Why the iPhone 13 Pro is less repairable than its predecessors

The iPhone 13 Pro has had the lowest iFixit repairability rating since the very first iPhone. The cause is the Face ID facial recognition module, which may stop working after changing the screen. A bug ?

A few days after its marketing, the iPhone 13 Pro arrived in the iFixit labs. The site specializing in the repair of electronic equipment dismantled Apple’s latest high-end phone and the latter inherits a lower repairability rating than its predecessors.

Face ID may turn off after screen replacement

iFixit has indeed rated mobile 5/10, where most of its predecessors scored 6/10. This is the lowest rating for an iPhone since the very first model (which inherited the rating of 2/10). But the reason is not immediately apparent to neophytes. As iFixit explains, everything is played on the side of the Face ID facial recognition module.

The new Face ID module of the iPhone 13 Pro // Source: iFixit

The new component, more compact than that present in previous generations of smartphones, can indeed stop working after a screen change. ” It seems that the screen is locked serially on the phone »Details iFixit which regrets that the operation of the screen and the Face ID module are so closely linked. To put it more simply, replacing its original screen with an unapproved part deactivates facial recognition. Only Apple is able, for the moment, to change the screen of the iPhone 13 Pro without affecting the functioning of Face ID.

A bug fixed in a future version of iOS

Unless Apple changes this software, screen replacements outside of Apple Authorized Repair Centers will lose all Face ID functionality. », Sums up iFixit. Good news that said, still according to iFixit: Apple is aware of the problem and promises to fix it in a future version of iOS. The specialized site nevertheless regrets the fact that repair issues are not more strictly controlled during tests before marketing.

Regarding the rest of the teardown, iFixit is happy that most of the components are easy to change, especially the battery. On the other hand, the site still regrets that the rear window of the phone cannot be replaced easily.

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