Google Update Google Products

How Google is supporting repair and sensible right to repair legislation

Today, we’re excited to reaffirm our support for the Right to Repair movement by releasing our first white paper on repair while endorsing proposed Oregon Right to Repair legislation that offers a compelling model for other states to follow.

We applaud the efforts of Oregon state senator Janeen Sollman in advancing a common sense repair bill. This legislation represents an inclusive compromise that brings tech companies, small repair companies, environmental leaders and legislators to the table to find common ground and support the repair movement. This would be a win for consumers who are looking for affordable repair options, for the environment, and for companies that want to invest in making their products more repairable and sustainable.

To fully illustrate our commitment, we are releasing a white paper to lay out our approach to repair, reaffirm our support for Right to Repair and offer principles that thoughtful regulation might consider.

Google’s mission — to make the world’s information accessible and useful to everyone — has shaped how we have designed Google’s consumer electronics devices by making repair universally accessible for our customers. The ability to repair a phone, for example, empowers people by saving money on devices while creating less waste.

It also critically supports sustainability in manufacturing. Repair must be easy enough for anyone to do, whether they are technicians or do-it-yourselfers. This requires that as manufacturers we design products in a manner that enables simple, safe, and correct repairs wherever and by whomever they are done. This is what we call design for serviceability.

Pixel products are designed to last many years in a variety of incredibly demanding environments. They are designed with an increasing array of components to enable ever-greater computing power within our hands. That means asking designers to consider how to take apart and reassemble these devices efficiently, and with a minimum of parts, which requires a real dialogue across our entire engineering team. While we still have more work to do, we are proud to make the decision to prioritize longevity and repair in the devices that we produce. Last year, we announced 7 years of software support for our Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro devices, and no major smartphone brand offers this committed level of support and longevity.

Our efforts to make repair accessible and useful focus on three pillars:

  • Repair parts: We ensure that parts for our phones are accessible to the public. We also do not require burdensome parts pairing or registration, meaning that a properly installed screen or battery will work no matter who is doing the repair. This accessibility is table-stakes, as far as we are concerned. We also believe this effort enables small businesses and local repairers to thrive and grow by encouraging scalable processes with genuine parts that enable efficient repairs.
  • Accessible tools: We have consistently reduced the cost and number of repair tools required for our devices, and have now also made them available online for anyone to purchase. We have also launched an on-device Diagnostic App to help users test device functionality before and after repairs.
  • Clear instructions: We recently redesigned our repair manuals so it’s easier for repairers to use them, and we plan to continue to upload manuals for previous and future devices going forward. Additionally, we’ve elevated the visibility of repair-related resources on our Help Pages, including information on how to order parts, view repair manuals, and run diagnostic tests — all elements of quality repairs.

To make sure repairing Pixel phones is widely accessible for all we’ve established repair operations close to where our customers live and work. To do this we’ve partnered with independent repair providers, like uBreakiFix, to provide more than 700 locations across the U.S. where customers can get support. In most cases, they are able to receive same-day repair at a walk-in center located within 10-20 miles. This level of access is an essential first step — one of many — toward ensuring repairability of our products. In addition, customers also have the option of sending their phones back to Google for repair directly or through their cellphone service provider, or leveraging their local independent repair network.

We are proud of the progress that we’ve made in building devices that last a long time and are easy to fix if they break. Google is committed to continue to push the envelope in our engineering and design, our repair programs, and our public engagements to support repair and environmental sustainability. And we appreciate the efforts of policymakers, like we see in Oregon, to help move the entire industry towards a more sustainable and repairable future.

Source: Google Blog

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