Close this search box.


The Most Repaired Smartphone Brands and Models

Home smartphone repair is a satisfying life hack that can save money while protecting the planet.

The internet is replete with guides for device repair. Yet, in 2022, the world dumped 24.5 million tons of small e-waste — four times the weight of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Unfortunately, manufacturers are under little obligation to make it easy, or even possible, to repair your own devices. So many of them end up in landfill unless you’re willing to pay out Genius Bar prices to get them fixed.

But that is changing. In December 2023, New York became the sixth U.S. state to pass Right to Repair legislation. In theory, Right to Repair laws oblige manufacturers to make instructions, tools and parts available for consumers to mend their devices. In New York, the law was compromised at the last moment by clauses allowing manufacturers to withhold the “passwords, security codes or materials” needed for access and to sell pre-assembled parts rather than simple components. But despite the big tech companies’ attempts to discourage home repair — which impacts their profits — the use of YouTube, iFixit or manufacturer-provided instructions will be a big part of keeping phones out of landfills in the 2020s.

So, which smartphones are people fixing the most?

Following our guides to the smartphones with the best batteries and the easiest phones to repair, researchers at Electronics Hub have now analyzed iFixit data to find the most searched-for phone-mending instructions. We found the total number of all-time pageviews for each brand and model of smartphone on iFixit. Then, we ranked them by model and by adding up the total views for all the models of each brand.

Key Findings

  • Apple is the most repaired smartphone brand, with 17,511,792 pageviews on iFixit.
  • The 2010 Apple iPhone 4 is the most repaired smartphone model, with 5,192,539 repairs.
  • The 2012 Samsung Galaxy S III is the most repaired Android model (972,558 repairs).
  • The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max is the most repaired smartphone released since 2022 (111,453 repairs).
  • The 2016 Huawei P9 is the most repaired Huawei model (95,817).

The Most Repaired Smartphone Models of All Time

Older Apple iPhones are the smartphones that are repaired the most. The eight most repaired models of any brand are all iPhones of generation 6 or earlier. And the most repaired of all by a considerable margin is the iPhone 4 from 2010, which is repaired 57.55% more often than the second-placed iPhone 6 (2014). By contrast, the iPhone 6 is repaired 238.88% more often than the most repaired non-Apple phone: the Samsung Galaxy S III (2012), which has been searched 972,558 times on iFixit.

The predominance of early iPhones in this ranking can be seen in two contexts. Firstly, the phones are older, so they have had longer to acquire damage and lose battery longevity — and longer to rack up maintenance searches on iFixit. Indeed, 18 of the 20 most repaired phones of all time are from 2016 or earlier, regardless of brand.

Secondly, though, is the specificity of Apple and of these particular models. The iPhone 4, in particular, is famous for its so-called Death Grip: a design flaw that means how you hold your phone can seriously disrupt the signal it receives, leading to poor-quality calls. Steve Jobs himself responded to the issue, suggesting owners “[j]ust avoid holding it in that way.” This may be why owners keep dropping the iPhone 4.

The Most Repaired Smartphone Brands of All Time

The scale of Apple’s domination in the field of “phones need mending” becomes even clearer when we aggregate each brand’s total repair searches across all models. Consumers search for Apple repair instructions 6.18 times as often as for Samsung, 17,511,792 times in total. Samsung repairs are, in turn, 3.69 times more common than third-placed brand, Huawei (768,114). After that, there is a long tail off through LG, Xiaomi, Motorola, Google, Sony and so on.

Until recently, Apple phones were “designed, generally, to be opened and serviced, even if Apple prefers that only its technicians do so,” according to iFixit. This is a preference that Apple has enforced by using proprietary components, restricting software access and neglecting to attend to ‘bugs’ that crop up when using components from other phones, including other iPhones. However, this pushes up the price of official Apple repairs, leading consumers to try to find a way to mend the machines online.

The Most Repaired Smartphone Model Per Brand

The most repaired model of each brand tends to be from the middle of the last decade or earlier. Exceptions are the Realme C25y (2021), whose manufacturer was only established in 2018, and the Vivo X21, released after Vivo significantly expanded its international market in 2017. Earlier smartphones featured more easily switchable, modular components but have become more complex to repair as components have become more sophisticated and less movably integrated into phone bodies.

Outside of Apple and Samsung, the LG Nexus 5 is the most repaired phone model. The Nexus 5 was Google’s flagship smartphone when released in 2013 and intended as an affordable alternative to the big-name phones of the time. However, it did suffer from several issues, such as a frequently crashing camera that got users turning to Google Search for answers. On the other hand, the Nexus 5 was reputedly a reliable phone even after years of use — giving owners added incentive to repair it rather than bin it.

The Most Repaired Smartphone Models Released Since 2022

Since the most repaired smartphones overall tend to be older models, we narrowed the focus to look at phones released since 2022. Apple and Samsung models dominate the top 20, along with four Google Pixels, the Nokia G22 and G42 5G and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro.

Again, Apple takes the cherry, with the three most repaired recent phones of any brand all being variations on the iPhone 14. With the threat of Right to Repair looming, Apple has tried to stem the tide of users repairing their own phones with cheaper, non-Apple components by launching the Apple Self Service Repair Store, offering tool kit rental for $49 as well as official manuals and parts.

The Most Repaired Android Models of All Time

There’s lots to consider when choosing an Android phone, from camera capabilities and battery life to screen size and that overall pizazz of the design. But each company has its own design priorities and Right to Repair stance, with brands such as Fairphone releasing a device explicitly intended for home repair while other brands do their best to encourage in-shop repairs. We found that nearly one million people (972,558, to be precise) have considered repairing their Samsung Galaxy S III since its 2012 release — the most of any Android model.

The Galaxy S III contains a user-serviceable battery (good), but the screen and other small components are fused to the phone’s body, making home screen repair a particular challenge. Getting the S III repaired at a shop can be costly because most repair jobs are fiddly, especially when you need to dig through all those electronics to get to the front panel. However, the S III is known as a groundbreaker and a reliable model, so it may have been the initial entry point to smartphones for many 2012 consumers — leading to years of careful maintenance and repair.

Strip It, Don’t Dump It

Many of the smartphones, tablets and laptops we dump are repairable, and most contain both hazardous pollutants and valuable parts such as circuit boards. So when your phone reaches the end of its working life and can no longer be saved by a professional or a well-meaning family member with YouTube and an official Samsung spudger tool, return it to the manufacturer, trade it in or find a reputable recycling service, rather than adding to the Giza-scale pyramid.


To determine the most repaired smartphone brands and models, we reviewed data on repair guide pageviews from iFixit. We ranked 1,030 smartphone models released between 2006 and 2023 across 21 brands on the number of all-time pageviews for their repair guides as of December 2023. Pageviews were aggregated across brands to rank brands by total repair pageviews.

Additional Sources

Counterpoint. (2023). Global Smartphone Shipments Market Data (Q4 2021 – Q3 2023).

Komando, K. (2023). How long before a phone is outdated? Here’s how to find your smartphone’s expiration date.

Wiens, K. (2023). We Are Retroactively Dropping the iPhone’s Repairability Score.

Arghire, I. (2014). Nokia Expected to Ship over 16 Million Nokia X Units This Year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *