still make phones? TIL.


#3

A hardware development kit for tinkerers? I didn’t need to see this. I’m going to get in so much trouble, buying a phone I don’t need :joy:


#4

Apparently so. Motorola Mobility was established after the company was split into two separate trading entities, after which their mobile division was purchased by Google. It was then sold to Lenovo in 2014, where it currently resides. They’ve been producing phones for a while, just not in quite as high a volume as they used to.

I’m hoping that their partnership with iFixit produces some new devices that are overall easier to service, mainly when it comes to battery replacements. I’d already been considering the Moto G series as a replacement for my iPhone 5s, so that would seal the deal for me.