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Need a new iPhone 13 display? Better read this first

Owners of Apple’s latest iPhone, take note. If you replace your iPhone 13 display via an unauthorized third-party service, Face ID will stop working.

The discovery was made in recent days by established sites such as Phone Repair Guru and iFixit.

Interestingly, Phone Repair Guru found that even if the replacement was a genuine iPhone display but installed by an unauthorized technician, the Face ID mechanism for unlocking the phone would still fail.

It’s worth noting that the display itself does not contain any Face ID technology, with the TrueDepth camera system powering it contained within the phone’s casing.

The suggestion is that it could be a software issue that Apple may fix via an iOS release. Otherwise, it looks like a deliberate move by the iPhone maker to force people to use its in-house technicians or authorized services for repairs. But if that’s the case, it should make it clear that Face ID won’t work if the display replacement is carried out by a repair service not authorized by Apple

We’ve reached out to Apple for more information on the issue and will update this article when we hear back.

iPhone owners might use a third-party repair service to save money or time, or because the provider is in a convenient location. But if they use one to get a new iPhone 13 display, they’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise if the work is carried out without prior knowledge of the consequences.

If the issue is not put right by Apple via an iOS update, the situation is likely to alarm right-to-repair activists who are calling on tech firms to make it easier for people to fix their devices.

The cause prompted President Biden to sign an executive order in July calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish rules making it easier for gadget owners or third-party services to carry out device repairs. The order said the FTC should “limit powerful equipment manufacturers from restricting people’s ability to use independent repair shops or do DIY repairs.”

In the U.S., an iPhone display replacement carried out by an Apple Authorized Service Provider costs $329 for the iPhone 13 Pro Max, $279 for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13, and $229 for the iPhone 13 Mini. If it’s covered the company’s AppleCare+ service, a screen replacement costs $29.

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Trevor Mogg
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