Teardowns showed a key shift to how iPhone repairs work soon after the iPhone 13 was released to everyone, including tinkerers. If you get your iPhone 13’s damaged screen repaired by a local shop, Face ID will be disabled. iFixit has now confirmed this, publishing a full analysis on how the new restriction will be a “sad day for fixers, both DIY and professional.” Third-party iPhone repair shops will be forced to close as a result of the change to the iPhone 13 repair process.
According to iFixit’s claim, the iPhone 13’s display is controlled by a tiny microprocessor. This means that repairing the display would necessitate the use of a microscope for “one of the most routine phone repairs,” which could previously be accomplished with simple hand tools. Local shops frequently rely on these widely used applications for phone repairs, but in order to fix the iPhone 13, they will need to spend heavily in new equipment. If they can’t, they’ll have no choice but to close their iPhone repair shop.
Microcontroller System is Complicated
The microcontroller system is complicated, which is why third-party repair shops will struggle to link a replacement screen with an iPhone 13 unless they purchase the pricey equipment. For the pairing to work, the serial number on the microcontroller must be validated with Apple servers; otherwise, Face ID will not be triggered. According to iFixit, “authorised technicians with access to proprietary software, Apple Services Toolkit 2, can make new screens work by reporting the repair to Apple’s cloud servers and syncing the serial numbers of the phone and screen.”
If Apple discovers that a serial number does not match a legitimate one, it can approve or reject an individual repair, causing difficulty for local repair companies. However, iFixit claims there is a fix, although one that is somewhat complex. Outside Apple Authorised Service Providers, repair shops will need to physically shift “a soldered chip from the original screen onto the replacement” to ensure Face ID is intact once a new screen is put. If you don’t do this, the iPhone will display an error message indicating it’s “unable to activate Face ID.”
Some repair businesses may use Apple’s Independent Repair Program, which allows “companies interested in offering out-of-warranty repair service for iPhone and Mac” but at the expense of client privacy.
Users in the United States are supporting the Right to Repair movement, which aims to discourage firms like Apple from reserving spare parts of a product, a monopolistic strategy that aims to drive third-party repair shops out of business. Because the iPhone has the highest market share in the smartphone market, the movement is particularly important to people in the United States. Apple opposes the proposed legislation on the grounds that “the safest and most reliable repair is one performed by a qualified technician using Apple-genuine parts.”
Because Android phones outperform the iPhone in India, the impact is minimal. iPhones are more difficult to fix than Android phones. However, because your local repair shop is unlikely to assist you, out-of-warranty repairs for the iPhone 13 shattered screen will become more expensive for you.
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