Apple, iFixit, iPhone, Teardown

iFixit iPhone 13 teardown says goodbye to Face ID after aftermarket screen repair

Apple‘s latest and greatest iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro have started shipping on September 24 and that’s great news to all the new owners. At the same time, we have hard to digest news too. It appears like with every new year, Apple is making third-party repairs tougher and tougher. That said, folks over at iFixit have done the teardown of the iPhone 13 Pro and it turns out that the aftermarket screen replacements aren’t a thing anymore.

iphone-13-screen-removal-ifixit-8533804 Source: iFixit

The teardown gives us a thorough look at the innards of the smartphones and confirms Apple’s decision to ban third-party repairs. While iFixit noticed the ease of removal of the display, the display assembly and Face ID module are now independent. And in turn, sadly, non-Apple display conks Face ID altogether. Meaning, only and only an Apple Authorized Service Center can conduct a legitimate display replacement complete with a fully functional Face ID system.

ALSO READ: iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro teardown reveals bigger batteries, neater internals

As per iFixit:

Face ID works even when we disconnected the front sensor assembly. However, any display replacement knocks out Face ID. We tried transferring the sensors from the old display and porting over the Face ID hardware, but no dice. It looks like the display is serial-locked to the phone.

iphone-13-iphone-13-face-id-compared-2099756 iPhone 12 Face ID module (top) compared to that of the iPhone 13 (bottom). The dot projector has moved towards the center. The flood illuminator (previously part of the display) is now integrated into the dot projector module. All in all, a 20% reduction in size over previous years | Source: iFixit

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Apple’s method of serial-locking components to a device complicates out-of-warranty repairs and dare we say increases e-waste. Which makes us wonder about the company’s 2030 Carbon Neutral goal. On that note, swapping batteries between the iPhone 13 models isn’t an issue but it brings up the “Important Battery Message” that says “Unable to verify this iPhone has genuine Apple battery.”

This raises a question as to whether is it worth repairing an iPhone screen nowadays.

Did you miss out on iFixit’s live iPhone 13 and 13 Pro teardown? Check it out below.

Anyways, the comprehensive teardown bagged the iPhone 13 Pro a 5/10 repairability score. A good score for sure, but for Apple and not the end-user.

In case you wanted to know the ever expensive out-of-warranty screen replacement charges at Apple, here you go:

iPhone 13 series: Out-of-warranty screen repair fees

Model Screen repair/replacement fee
iPhone 13 mini $229
iPhone 13 $279
iPhone 13 Pro $279
iPhone 13 Pro Max $329

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