Replacing your iPhone 13 display will render Face ID unusable, unless Apple does it

nanoguy

Posts: 979   +14
Staff member
WTF?! If you're looking to buy an iPhone 13 and aren't a fan of AppleCare+, you'll have to be extra careful not to damage the display. If you ever need to replace it, you'll be pretty much forced to go to Apple and fork out more money than if you went to an independent repair shop, especially if you want to continue using Face ID.

Apple is well-known for its tendency to sacrifice function for form and making devices harder to repair in the process. Over the past few years, it has also become a formidable enemy of the Right to Repair movement by making life progressively harder for independent repair shops -- from trying to curb the dissemination of schematics data and diagnostic software to using various software and firmware tricks to discourage replacing certain components like batteries and Touch ID sensors with non-genuine parts.

The latter part is what iFixit calls "security through serialization" and will either disable some of the functionality on your iPhone or render it completely unusable when a third-party component is detected. With the iPhone 13 lineup, Apple seems to have taken yet another step in that direction, which is not unexpected but still rather disappointing.

As noted by YouTuber Phone Repair Guru, some components such as the ambient light sensor, the proximity sensor, and the microphone are easy to replace. Replacing the screen would also be relatively easy to do if it weren't for the following message -- "Unable to verify this phone has a genuine Apple display."

That is to say, even if you or an independent repair shop can technically do a display replacement on your iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, or 13 Pro Max, it comes at the cost of losing Face ID functionality. Phone Repair Guru explains that, at least in theory, it would be possible to transplant some chips over to the non-genuine display to maintain Face ID, but many independent repair shops won't attempt that as it's both time-consuming and requires more sophisticated tools.

It's possible Apple may release a software update in the future to allow Face ID to work even with a non-genuine display, but don’t hold your breath. The last time the company did something similar was when it blocked Touch ID functionality, but at least in that case, it was somewhat justified as there was a security element to it. By contrast, the Face ID module is simply a capture device that doesn't hold any facial recognition data, which is stored in the iPhone's secure enclave.

Permalink to story.

 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 494   +808
I know a few folks that have cracked the screen on their iPhone 11 and 12, they had the screens repaired at local repair shops.....I wonder how pissed they'd be if a feature of the phone stopped working because it wasn't Apple that did the repair work.

I remember the wife's old MacBook Pro - I think it was the first or maybe second generation of the Pro line...years back. The battery had crapped out after about 4 years of use. Just like any laptop that had an internal battery, you'd unscrew the cover panel on the bottom and swap out the battery. She used the crap out of that laptop and I actually had to replace the battery twice.

She got a new MacBook Pro 2 or 3 years ago and there is no way to replace the battery without a bit of work because a lot of the internal hardware is glued together so you can't just replace the battery quickly. Most people won't be able to do this due to time constraints or they just lack the experience or are afraid they'll break something.

This is one of the many reasons I hate Apple.
 

netman

Posts: 676   +267
"That is to say, even if you or an independent repair shop can technically do a display replacement on your iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, or 13 Pro Max, it comes at the cost of losing Face ID functionality."

Makes no difference to me, cause I never use Face ID...!
 

ypsylon

Posts: 397   +334
That's brilliant - no more FaceID. You sell the monitor without a stand now its time for iPhone without FaceID or front camera for that matter. I would pay just for that.

Totally **** move by Apple, but iPhone without front camera, sign me in.

 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,724   +4,258
I mean if you dont want face ID this seems great!

OTOH you get what you deserve if you buy apple. They hate their consumers, especially those that dont submit to apple's obcession over their money. You shouldnt be able to control your files, apps, or devices, so far as apple is concerned.

And teh loyal iSheep continue to pay over $1000 per device. Utter lunacy.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,800   +2,155
TechSpot Elite
"As noted by YouTuber Phone Repair Guru"
I don't know who this person is but the person that should be referenced when it comes to Apple products and Right-To-Repair is Louis Rossman. Here's some more blunderful news about the iPhone 13:
 
Last edited:

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,800   +2,155
TechSpot Elite
Thanks Apple for giving people yet another reason to get Right To Repair on people's minds and into law.

You really are your worst enemy in that regard.
It'll never happen as long as Apple sends the right amount of money to the right people in congress. In the USA, money talks and so right-to-repair walks.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,800   +2,155
TechSpot Elite
I mean if you dont want face ID this seems great!

OTOH you get what you deserve if you buy apple. They hate their consumers, especially those that dont submit to apple's obcession over their money. You shouldnt be able to control your files, apps, or devices, so far as apple is concerned.

And teh loyal iSheep continue to pay over $1000 per device. Utter lunacy.
If people are stupid enough to be Flat-Earthers or Anti-Vaxxers, this level of stupidity doesn't actually seem all that far-fetched. :laughing: