Apple’s Newest Display Repair Device Has the Ability to Change the Repair Industry.

 Apple has already been usually looking at iPhone repair work that isn’t under their control. Apple may be seeking to utterly defund the market with fresh upgrades to the iPhone 13.

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On iOS 15.1, after replacing the display on an iPhone 13 Pro Max with another original iPhone 13 Pro Max display, a Face ID problem message appears.

When you replace the screen on the new iPhone 13, its flagship Face ID capability is entirely disabled. We’ve proven this time and time again in our lab, testing a range of phones running iOS 15 and 15.1, and our findings have been corroborated by a number of repair experts.

Fixers, both individual and team, are having a bad day. The most basic phone repairs, which could previously be completed with hand tools, now necessitates the use of a microscope. As a result, you won’t been able to repair your iPhone screen without missing significant performance. Which also has far-reaching effects for the professional repair business, since Apple is the most commonly serviced brand. Smaller companies may be forced to close, with owners forced to choose between spending thousands of dollars on new equipment or losing a key source of revenue.

This little microcontroller is used to connect the iPhone 13 to its screen, a process known as “serialisation” by repair technicians. Apple hasn’t made it easy for store owners or small retailers to connect a new screen. Licensed technicians with knowledge to Apple Services Toolkit 2 can install new screens by reporting the repair to Apple’s cloud servers and matching both phone and screen serial numbers. It allows Apple to accept or reject each individual fix.

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A most advanced repair shops have devised a solution, but it isn’t a fast, clever hack—it involves manually shifting a fused chip from the original screen to a replacements. We’ll go through that method in more depth later, and it’s necessary to remember that this is entirely unusual. The replacement of a screen is quite frequent. Thousands of repair companies throughout the world help their communities by changing screens at low costs for clients. But Apple appears to be chopping its industry off at the feet in one swift blow.

Want to get into the technical aspects of things. We put it through its paces on iOS 15.1, the most recent official iPhone software upgrade. When you replace the screen of an iPhone 13 with the same exact screen from a brand new iPhone, you get the following error: “Unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone.”

Repairing the display's central chip from an iPhone 13.
Repairing the display’s central chip from an iPhone 13.

Apple has not yet made any public statements regarding the situation. A buddy inside Apple’s Independent Repair Program was informed by Apple support that the issue will be rectified in an iOS update, according to Dusten Mahathy, an experienced repair engineer. Only one difference we’ve noticed is that although the Face ID function didn’t work quietly in 15.0, it now shows a visible error message. Apple was contacted for comment.

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This chip that has the potential to transform the way independent phone repair is done in the future.

Since the iPhone X, one skilled repair shop has been replacing screen chips to avoid touch calibration difficulties and “genuine” part alerts, and they’ve gotten the process down to roughly 15 minutes. Using CNC machines and screen-holding jigs, they’ve been quietly creating an inventory of reconditioned and third-party replacement screens with their chip slots vacant.

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The front camera and face scanning array on the iPhone 13 (left), the screen chip and a grain of rice in the middle, and the ball grid seat from which the chip is removed (right) (right).

Unless a shop has the tools and knowledge to de-solder a BGA chip and shift it to a new screen, they’ll be at a disadvantage compared to AppleCare, the company’s repair network and protection plan. With a few keystrokes within Apple’s proprietary software, a certified Apple technician can make an iPhone 13 accept a new screen with no heating, desoldering, or resoldering necessary. On newer iPhone 12 and 13 models, Apple’s engineers can also maintain True Tone running, which independent repair specialists haven’t been able to do with third-party coders.

In these other terms, changing a screen on the iPhone 13 is the same as previously for people who have access to Apple’s network. Everything is possible for small businesses.


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