Apple's Recent Move Great For Right To Repair Community: Chip-Transplant Not Necessary


Physically, the Apple iPhone 13 series is similar to the Apple iPhone 12, especially when it comes to the repairability of components like battery and display. However, with the current generation of iPhone (iPhone 13), Apple brought in a new change, where it would completely disable the Face ID if the display is changed.

Apple's Recent Move Great For Right To Repair Community

Even if you used a genuine display from another iPhone 13, Apple would disable the Face ID. To save the Face ID functionality, one has to get the device repaired from an official service center or an Apple-authorized service center. This means a user has to pay a premium on top of an already expensive smartphone if something goes out of their hand.

Did Apple Take A Step Back?

Yes, in a way. According to the latest report from The Verge, Apple has officially confirmed that it will not disable Face ID in case of a third-party screen replacement. However, Apple hasn't shared any timeline on when the update will be available. So, at least until then, do not break your iPhone 13 screen.

Apple's Recent Move Great For Right To Repair Community

There Is A Workaround Though

If a third-party repair shop replaces a display on an iPhone 13 series of smartphones, they have to extract a tiny chip from the broken display and re-solder it onto the new board. The repair engineer has to remove the chip on the new display, which also puts the new display at the risk of damage, and the same applies to re-soldering, which involves heating the display to a higher temperature.

Some of the experienced third-party repair stores might be able to perform these "chip-transplant" with ease. However, when compared to conventional screen repairs, this will take more time, and involves a higher amount of risk. It looks like, after a plethora of bad press, Apple has finally decided to take a step back and keep the repairability of the iPhone 13 similar to the iPhone 12.


On previous iPhones with Face ID, Apple used to show a notification stating "unable to verify if this iPhone has a genuine Apple display", which is acceptable. The current iPhone 13, which completely disables a major feature and makes you enter a password every time you want to unlock the device is something unacceptable.

Apple's Recent Move Great For Right To Repair Community

Why Screen Repairs Are Important

The screen is the most replaced part of a modern smartphone. This means a brand could also earn a lot more by restricting third-party screen repair stores with some anti-repair laws similar to what Apple has done. However, as a consumer, it will be a great burden, as only the brand has control over the inventory and charges as per its wish.

Screens are also fragile and easy to break. If we just look at the screen replacement as a hardware-only procedure, on iPhones it is pretty straightforward. When compared to Android devices, which come with a display attached to the mainframe. This is also good for the environment, as the user can continue to use the device by replacing the part that has broken rather than getting a new device and contributing to e-waste.

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