Break your iPhone 13 screen? Face ID won’t work if it’s not replaced by Apple.
Buying the new iPhone 13? Then you better handle it extra carefully because Apple looks to be making it a pain to repair.
The problem: The iPhone-maker may force you to go to Apple directly if you need to replace your screen.
YouTube channel Phone Repair Guru recently uploaded a new video taking apart the new iPhone 13. After doing a deep dive into the inside of Apple’s latest smartphone, Phone Repair Guru came upon a discovery which they called “catastrophic to third party repair.”
When a third-party, such as a repair store or even the owner of the phone themself, replaces the iPhone 13 screen, Face ID ceases to work.
“Important Display Message,” reads a pop-up prompt on the iPhone 13. “Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple display.” From there, the phone will no longer support Face ID.
As 9to5Mac points out, third-party repair replacing other iPhone 13 components such as the “microphone, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor” all works just fine. However, replacing a broken screen without Apple disables a necessary iPhone feature.
While Phone Repair Guru says there are some extra steps a third-party can take to get Face ID working again, the process would be “too sophisticated” for most repair shops.
This move from Apple looks like the company is trying to require users to use its services if they need to replace a broken screen.
According to Apple, the company charges $279 to replace a broken iPhone 13 screen if the device is out of warranty. Reputable repair shops have usually been able to charge lower, competitive rates for the same service.
The timing of this iPhone 13 issue is interesting. Advocacy around the Right to Repair, which pushes manufacturers to make repair instructions, tools, and components available to device owners and third parties, is gaining steam.
Basically, people should have the right to fix their own electronics and companies should allow them to do so. The Biden administration has even voiced support for Right to Repair and the FTC recently voted to enforce laws surrounding it.
It’s unclear if Apple will eventually put out an update restoring Face ID to iPhone 13s with third-party screen replacements. Mashable has reached out to the company for comment.