Motorola Razr: Why doesn't Motorola want iFixit to investigate screen faults?

Motorola Razr peeling
An image of a peeling display on the Motorola Razr. (Image credit: Input)

Foldable phones are not the most durable piece of technology around. Most of us have accepted that mechanical problems with these new flexible devices are a part of the experience for the time being. However, one manufacturer seems to be a little more touchy about the performance of their newly debuted foldable than the others.

A story published by Input tells a familiar story: the Motorola Razr foldable it had bought for testing ran into major problems, including the Razr’s screen peeling away from the chassis. After contacting Motorola, the staff at the tech site were asked to send the phone over to them for analysis, which is a little odd since the phone came from a Verizon store, not the company’s PR team.

Input then decided to approach the tech repair community at iFixit, asking its CEO, Kyle Wiens, if he would be prepared to inspect the phone as a third-party. Initially, Wiens was enthusiastic about taking a look at the stricken Razr, but later the Input team received a statement from iFixit saying that it would not accept the phone because Motorola had learnt of the plan, the statement continuing that “we’ve been asked as a personal favor not to take on this particular case.” In am extra weird twist, Input received an email from Motorola shortly after this statement, saying it was fine with the iFixit proposal, possibly implying that the company’s representatives were trying to mislead Input.

Wiens later made another statement to Input, saying that iFixit had agreed to not examine the broken Razr as a favor to Motorola. He continued that while his site is partnered with Motorola, this hasn’t prevented the site’s famous smartphone teardowns from criticising the company when appropriate, including with the Razr. He also denied that the site would “defer to manufacturers for root cause analysis”, something that Motorola had claimed iFixit would do.

This is a strange story to say the least. No doubt Motorola as a whole is proud of its first foldable phone that also calls back to one of its most famous handsets ever. However this does not give it free rein to put pressure on its partners to save its corporate blushes. iFixit is entitled to make its own decision of course, but this isn’t a good precedent to set.

If this story hasn’t put you off, and you want a phone that’s both on the cutting edge of what smartphones can do and calls back to a mid-2000s classic feature phone design, then the Motorola Razr is still available for you to purchase.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.