Apple to make third-party screen replacement for iPhone 13 easier after criticism

By: |
November 10, 2021 6:00 PM

The development once again sparked the debate over Right to Repair, which demands tech companies provide complimentary parts to end the “monopoly” on repair services.  

Apple iPhone 13The move was believed to be a deliberate attempt by Apple to limit third-party repairing.

Apple is likely to make screen replacements for the iPhone 13 at third-party repair shops easier with a new update that will continue to enable the Face ID feature, The Verge reported.

iFixit, the DIY tutorial website, recently discovered that the iPhone 13 disabled the Face ID functionality in case of third-party screen replacements. The move was believed to be a deliberate attempt by Apple to limit third-party repairing.

The development once again sparked the debate over Right to Repair, which demands tech companies provide complimentary parts so that the device can be repaired at third-party repair shops to end the “monopoly” on repair services.

Now, the Cupertino-based tech giant seems to have addressed those concerns over rigid reparability restrictions. Apple told The Verge that it would release an update to enable users to continue using the Face ID feature after a third-party screen replacement. However, it did not announce any timeline for the release.

Also Read | Right to Repair debate fanned again? iPhone 13 loses Face ID functionality after third-party screen replacement

According to iFixit, the issue was not limited to a specific iOS version and existed on the latest iOS 15.1 as well. However, the lockdown is unique to the latest iPhone 13 as the Face ID module is completely separate from the screen. Apple uses a microcontroller on the display to determine third-party replacements, and then disable the Face ID feature.

On the other hand, Apple-authorised repair shops can access a software that can make the device accept a new screen and, thus, continue to use the Face ID feature.

iFixit wrote on its website about the latest reparability restriction: “Apple — and the many companies it inspires — will advance again with more parts lockdowns, more feature reductions, more reasons why only their profitable repair centres can do this work.”

“Repair shops are still looking at a future that involves more microsoldering, more time, and possibly tighter profit margins, as they compete against a company that can fix its own firmware blocks from the cloud.”

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