With the release of the iPhone 14, Apple has significantly changed the internal structure of the smartphone, making it much easier to repair and replace many components. The experts at iFixit welcomed the updates and gave the smartphone a 7/10 rating, which hasn’t happened to an iPhone since 2016.
Now, the experts have revised their conclusion, significantly lowering the results of last year’s audit. This was due to the fact that the score did not take into account the “software” restrictions that Apple has been significantly tightening recently.
Currently, the smartphone warns the owner if any parts of the device have been replaced without going through the appropriate registration procedure through a special Apple System Configuration system. This makes it difficult to replace parts if they came from a “donor” gadget and were not purchased directly from the manufacturer.
If the parts were replaced in this way and did not go through the process of registering serial numbers, the system will display a message to the user that it is impossible to determine the originality of the spare parts. In the worst case, some functionality may be limited (for example, the use of biometrics).
“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,” says Kyle Wiens, the iFixit CEO.
According to iFixit, they know of cases where services have ceased to operate because they worked according to this particular iPhone repair scheme, which used “live” parts of previously damaged smartphones. In addition, such restrictions complicate repairs for those users who are able to replace certain parts without going to service centers.
As a result, the iPhone 14 now has an iFixit repairability score of 4/10, which is even lower than the results of several previous models. Despite the fact that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro share a similar internal structure that simplifies repairs, they will also require confirmation of the “originality” of spare parts in case of replacement. Therefore, it is unlikely that we can expect high repairability scores for the new models this year.