iFixit has declared that they will no longer be providing a repairability rating for the iPhone 14.
According to reports, Apple has created obstacles for independent repair shops attempting to fix their devices.
Apple’s approach to repairability is prompting some repair experts to exit the industry completely.
The iPhone 14 was commended in 2022 for being the most easily repairable model since the iPhone 7, based on the repairability score from iFixit. However, this score has been reduced due to the restrictions implemented by Apple for repairs.
iFixit has recently updated the repairability score for the iPhone 14. Originally rated 7 out of 10 for its repair-friendly design, the score has now been lowered to a 4 out of 10 and is no longer recommended.
The reported reason for the score adjustment is related to Apple’s strict policies regarding repairs. According to the source, significant repairs for newer iPhones must be approved by Apple. Additionally, the repair technician must purchase parts through Apple’s system and use their System Configuration tool to verify the repair, which connects to Apple’s servers to authenticate and integrate the new component with the rest of the phone. Failure to follow this process could result in limited or missing features for the user.
In summary, the hardware of the iPhone 14 can be easily repaired. However, the software validation required by Apple creates an unnecessary complexity. This means that even if you replace a component with a genuine Apple part, it will not function without the proper software verification.
This approach may simply be Apple’s method of guaranteeing that repairs are completed accurately and customers are not inconvenienced. However, it may also give the impression that Apple desires complete authority over the customer experience in every aspect.
The phone repair industry is facing major challenges due to this situation. According to iFixit, repair stores rely on salvaging parts from damaged devices or using aftermarket parts. However, Apple’s methods render this process obsolete, greatly impacting the profitability of independent repair shops. Additionally, these shops would be required to share personal data with Apple or undergo five years of audits in order to continue their work.
According to reports, the tension between Apple and these repair shops has escalated to the point where some experts have chosen to leave the industry altogether. This issue is expected to extend beyond just the iPhone 14.
At the iPhone 15 launch, the Cupertino company announced that the phone will feature the same repairable design as the iPhone 14. However, if Apple continues its current practice of pairing parts, this may not have a significant impact.