Apple to Reverse its Most Aggressive Anti-Repair Safeguard

Apple, Freedom Life/Shutterstock

On November 5th, we took an in-depth look at the iPhone 13’s most aggressive anti-repair safeguard, which causes Face ID to break when individuals or “unauthorized” repair shops replace its display. But Apple now tells The Verge that it will reverse this safeguard with a software update, a big win for repairability.

We’re surprised to see Apple take this step, which will allow iPhone 13 owners to perform basic device repairs at home or at “unauthorized” repair shops. But on the other hand, we saw Apple go through this same fiasco with its iPhone 12 release.

That’s right; the iPhone 12 launched with the same anti-repair features as the iPhone 13. These safeguards were removed three months after the device’s release through a software update, presumably due to customer pushback.

Like iFixit, we waited three months after the iPhone 13’s release to see if Apple would remove its anti-repair safeguards. But the change we hoped for didn’t come, and Apple was silent on the issue. That’s when we decided to report on the iPhone 13’s anti-repair safeguards and their impact on both individuals and small businesses.

Unfortunately, customer outrage may not have influenced today’s change. Several outlets reported on the iPhone 13’s non-repairability, but the issue didn’t explode on social media or trigger an immediate response from Apple. It seems that Apple has its own reasons for creating and removing these safeguards—maybe the company expected to ship the iPhone 13 with a combined display and camera, which could necessitate such weird security features.

Apple hasn’t announced when it will remove the iPhone 13’s anti-repair features, though the change will come with a software update. (At the time of writing, iOS 15.1 is the current iPhone software version.)

Source: Apple via The Verge

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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