iFixit: Apple’s iPhone 14 is the most repairable in years

It might seem like Apple only added minor changes to the iPhone 14, but there’s one big change under the hood that makes it the most repairable iPhone in years, according to iFixit.

Unlike older models, the iPhone 14 can be opened from the back and Front of the device, making it easier to fix both the display and rear glass panel instead of picking them on top of each other.

iFixit discovered the change during a teardown(Opens in a new window) of the iPhone 14. Apple has previously made iPhone models accessible only through the front display, dating back to the iPhone 8. As a result, repairing a rear glass panel on an iPhone can be an expensive expense, ranging from $349 to $599, depending on that model.

With the iPhone 14, repairing the rear glass pane now only costs money(Opens in a new window) $149. This is because you can detach and unscrew both sides of the iPhone fairly easily provided you have the right tools.

Opening the iPhone 14 from the back. (Source: iFixit)

The design change promises to streamline iPhone 14 repairs and provide easier access to the various components inside. Apple achieved the redesign by adding a metal “middle frame” that can support holding internal components on either side.

“It’s no small matter,” iFixit said. “The new metal midframe that supports the structure required a complete internal redesign as well as a rethink of HF (high frequency) and effectively doubling their level of intrusion protection.”

The redesign led to iFixit giving the new model a seven out of ten in terms of repairability. This makes the iPhone 14 the most repairable model since the iPhone 7 from 2016.

The bad news is that Apple has turned on software locks when it comes to repairing the back glass of an iPhone 14, citing anecdotal reports, according to iFixit. So if you use a third-party back glass, the iPhone will issue a warning that the part isn’t genuine.

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“Using software to prevent the use of aftermarket parts gets a big thumbs down from us,” said iFixit. “These bans are frustrating and ultimately futile — Apple just can’t control all the repairs that are made to its products, no matter how hard they try.”

The other issue is that Apple hasn’t adopted the design change for the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models. As a result, iFixit said, “If you’re trying to decide whether to go with the 14 or the Pro or Pro Max, the answer from a repairability perspective is clear: it’s the 14 all the time. Let’s hope that this advanced design.” becoming the standard across the iPhone 15 lineup.”

The iPhone 14 Plus is scheduled to arrive on October 7th.

PCMag logo Handy with the Apple iPhone 14 Pro range
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