Apple keeps making third-party screen repairs harder

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 27
Apple's changes to the iPhone 13 screen design now makes it harder for third-party repair firms to replace the display, as attempts to switch out a damaged screen could lead to a loss of Face ID support.




A broken display is a very common issue that forces device owners to seek out a repair, either through the manufacturer directly or via a third-party repair center. In cases where the screen has to be replaced, it seems that it's a fix that can only be performed by Apple itself or an authorized repair partner.

According to Phone Repair Guru on YouTube, switching out a display for a replacement sourced from an identical iPhone 13 model will technically work. However, users will be warned they aren't using a genuine screen, and that Face ID won't be available.

While replacing the screen from another iPhone is problematic, it is still possible for repairs to connected components to be performed, including the microphone, proximity sensor, and ambient light sensor.

Despite using a genuine Apple display, the notification basically means there's a step in the repair process that has to be performed to enable the display to work with a particular iPhone, and it is a step that Apple's authorized repair services can do, but not third parties.

This is not the first time that a screen repair through a third-party firm could cause problems with an iPhone. In 2018, an update for iOS 11.3 reportedly killed touch functionality for some iPhone 8 users with aftermarket displays. In some cases, it was also found that there was a loss of automatic brightness adjustment and the ambient light sensor being disabled by iOS at boot.

The discovery occurs at a time whenApple is under fire over the Right to Repair. In September, Apple shareholders filed a resolution to try and persuade Apple to reverse its "anti-repair practices."

In Europe, the German government wants the European Union to force manufacturers like Apple into being freer with spare parts for devices, for up to seven years. Meanwhile in the United States, the FTC has pledged to take on unlawful repair restrictions.

Legislation was introduced to the U.S. House in June to try and force companies into providing repair information and access to components "in a timely manner and on fair and reasonable terms."

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    ...I remember another prominent valley company touting 'we are not evil'...?
    Might disabling face recognition actually be desirable from a privacy perspective ?
    Might a 3rd party repair compromise the authenticity (value) of any 'waste' data that might survive on Apple servers or web tracking ?
    Let the flames begin...
    edited September 26 williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 30
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,425member
    ...I remember another prominent valley company touting 'we are not evil'...?
    Might disabling face recognition actually be desirable from a privacy perspective ?
    Might a 3rd party repair compromise the authenticity (value) of any 'waste' data that might survive on Apple servers or web tracking ?
    Let the flames begin...
    The FaceID module is completely electrically separate to the display pre-iPhone 13. A display swap doesn't disable FaceID as long as you transfer the speaker assembly, which has nothing to do with FaceID, but Apple apparently uses it to authenticate the display pre-13. The authentication now seems to be the display itself, presumably because people found out Apple's scam could be worked around by swapping the speaker assembly.

    This is nothing to do with privacy. Apple disables TrueTone on non-Apple displays too (though this has been cracked as usual by the Chinese), and there're zero privacy implications with TrueTone. It's just yet another way Cook is trying to extract extra profit from customers, but puts another bullet in the chamber for right to repair proponents; Apple seems to be clamouring unnecessarily for government scrutiny lately. Also, isn't it odd how Apple claims to be so "green" but makes repairs so expensive it's barely worth it? Right to repair can't come soon enough.
    edited September 26 MplsPlkrupp80s_Apple_Guymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 30
    Although I read the wikipedia page about "right to repair," I still don't get the point. No law can stop any device owner from taking a hammer to the device (either to repair or destroy it.) What I think they mean (and want) is that a warranty cannot be voided by people taking hammers to their own device.

    I think Apple could get a lot of goodwill by offering a training course, that when passed, allows individuals perform warranty-approved repairs. (And it should be available to everyone who applies, not just to Apple invitees only as it currently stands.) But this course would be both thorough and very expensive. Any vendor not willing to pay for it cannot perform authorized repairs. Wouldn't that satisfy many of the right to repair advocates? Or do they actually want untrained repair people to hack at devices without voiding the warranty? I can't figure out what they want. Are there any right to repair advocates here that can clearly explain what they want?

    Selling repair tools and documentation doesn't mean anything if the warranties are not covered by repairs made with those tools. So the right to repair advocates are not really asking for these things.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,358member
    Although I read the wikipedia page about "right to repair," I still don't get the point. No law can stop any device owner from taking a hammer to the device (either to repair or destroy it.) What I think they mean (and want) is that a warranty cannot be voided by people taking hammers to their own device.

    I think Apple could get a lot of goodwill by offering a training course, that when passed, allows individuals perform warranty-approved repairs. (And it should be available to everyone who applies, not just to Apple invitees only as it currently stands.) But this course would be both thorough and very expensive. Any vendor not willing to pay for it cannot perform authorized repairs. Wouldn't that satisfy many of the right to repair advocates? Or do they actually want untrained repair people to hack at devices without voiding the warranty? I can't figure out what they want. Are there any right to repair advocates here that can clearly explain what they want?

    Selling repair tools and documentation doesn't mean anything if the warranties are not covered by repairs made with those tools. So the right to repair advocates are not really asking for these things.
    It's more than that. Cars are the best comparison. Imagine that Toyota voided the warranty because you had the brakes done at an independent repair shop. Or, worse, that Ford required you to have all your repairs done at the Ford dealer and refused to make parts available to anyone else to do the repairs.

    No one is expecting Apple to warranty repairs done by an outside shop, or to cover damage caused by the shop. What they want is the availability of parts to give them more options for repairs.
    elijahg80s_Apple_Guymuthuk_vanalingamequality72521CloudTalkinwilliamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 30
    I can see Face ID and Touch ID not being easily replaceable since encryption keys are exchanged. I have replaced iPhone 12 screens, as long as the Face ID is moved over, no issues.

    Now another bad example is Farm trucks: can't be repaired by anyone except the dealer:
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/09/26/apple-keeps-making-third-party-screen-repairs-harder#/discussion/204789/apple-ceo-tim-cook-says-calm-heads-needed-in-looming-china-u-s-trade-war
    https://civileats.com/2021/07/13/farmers-just-got-a-new-right-to-repair-their-tractors/
    https://www.ifixit.com/News/52612/apple-and-john-deere-shareholder-resolutions-demand-they-explain-their-bad-repair-policies
  • Reply 6 of 30
    I think Apple could get a lot of goodwill by offering a training course, that when passed, allows individuals perform warranty-approved repairs. (And it should be available to everyone who applies, not just to Apple invitees only as it currently stands.) But this course would be both thorough and very expensive. Any vendor not willing to pay for it cannot perform authorized repairs. 
    They do, and it's not only for "Apple invitees".  If you pass the qualifications, you are an authorized repair center.

    Where did you read/here that it was only available to "Apple invitees"?  Citation?
    mejsricbaconstangwilliamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 30
    danoxdanox Posts: 636member
    MplsP said:
    Although I read the wikipedia page about "right to repair," I still don't get the point. No law can stop any device owner from taking a hammer to the device (either to repair or destroy it.) What I think they mean (and want) is that a warranty cannot be voided by people taking hammers to their own device.

    I think Apple could get a lot of goodwill by offering a training course, that when passed, allows individuals perform warranty-approved repairs. (And it should be available to everyone who applies, not just to Apple invitees only as it currently stands.) But this course would be both thorough and very expensive. Any vendor not willing to pay for it cannot perform authorized repairs. Wouldn't that satisfy many of the right to repair advocates? Or do they actually want untrained repair people to hack at devices without voiding the warranty? I can't figure out what they want. Are there any right to repair advocates here that can clearly explain what they want?

    Selling repair tools and documentation doesn't mean anything if the warranties are not covered by repairs made with those tools. So the right to repair advocates are not really asking for these things.
    It's more than that. Cars are the best comparison. Imagine that Toyota voided the warranty because you had the brakes done at an independent repair shop. Or, worse, that Ford required you to have all your repairs done at the Ford dealer and refused to make parts available to anyone else to do the repairs.

    No one is expecting Apple to warranty repairs done by an outside shop, or to cover damage caused by the shop. What they want is the availability of parts to give them more options for repairs.

    Apple is under no obligation to supply tools and parts, if a iFixit or any other place wants to fix things they are on their own, all electronics in theory can be fixed by a independent company, but it is going to cost real R&D time and their own money to make a real business out of it. The independent shops need to up their game and not get freebies from Apple or any other tech hardware company.

    Most of real important parts that matter on my past Nissan 350z and my current Porsche 911 4s required genuine parts and a dealer mechanic to fix, aside from tires and brakes there is nothing to fix on my current 911 4s, or future GT3 Touring, Taycan or Tesla model S, that can be fixed by a outsider that can be trusted. (And no tinted windows or clear wraps don’t count).

    The EV future for cars means independent repair shops need to up their game…..
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 8 of 30
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,358member
    danox said:
    MplsP said:
    Although I read the wikipedia page about "right to repair," I still don't get the point. No law can stop any device owner from taking a hammer to the device (either to repair or destroy it.) What I think they mean (and want) is that a warranty cannot be voided by people taking hammers to their own device.

    I think Apple could get a lot of goodwill by offering a training course, that when passed, allows individuals perform warranty-approved repairs. (And it should be available to everyone who applies, not just to Apple invitees only as it currently stands.) But this course would be both thorough and very expensive. Any vendor not willing to pay for it cannot perform authorized repairs. Wouldn't that satisfy many of the right to repair advocates? Or do they actually want untrained repair people to hack at devices without voiding the warranty? I can't figure out what they want. Are there any right to repair advocates here that can clearly explain what they want?

    Selling repair tools and documentation doesn't mean anything if the warranties are not covered by repairs made with those tools. So the right to repair advocates are not really asking for these things.
    It's more than that. Cars are the best comparison. Imagine that Toyota voided the warranty because you had the brakes done at an independent repair shop. Or, worse, that Ford required you to have all your repairs done at the Ford dealer and refused to make parts available to anyone else to do the repairs.

    No one is expecting Apple to warranty repairs done by an outside shop, or to cover damage caused by the shop. What they want is the availability of parts to give them more options for repairs.

    Apple is under no obligation to supply tools and parts, if a iFixit or any other place wants to fix things they are on their own, all electronics in theory can be fixed by a independent company, but it is going to cost real R&D time and their own money to make a real business out of it. The independent shops need to up their game and not get freebies from Apple or any other tech hardware company.

    Most of real important parts that matter on my past Nissan 350z and my current Porsche 911 4s required genuine parts and a dealer mechanic to fix, aside from tires and brakes there is nothing to fix on my current 911 4s, or future GT3 Touring, Taycan or Tesla model S, that can be fixed by a outsider that can be trusted. (And no tinted windows or clear wraps don’t count).

    The EV future for cars means independent repair shops need to up their game…..
    This is the issue. It doesn't matter if independent repair shops up their game, if Apple refuses to make parts available, or even the documentation so they can up their game then they are locked out and the consumer suffered. We're not talking about a car that only had a few thousand units produced; Apple produces millions of iPhones every year.
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahgCloudTalkinwilliamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 30
    This is why I always use apple for repairs cause even they have messed up the Face ID and just gave me a whole “new” phone… 
    baconstangStrangeDays
  • Reply 10 of 30
    danox said:
    MplsP said:
    Although I read the wikipedia page about "right to repair," I still don't get the point. No law can stop any device owner from taking a hammer to the device (either to repair or destroy it.) What I think they mean (and want) is that a warranty cannot be voided by people taking hammers to their own device.

    I think Apple could get a lot of goodwill by offering a training course, that when passed, allows individuals perform warranty-approved repairs. (And it should be available to everyone who applies, not just to Apple invitees only as it currently stands.) But this course would be both thorough and very expensive. Any vendor not willing to pay for it cannot perform authorized repairs. Wouldn't that satisfy many of the right to repair advocates? Or do they actually want untrained repair people to hack at devices without voiding the warranty? I can't figure out what they want. Are there any right to repair advocates here that can clearly explain what they want?

    Selling repair tools and documentation doesn't mean anything if the warranties are not covered by repairs made with those tools. So the right to repair advocates are not really asking for these things.
    It's more than that. Cars are the best comparison. Imagine that Toyota voided the warranty because you had the brakes done at an independent repair shop. Or, worse, that Ford required you to have all your repairs done at the Ford dealer and refused to make parts available to anyone else to do the repairs.

    No one is expecting Apple to warranty repairs done by an outside shop, or to cover damage caused by the shop. What they want is the availability of parts to give them more options for repairs.

    Apple is under no obligation to supply tools and parts, if a iFixit or any other place wants to fix things they are on their own, all electronics in theory can be fixed by a independent company, but it is going to cost real R&D time and their own money to make a real business out of it. The independent shops need to up their game and not get freebies from Apple or any other tech hardware company.

    Most of real important parts that matter on my past Nissan 350z and my current Porsche 911 4s required genuine parts and a dealer mechanic to fix, aside from tires and brakes there is nothing to fix on my current 911 4s, or future GT3 Touring, Taycan or Tesla model S, that can be fixed by a outsider that can be trusted. (And no tinted windows or clear wraps don’t count).

    The EV future for cars means independent repair shops need to up their game…..
    Apple bars the manufacturer from selling parts to other repair shops or private people. Apple is going to get hammered from one of the States or the EU passing Right to Repair. Instead of being reasonable and allowing simple repairs like screens etc they block everything which will lead to everything being opened up. 

    Right to Repair should be passed. If people wants Apple Repair they can go there. If they want 3rd party they can do that. 
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahgCloudTalkinwilliamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 30
    I'm all for Apple making it absolutely impossible for "3rd party" repairs on iPhone.

    In my home town we have a Facebook community group.  

    Last summer, several people "lost" their iPhones at local beaches, and community members helped them track them down with "find my" (why people find this so hard I don't know).

    Last known location - a "phone repair shop" some 40km away. (and no, the police won't investigate, but I've no idea why)

    iPhone's are stolen regularly, and yet they are pretty useless to a pawn shop - so this is pretty much the only use for them.  And iPhone parts are expensive.  So I guess someone can spend a morning "collecting" iPhones and by the afternoon have a few dollars in their pocket.

    After iPhone's - the next most common thing stolen here are BMW's - and again, it's for parts.  If BMW could stop 3rd party repairs, they absolutely would, because folk around here actively campaign now "don't buy a BMW", which I doubt BMW are very happy about.
    bloggerblogaderutter
  • Reply 12 of 30
    MplsP said:
    Although I read the wikipedia page about "right to repair," I still don't get the point. No law can stop any device owner from taking a hammer to the device (either to repair or destroy it.) What I think they mean (and want) is that a warranty cannot be voided by people taking hammers to their own device.

    I think Apple could get a lot of goodwill by offering a training course, that when passed, allows individuals perform warranty-approved repairs. (And it should be available to everyone who applies, not just to Apple invitees only as it currently stands.) But this course would be both thorough and very expensive. Any vendor not willing to pay for it cannot perform authorized repairs. Wouldn't that satisfy many of the right to repair advocates? Or do they actually want untrained repair people to hack at devices without voiding the warranty? I can't figure out what they want. Are there any right to repair advocates here that can clearly explain what they want?

    Selling repair tools and documentation doesn't mean anything if the warranties are not covered by repairs made with those tools. So the right to repair advocates are not really asking for these things.
    It's more than that. Cars are the best comparison. Imagine that Toyota voided the warranty because you had the brakes done at an independent repair shop. Or, worse, that Ford required you to have all your repairs done at the Ford dealer and refused to make parts available to anyone else to do the repairs.

    No one is expecting Apple to warranty repairs done by an outside shop, or to cover damage caused by the shop. What they want is the availability of parts to give them more options for repairs.
    Cars are a bad example, but their infotainment system might be a better example. If you take a soldering iron to it or replace its screen will the car manufacturer honor its warranty? Obviously not. 
    What I understood from right to repair is that they want Apple to supply parts and and proprietary equipment to servicers, this will obviously add complexity to things since now they’ll need to maintain and warranty these tools and deal with investigations and lawsuits should these tools end up damaging user devices. 
  • Reply 13 of 30
    rynoyes said:
    This is why I always use apple for repairs cause even they have messed up the Face ID and just gave me a whole “new” phone… 
    That’s reasonable, providing one can afford it. Third party is usually cheaper of course. Seems factoring in repairs now goes towards the overall question of “can I afford an iPhone?”, similar to “can I afford a Ferrari?” - not to be dramatic on the price front, just known a few people who could afford initial outlay but not the running cost, services, repairs etc. All has to be factored in.

    The building society account I use here in the UK has a very decent mobile phone repair policy that I’ve now used twice. Maybe insurance is the way forward. 
  • Reply 14 of 30
    It's more than that. Cars are the best comparison. Imagine that Toyota voided the warranty because you had the brakes done at an independent repair shop. Or, worse, that Ford required you to have all your repairs done at the Ford dealer and refused to make parts available to anyone else to do the repairs.
    Good point, but if I have the front bumper replaced, only a dealership can re-calibrate the distance radar… The dealers are generous with other garages and do it for them.

    I guess the similar scenario would be for me to order a replacement display online, put it on myself, and then ask the AppleStore to calibrate Face-ID (or whatever) for me. A service they could charge money for. If it works, great, else I‘m out of luck and Apple gets to sell me a new phone.

    Doesn‘t sound so bad for Apple now, does it?
    MplsP
  • Reply 15 of 30
    MplsP said:
    Although I read the wikipedia page about "right to repair," I still don't get the point. No law can stop any device owner from taking a hammer to the device (either to repair or destroy it.) What I think they mean (and want) is that a warranty cannot be voided by people taking hammers to their own device.

    I think Apple could get a lot of goodwill by offering a training course, that when passed, allows individuals perform warranty-approved repairs. (And it should be available to everyone who applies, not just to Apple invitees only as it currently stands.) But this course would be both thorough and very expensive. Any vendor not willing to pay for it cannot perform authorized repairs. Wouldn't that satisfy many of the right to repair advocates? Or do they actually want untrained repair people to hack at devices without voiding the warranty? I can't figure out what they want. Are there any right to repair advocates here that can clearly explain what they want?

    Selling repair tools and documentation doesn't mean anything if the warranties are not covered by repairs made with those tools. So the right to repair advocates are not really asking for these things.
    It's more than that. Cars are the best comparison. Imagine that Toyota voided the warranty because you had the brakes done at an independent repair shop. Or, worse, that Ford required you to have all your repairs done at the Ford dealer and refused to make parts available to anyone else to do the repairs.

    No one is expecting Apple to warranty repairs done by an outside shop, or to cover damage caused by the shop. What they want is the availability of parts to give them more options for repairs.
    Cars are a bad example, but their infotainment system might be a better example. If you take a soldering iron to it or replace its screen will the car manufacturer honor its warranty? Obviously not. 
    What I understood from right to repair is that they want Apple to supply parts and and proprietary equipment to servicers, this will obviously add complexity to things since now they’ll need to maintain and warranty these tools and deal with investigations and lawsuits should these tools end up damaging user devices. 
    Cars are the quintessential perfect example of right to repair.  Foremost, Apple doesn't need to supply parts.  Apple isn't a manufacturer and doesn't make any parts. They simply need to stop blocking parts availability from the actual suppliers.  The same applies to servicing equipment.  Your example suggests you really don't understand right to repair.  Right to repair isn't about warranty service for the most part.  Right to repair wouldn't require Apple or any vendor for that matter to warranty aftermarket (3rd party) repair.

    Apple would not have to maintain warranty on repair tools.  The manufacturer and seller of the tools would have their own warranty.  This isn't anything special.  It's standard business.
    muthuk_vanalingamMplsPelijahg
  • Reply 16 of 30
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,358member
    arthurba said:
    I'm all for Apple making it absolutely impossible for "3rd party" repairs on iPhone.

    In my home town we have a Facebook community group.  

    Last summer, several people "lost" their iPhones at local beaches, and community members helped them track them down with "find my" (why people find this so hard I don't know).

    Last known location - a "phone repair shop" some 40km away. (and no, the police won't investigate, but I've no idea why)

    iPhone's are stolen regularly, and yet they are pretty useless to a pawn shop - so this is pretty much the only use for them.  And iPhone parts are expensive.  So I guess someone can spend a morning "collecting" iPhones and by the afternoon have a few dollars in their pocket.

    After iPhone's - the next most common thing stolen here are BMW's - and again, it's for parts.  If BMW could stop 3rd party repairs, they absolutely would, because folk around here actively campaign now "don't buy a BMW", which I doubt BMW are very happy about.
    You do realize that the market for ‘genuine’ apple parts is inflated because of Apple prohibiting suppliers from selling them, right? If there was a viable source for ‘genuine’ parts the market would be different.
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahg
  • Reply 17 of 30
    There is training and certification for non Apple repairs. Seems all the "right to repair" folks want to gloss over the ...can only be performed by Apple itself or an authorized repair partner

    This is not about Apple profits it's about protecting the consumers of used iPhones. This year Apple started performing diagnostics when you trade in an iPhone and I imagine other products. People w/unapproved repairs will not be able to pass this gauntlet.

    Imagine the screaming that will ensue when Apple will not accept the trade-in and folk either rightly or not claim they were not aware of the unauthorized repair(s).
    williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 30
    When our technology devices reach the levels depicted in sci-fi — ultra small or ultra thin pieces of magic glass, will it still make sense for DIY to whine about not being able to open up the device and solder repairs or whatnot? I don’t think so. Which is why I don’t expect we’ll halt technological progress just to appease them. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 19 of 30
    When our technology devices reach the levels depicted in sci-fi — ultra small or ultra thin pieces of magic glass, will it still make sense for DIY to whine about not being able to open up the device and solder repairs or whatnot? I don’t think so. Which is why I don’t expect we’ll halt technological progress just to appease them. 
    Most of the "right to repair" advocates are NOT going to repair the iPhones on their own. They need OEM parts for getting the repair done at 3rd party repair shops who have the necessary expertise to perform the repair at a cheaper price for out-of-warranty devices. That is one of the teething issues with Apple's repair policies. As Avon has mentioned it few times, "designing for repair" is another factor that will be looked at by authorities world over.
    edited September 27 williamlondondarkvaderelijahg
  • Reply 20 of 30
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,904member
    When our technology devices reach the levels depicted in sci-fi — ultra small or ultra thin pieces of magic glass, will it still make sense for DIY to whine about not being able to open up the device and solder repairs or whatnot? I don’t think so. Which is why I don’t expect we’ll halt technological progress just to appease them. 
    It sure makes sense to postulate technology that most of us will likely not live to see as a justification for Apple being deliberately a dick about design.
    muthuk_vanalingamTRAGelijahg
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