iPhone 13 Repairability
With the latest iPhone now being released and various repair companies having got there hands on some, we now know just how repairable the iPhone 13 generation of Apple phones is and the news isn’t good.
Apple have continued to lock down the ability for people to repair their phones, with a clear trajectory towards 3rd party repair businesses and private individuals (the owners of the device) being unable to replace things like the screen, battery and cameras without either receiving warnings or in many cases disabling features.
A great example is that, if you replace the screen on the iPhone 13 then FaceID stops working as well as a number of the more advanced camera features. Even if the screen has come from another iPhone 13, a genuine Apple part, the problem still occurs. This is due to Apple pairing parts to each other with each part serialised and if the phone does not find the matching serial number on the part, disabling features. Apple themselves, using their own specialised tool, can configure replacement parts to allow them to work if you take the phone to them but don’t make this available to 3rd parties. This leaves you severely limited in your options to have your phone repaired, meaning you really must now take them to Apple and agree to their often expensive price, slow repair timescale and limited 3 month warranty. If you aren’t near an Apple store then your options are even more limited!
At this time, it looks likely that the iPhone 11 was the last reasonably repairable phone released by Apple. There are issues with replacing parts on the iPhone 12 as some of them are also paired and replacement parts for them are still very expensive. At this point in time we are not carrying out repairs on anything beyond the 11 series which is unfortunate for both us and users of these phones.
We hope that in the future Apple will allow third parties to repair their phones by either making available the tools required to configure replacement parts, or by removing the use of serialised and paired parts.