Apple will allow third-party iPhone 13 screen repairs without breaking Face ID

After it was discovered that Apple’s new iPhone 13 lineup completely disables Face ID functionality when its screen is replaced by an unauthorized technician, Apple has since backed off this policy.

Apple will allow third-party iPhone 13 screen repairs without breaking Face ID
Apple’s 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro and flagship 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max

Jay Peters for The Verge:

Wwapping out iPhone 13 screens would break Face ID unless you also moved over a tiny control chip from the original screen. It’s a complex process that makes one of the most common types of repairs prohibitively difficult for independent repair shops. (Apple-authorized repair shops, on the other hand, have access to a software tool that can make a phone accept a new screen.)

For indie repair shops, things may get easier soon, however, as Apple tells The Verge it will release a software update that doesn’t require you to transfer the microcontroller to keep Face ID working after a screen swap.

Apple didn’t specify exactly when the software update will arrive.

MacDailyNews Take: Regardless, if you’re prone to dropping your iPhone 13 resulting in the need for screen repair, we continue to recommend AppleCare+ for iPhone which, among other things, which includes up to two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months (each of which is subject to a $29 fee for screen or back glass damage, plus applicable tax).

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2 Comments

  1. That’s good, but weird that screen was tied to Face ID. I can see why the old Home button (with Touch ID) is linked to specific iPhone, but the screen is not related to security. And Apple is just disabling the “feature” with no adverse effect. That little extra “control chip” in screen increased cost for no apparent reason. Stuff like this just makes Apple look bad.

    I just DIY replaced the battery in my old iPhone SE (2016 model). It’ll run the latest iOS, but it’s still on 14.8. I’m good for a few more years 😏

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