According to our friends at Repair.org, Apple is purposely disabling a prominent feature of the new iPhones if anyone other than themselves repair something as simple as a cracked screen.
The new iPhone 13 completely disables the Face ID functionality when you replace its screen.
Yep. Apple has decided that if your iPhone screen breaks, and you get that repaired outside of their authorized Apple network, they’ll disable the primary way you gain access to your device.
Repair.org states that (per iFixit) the issue comes down to a chip which must be swapped from the original screen to the new one. AND – that chip can’t be unscrewed and transferred over, it has to be microsoldered. AND the equipment required to do that can cost thousands of dollars which many shops either can’t afford or lack qualified technicians.
Even Apple stores and authorized repair centers don’t have access to the equipment or the skilled labor necessary to do the repairs. But Apple has provided them with a “secret tool” which allows for a new screen to be digitally paired with an iPhone. That tool allows those shops to complete a repair without heating, desoldering, or resoldering.
Apple has been working on this for a long time. In 2016, Apple “accidentally” included a software feature that affected iPhone TouchID sensor replacement which would “brick” the device if you attempted to replace the sensor with a non-original or aftermarket part. They reversed course, after a PR campaign waged by right to repair advocates, but the fiasco cost them millions in class action lawsuits, fines, and reputational damage.
Since then they’ve been incrementally trying new things on just about every iPhone.
What’s going to happen next?
We need your help. YOU’RE the one that’s potentially most impacted. Visit repair.org and see how easy it is to contact your local legislators. The current administration and the FTC have already signalled a willingness to go after companies who stifle competition and the free-market economy.
1. Find your legislator and tell them what this means to you. We’ve got a template here for you to use and you can find your elected representative by going to [YOURSTATENAME].repair.org (e.g. newyork.repair.org)
2. Get Involved To win this war it’s going to take all of us volunteering our time and energy to pass “Fair Repair” legislation and protect consumers everywhere.
3. Build The Coalition – Recruit a couple friends to help spread the word about this issue and the Right to Repair legislation. The more people you can get to call their legislators, write a letter, done, or just share the campaign—the better chance we’ll have of getting bills passed. You can also help raise awareness using the hashtag #RightToRepair on social media.
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