A report was going around that Apple would break Face ID on any iPhone 13 that had its screen replaced by a third party. Thankfully, the company backtracked, as it’ll issue a software update that’ll stop the Face ID breaks from happening.
Originally, iFixit discovered a small microcontroller within the iPhone 13 that caused Face ID to stop working if it wasn’t transferred from an old screen to a new one. Unfortunately, moving this chip was a difficult process that would be beyond the scope of repairs most small shops could perform, thus making it impossible for them (or anyone looking to DIY their screen repair) to do it themselves.
Apple-authorized repair shops have access to software that can make a phone accept a new screen and keep Face ID working, but that’s only a small handful of shops. This situation was a huge blow for right-to-repair.
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Thankfully, Apple told The Verge that it would release a software update to allow Face ID to keep working, even if there’s no microcontroller detected. This will enable smaller repair shops that rely on screen repairs to keep performing the work without ruining a customer’s phone.
Unfortunately, Apple didn’t say when it would release the software update. Hopefully, it comes soon because there could be a lot of angry customers who take their phones in for repairs and end up without Face ID until it comes out.
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