iFixit Lowers iPhone 14's Repairability Score Due to Apple's Parts Pairing Requirement

Repair website iFixit today announced that it has retroactively lowered its iPhone 14 repairability score from 7/10 to 4/10 due to Apple's post-repair parts pairing requirement, just over a year after the device launched.

Apple Self Service Repair Program iPhone
When purchasing parts from Apple's Self Service Repair Store, a customer must enter a device's serial number or IMEI, and any parts ordered need to be paired with the same device after installation in order to function correctly. iFixit said lots of independent repair shops have business models that are threatened by this requirement.

iFixit initially praised the iPhone 14's internal redesign with a more repair-friendly mid-frame, which has since extended to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, but it decided to revise its score in light of feedback from the repair community.

"Although we enthusiastically awarded it a solid score at launch last year, thanks to its innovative repair-friendly architecture—of which we remain big fans—the reality for folks trying to fix these things has been very different," said iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens, in a blog post. "Most major repairs on modern iPhones require Apple approval. You have to buy parts through their system, then have the repair validated via a chat system. Otherwise, you'll run into limited or missing functionality, with a side of annoying warnings."

iFixit is referring to Apple's post-repair System Configuration software tool, which "authenticates genuine Apple parts, updates firmware, and calibrates parts to ensure maximum performance and quality," according to Apple. In June, Apple announced that customers completing their own repairs can now initiate System Configuration by placing their devices into Diagnostics mode and following the on-screen prompts.

iFixit's blog post provides an overview of the various functional issues and warnings that can arise when System Configuration is not completed.

All in all, while iFixit acknowledges that Apple has made some progress in the Right to Repair area, it has decided that it needs to hold the company to a higher standard, and it has adjusted its repairability scoring system accordingly.

Related Roundup: iPhone 14
Tag: iFixit
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

CoolSpot Avatar
8 months ago

IFixit is so full of ****, but it’s paying off as companies pair up with them to provide parts (which means revenue).

They NEVER go into the security reasons for some of these pairing decisions.
Yeah, its a delicate balance. You want people to be able to freely fix their stuff, but you don't want there to be any market for iPhones to be stolen and then parted out like an auto chop shop.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nikusak Avatar
8 months ago
There is just no way to please iFixit. I genuinely don’t understand what the problem is. Independent shops can become official repair shops quite easily - then they just can’t use third party parts or parts whose origin is “unknown”. And that’s a good thing. The less incentive there is to steal an iPhone, the better.

Also, as a customer, I do want to know if my device (or one that I’m planning to buy second hand) has been repaired using third party components.

iFixit just wants to make money by selling parts themselves.

p.s. iFixit has stopped giving repairability scores for devices made by companies whose partners they are.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unregistered 4U Avatar
8 months ago

p.s. iFixit has stopped giving repairability scores for devices made by companies whose partners they are.
This tells anyone everything they need to know about iFixit.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unregistered 4U Avatar
8 months ago

"Most major repairs on modern iPhones require Apple approval. You have to buy parts through their system, then have the repair validated via a chat system. Otherwise, you'll run into limited or missing functionality, with a side of annoying warnings."
So, what they’re saying is… “If you, as an individual, contact Apple and acquire the parts and rent the hardware required to repair the device from Apple, you can repair it. And, that USED to be great. However, because we at iFixit can’t use questionable parts (and because traffic to our site has been dropping), we will now state we’re not in favor of right to repair in general, but instead right to repair in a very specific way that benefits those that, if they decided to, would use cheaper parts in order to make a better profit off off unwitting customers.”
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deevey Avatar
8 months ago

"Lots of independent repair shops have business models that are threatened by Apple’s parts pairing ('https://www.ifixit.com/News/69320/how-parts-pairing-kills-independent-repair') practice. Shops harvest parts from [S]broken[/S] stolen devices."
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
surfzen21 Avatar
8 months ago
"They shouldn’t have to send Apple their customers’ personal information,"

Ummmmm. If their customer has an iPhone, Apple already has that customers personal information.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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