Apple Walks Back iPhone 13 Display Repair Restriction That Disabled Face ID

Following the launch of the iPhone 13 models, iFixit and other independent repair outlets found that replacing the iPhone's display renders Face ID non-functional, limiting repairs to Apple itself, Apple Authorized Service Providers, and Apple-associated repair shops. The change made it much more difficult for smaller, independent repair shops to perform ‌iPhone 13‌ display repairs on broken devices.

iphone 13 face id display repairs

Image via iFixit

Given the blowback from repair providers unhappy with the restriction, Apple has decided to change its policy. Apple told The Verge that it plans to introduce a software update that will allow for standard display repairs that do not disable ‌Face ID‌.

With the ‌iPhone 13‌ models, Apple added a small microcontroller that pairs the ‌iPhone 13‌ to its display. When performing a display repair, this microcontroller must be paired to the new display using Apple's tools, which independent repair shops do not have access to. Without this pairing process, swapping an ‌iPhone 13‌ display with a new display results in an error message that says "Unable to activate ‌Face ID‌ on this ‌iPhone‌."

Repair shops without access to Apple's pairing tools could take the microcontroller from the original display and add it to a new display, but it's a finicky process that requires soldering and a microscope to perform.

The software update that Apple plans to implement will remove the restriction that requires the microcontroller to be transferred to a new display when a repair is made, so independent shops will once again be able to repair screens without impacting the functionality of ‌Face ID‌.

There is no word yet on when Apple will add the software update to simplify ‌iPhone‌ display repairs for independent repair providers, but iOS 15.2 is in beta testing at the current time and the feature could be introduced in that update.

Related Roundups: iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

turbineseaplane Avatar
7 months ago
Just like the CSAM stuff

The only thing -- the only thing -- that works with Apple is public pressure and backlash
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fwmireault Avatar
7 months ago
Great. They should not have even put this software limitation in the first place.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SpaceN64 Avatar
7 months ago
we shouldn't be praising them. They started this mess and now they have to clean it up
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Takeo Avatar
7 months ago
LOL at the entire thread of Apple defenders and armchair security experts I read here on MacRumors last week ?
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turbineseaplane Avatar
7 months ago

Seems like Apple are backtracking on a lot of things lately, good news though that common sense has prevailed in this case ?
Common sense had nothing to do with it

Public backlash is the only tool that works against Apple anymore
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Havalo Avatar
7 months ago
Shouldn’t have been implemented in the first place, pure greed!
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple self service repair text

Apple's Parts Store for Do-It-Yourself Repairs Will Be Operated By a Third Party

Monday November 22, 2021 10:02 am PST by
Last week, Apple announced a new self-service repair program that will provide customers with access to Apple genuine parts, tools, and manuals for completing their own repairs of select devices, starting with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups and later Macs with M1 chips. Apple said the program will be available starting early next year in the United States and expand to additional countries...
maxresdefault

Tim Cook Discusses Apple's New Do-It-Yourself Repair Program and More

Wednesday November 24, 2021 8:38 am PST by
Apple recently announced a new self-service repair program that will provide customers with access to Apple genuine parts, tools, and manuals for completing their own repairs of select devices, starting with iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models. Apple said the program will launch early next year in the U.S. and expand to additional countries throughout 2022. Apple CEO Tim Cook briefly shared his...
apple independent repair program

U.S. FTC Commits to Fighting Against Unlawful Repair Restrictions

Wednesday July 21, 2021 12:12 pm PDT by
The United States Federal Trade Commission today announced that it is committed to devoting more of its resources to fight against unlawful repair restrictions in a move that has the potential to impact Apple in the future. Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden called on the FTC to create new right to repair rules that will prevent manufacturers from limiting consumers and businesses...
apple independent repair program

Apple Expanding Independent Repair Provider Program Worldwide

Monday March 29, 2021 1:01 pm PDT by
Apple today announced that it is expanding its Independent Repair Provider Program to more than 200 countries, which is nearly every country where Apple products are sold. First introduced in 2019, the Independent Repair Provider Program is designed to provide repair shops with access to genuine parts, tools, repair manuals, and diagnostics for performing out-of-warranty repairs for Apple...
apple independent repair program

U.S. President Joe Biden to Direct FTC to Draft Right to Repair Rules

Tuesday July 6, 2021 11:52 am PDT by
United States President Joe Biden plans to direct the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to create new right to repair rules that would affect tech companies like Apple, reports Bloomberg. The rules would prevent manufacturers from limiting consumers' options for repairing products at independent repair shops or on their own, and the presidential directive is expected to mention mobile phone...
maxresdefault

iFixit Lauds Apple's New Self Service Repair Program, Calls It a 'Remarkable Concession'

Wednesday November 17, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this morning surprised the world with an unexpected "Self Service Repair" program, which is designed to allow customers access to genuine Apple parts, tools, and manuals for making their own device repairs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Giving customers this kind of unprecedented access to repair guidelines and hardware is a major win for Right to Repair...
apple independent repair program

Apple Lobbies Against 'Right to Repair' Bill Over Privacy Concerns of Third Party Repair Shops Accessing User Data

Tuesday March 30, 2021 3:44 am PDT by
Apple, HP, and Honeywell are lobbying against a bill in the Nevada statehouse that would require electronic hardware manufacturers to provide device schematics, device parts, and instructions to third-party repair shops for device repairs, according to the Associated Press. The bill being contemplated in Nevada is one of many bills that states across the US are considering to put into law....
apple parts and service history

iOS 15.2 Adds 'Parts and Service History' Feature to iPhone

Tuesday December 7, 2021 9:12 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 15.2, Apple is adding a new "Parts and Service History" section to the Settings app that will let users see the service history of their iPhones and confirm that components used for repairs are genuine. As outlined in a new support document, iPhone users who have iOS 15.2 or later installed can go to Settings > General > About to access Parts and Service History. The...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
iphone 13 pro max display bleen

iPhone 14 Max Reportedly Weeks Behind Schedule [Updated]

Thursday May 26, 2022 7:25 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Max is currently behind schedule by around three weeks, according to Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu. Yesterday, Nikkei Asia reported that at least one iPhone 14 model was three weeks behind schedule due to the impact of lockdowns on Apple's supply chains in China, but it was not clear which iPhone 14 model this related to. Now, Pu has clarified that the model...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5.1 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Wednesday May 25, 2022 9:42 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5.1, a minor update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5.1 comes about 10 days after the launch of tvOS 15.5. tvOS 15.5.1 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌‌‌ owners who have automatic software updates...