iPhone 14 iFixit teardown shows Apple’s learning curve on repairs • The Register

Video The iPhone 14 hides a pretty big secret: the interior has been redesigned to make it more repairable, says iFixit.

Gone is the overuse of glue and solder, said iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens in his iPhone 14 teardown report. Instead, Wiens said, the iPhone 14 features a butterfly-style design with a pop-off screen and backplate that can be removed with just a single pair of screws, as you can see below.

Youtube video

Wiens said the iPhone 14’s design was a “dramatic rethinking” of Apple’s flagship, signaling right-to-repair advocates have won another victory over Apple, a longtime opponent of the self-repair movement. But the legislative flood turns and Apple sees which way the wind is blowing.

“This design improvement is a great win. These changes to the iPhone will help it last longer and reduce its overall impact on the planet. With any luck, it will inspire other manufacturers to follow suit. All of our – and your – work has paid off. Our entrance, our lobbying, our shouting in the street. We convinced Apple’s design team that repairability is important,” Wiens said in his teardown post.


The opened back of the iPhone 14; Kyle Wiens/iFixit

In addition to the butterfly opening and a relocation of components to the device’s midplane, the iPhone 14 has easier-to-remove adhesives and has eliminated grounding seams in favor of “electromagnetic interference fingers” that spread EM interference across the back panel. Wiens gave the iPhone 14 a repairability rating of 7/10, the highest iFixit has given the handset since the 8-series five years ago.

Still, the device isn’t perfect, as Apple appears to adhere to part-pairing restrictions, which require newly added iPhone components to be activated with Apple in order for them to function properly. That eliminates third-party parts and ensures Apple keeps the money flowing.

Nary a keynote peep

Apple didn’t mention the iPhone’s internal redesign announcement event Earlier this month, which Wiens says is surprising given the lack of excitement about the minimally changed Series 14.

“Why doesn’t Tim Cook brag about repairability? We had no idea this was coming because Apple didn’t mention it at all. But they should have done it,” Wiens said. For reference, Samsung hasn’t changed the internal design of its devices since 2015, while the change for Apple is the biggest since the X series, Wiens said.

The reason for Apple’s silence on a new, easily repairable design may lie in the fact that while Apple has paid lip service to repairability, it still wants to remain in control. It is not advertised as giving up a large profit center for the business.

Apple opened one Self-service equipment repair shop for iPhone 12, 13 and SE devices in April this year, but Right-to-Repair critics were quick to point out Apple’s use of part pairing Force Apple users to go through its service for components.

This could mean that while the iPhone 14 is more repairable, Apple still hopes you’ll come to the Genius Bar for repairs rather than doing it yourself, and there’s no better way to cut down on the repair queue than with one Device that’s easier and faster for anyone – including Apple technology – to troubleshoot.

We’ve reached out to Apple to find out more about the reason for the redesign and when the iPhone 14 components will make it to the self-repair store, but haven’t received a response yet. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/09/19/iphone_14s_ifixit/ iPhone 14 iFixit teardown shows Apple’s learning curve on repairs • The Register

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