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iPhone 13: Fixing your screen won't break Face ID in the end

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Changing the screen of your iPhone 13 by yourself or by a third party will not make Face ID unusable. Apple will finally fix the issue with an update soon, but we're not giving them a medal for it either.

Shortly after the launch of the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max, several third-party repairers were warning that replacing the smartphones' screens was "breaking" Face ID facial recognition. Last week, repairer iFixit detailed in a lengthy article this clamping by Apple to render Face ID inoperable when changing the screen outside of official, brand-approved channels.

In fact, the only way to get around this limitation was to move a dedicated chip from the old panel to the new one. A complex process requiring specific tools that makes one of the most common repairs unnecessarily laborious for independent repairers.

A simple update and paf, it makes chocapic!

So much for the background, and after the outcry over this anti-consumer practice, Apple is backtracking and will remove this impediment to the right to repair. But what insurmountable efforts will Apple have to make to get around this limitation? Surely it wasn't intended to abuse its dominant position but simply depends on Apple's technology being too advanced for third-party repairers, right?

A simple update, and forget it. As Apple explained to The Verge, this  "no longer requires you to transfer the microcontroller for Face ID to continue working after a screen replacement."

In reality, this update isn't a patch deployed in a hurry in response to the outcry from repairers and users. No, Apple had thought of everything but simply reserved this software pass to bypass its clamping for its authorized repairers. Once the update is deployed, all repairers, authorized and independent, and even self-taught users, will simply be on an equal footing.

This is good news that we can only welcome. But we're not going to march in the street and sing the praises of the Holy Apple for simply retracting a serious obstacle to the right to repair. So I don't say bravo to them.

Source: The Verge, iFixit

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Antoine Engels

Antoine Engels
Senior Editor

Black belt in specs sheet analysis. OnePlus fanboy in (slow) remission. Average estimated reading time of my articles: 48 minutes. Tech deals fact-checker in my spare time. Hates talking about himself in the 3rd person. Dreams he was a gaming journalist in another life. Doesn't get the concept of irony. Head of editorial for NextPit France.

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