Apple failed this time, but it will try again and likely succeed next time

The company won't stop until it makes it impossible for iPhone screens to be replaced by third-party repairers.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Once again, Apple tried to block third-party repairers from replacing iPhone displays without there being a whole bunch of negative consequences for the end-user.

And once again, Apple has had to backpedal because of criticism and bad press.

But Apple will try again. And it will likely succeed.

For those of you that aren't glued to all things Apple, here's a brief overview of the state of play.

When the iPhone 13 was released, third-party repairers quickly uncovered some very bad news for clumsy iPhone owners: swapping the display with another genuine display killed Face ID and a bunch of other features. Ways were found around this, but they involved desoldering a chip off the broken display and micro soldering it back onto the replacement display.

That's surgery-level skills.

Well, it seems that Apple has backtracked. The company will issue an iOS 15 update that will allow displays to be replaced without killing Face ID.

If all this sounds familiar to you, then that's because it is. Apple tried something similar last time around with the iPhone 12.

And later backtracked on that decision.

Or we could go back further to the classic Error 53 debacle.

It's clear Apple really wants total, absolute control over screen repairs. After all, why would Apple try to sneak these limitations in under the radar only to backtrack later?

There's clearly some sort of design remit going on here. That remit certainly isn't "make repairs as easy and cost-effective as possible for iPhone owners."

The idea that this has happened -- twice -- as some sort of accident is hard to swallow. Impossible, in fact.

And it won't be long until Apple achieves its goal. It's an engineering problem, and Apple is good at solving engineering problems.

I'm not sure what Apple's obsession with eliminating third-party repairs is all about. Control. Money. An honest and deep-seated belief that third-party repairs pose a danger to customers.

Whatever the reason, it makes Apple look like it's more concerned about putting profits ahead of the environment and makes its other efforts to be green look like greenwashing.

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