Replacing a broken or non-functioning screen on an Apple Inc. iPhone 13 at a third-party repair shop, won’t break Face ID. Apple Inc. has indicated it will deliver a software update in the future. It will remove the restriction which essentially prevented iPhone users from getting their devices serviced at non-Apple repair shops.
Face ID, a critical biometric security and user authentication function could continue working even if iPhone 13 owners repair the device at third-party repair shops. Currently, Apple Inc. disables the function if users replace the broken screen at any non-authorized service centers.
Apple Inc. installed additional hardware to deliberately destroy any possibility of repairing iPhone devices at third-party repair shops:
Any Apple Inc. device has never been easy to disassemble or repair. In fact, with every new iteration, the company has made the processes even more complicated or complex.
Many proponents of ‘Right to Repair’ consider Apple Inc. as their number one adversary. The company routinely installs non-standard screws, and glues or solders components instead of using standard attachment mechanisms.
— iFixit (@iFixit) November 8, 2021
With the iPhone 13 series of devices, Apple Inc. went a step ahead. The company installed a micro-chip inside the screens of these expensive smartphones.
This chip effectively pairs the screen to the rest of the phone. In case a user decides to replace the screen at a third-party repair shop, whey would also need to bring across this paired controller.
— Wccftech (@wccftech) November 5, 2021
Without this pairing, iOS refuses to recognize the screen and even disables Face ID. Apple Inc. recently released iOS 15, and this update seems to have the provision to disable Face ID.
Needless to mention, replacing a broken or non-functional screen is not a complex process. However, transplanting the microchip from the old display onto the new one is a complicated process. It requires surgical-level precision to de-solder the chip and re-solder it on the new device.
Apple Inc. has needlessly complicated the process of third-party broken screen replacement and essentially tipped the scale in its favor:
A screen on a smartphone is by far the most fragile component, and the most likely one to break or fail. The majority of smartphone repairs often involve battery or screen replacement.
Neither of these processes is simple when an Apple Inc. iPhone is involved. Recently, the company started to warn iPhone users about “non-genuine” displays.
Apple is going to make iPhone 13 screen replacements easier for indie repair shops with a software update.https://t.co/66O2VHzWeE
— Jay Peters (@jaypeters) November 9, 2021
Coming back to the screen replacement microchip pairing issue, authorized Apple repair outfits to have a software tool that ensures an iPhone and its replacement screen work together.
Needless to mention, this creates a massively uneven playing field, and it primarily benefits Apple Inc. Incidentally, replacing a screen at a third-party repair shop is often cheaper in comparison to getting repairs done at Apple Care or Apple-authorized repair shops.
— iDownloadBlog (@iDownloadBlog) November 9, 2021
Presumably bowing to mounting pressure, Apple Inc. reportedly claimed it will address this situation in an iOS update at some unspecific point, allowing replacement screens to keep Face ID enabled without any chip transfers”.