Hardware & Devices

Samsung promotes repurposing of old smartphones

Most cell phone owners upgrade to a new model every two to three years. With its upcycling platform, Samsung is now calling for discarded smartphones and tablets to be repurposed for a new use.

13 Nov. 2017
Source: Samsung C-Lab
Source: Samsung C-Lab

Cell phone manufacturers are usually not so amenable to their operating system being repurposed. Samsung is striking out in a new direction here, by allowing creative developers to replace the firmware in older Galaxy devices.

This paves the way for converting unused smartphones or tablets into, for example, an aquarium controller. Samsung wants to collect as many creative recycling ideas as possible on upcycling.io .

The portal, set up especially for this purpose, aims to encourage experimentation (and perhaps also to shrug off the bad reputation of the exploding Galaxy Note 7 ). Finished images will then also be available on the portal. To start with, however, the portal contains only a presentation of what it plans to offer in the future. This also includes repair guides – with iFixit as the cooperation partner.

The worldwide repair community develops and provides guides, spare parts, and special tools for devices that manufacturers never intended to be repaired by end users. Until now, Dutch company Fairphone B.V. has been the only company to develop its smartphones modularly to ensure that any damaged parts can easily be replaced.

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