Although the Apple iPhone 14 is not significantly different from the iPhone 13 in terms of features; But the autopsy of the new handset shows that the Cupertino giant has made some changes to make the device easier to repair.
Apple is not classified among the top manufacturing companies in terms of the repairability of its products. This company has recently started providing repair manuals and some tools needed to replace defective parts; But Apple products are still made in such a way that it is considered difficult to repair them.
The usual autopsy of the iPhone 14 by the iFixit team shows that the internal design of this handset has been revised. Thus, it is possible to dissect the device from both the front and back parts. Technicians usually have to disassemble the device’s display to access the faulty internal parts. But now the back glass can be separated in a similar way.
After applying heat and carefully separating the display, a large metal plate and the middle frame of the device along with holes appear on the inside of the iPhone 14. These holes allow the passage of camera components, selected connectors and some components of the middle frame. It seems that the design changes have made it easier to repair the display. In addition, the internal components of the iPhone, which are not normally protected by the metal plate, will also be taken care of.
A view of the iPhone 14 dissected by the iFixit team
Opening the back glass is also done through a similar process. In this case, it seems that Apple has made significant changes. The back glass is usually the most difficult component to remove from the iPhone, and replacing it outside the AppleCare+ tariff will cost users several hundred dollars.
This decision is considered a big step on Apple’s part. The company had previously made it possible to access the back glass through the display. In fact, replacing the back glass required removing the screen and battery; Actions that are among the usual things when repairing an iPhone. By providing the possibility of removing the back glass for public access to the display components bar, Apple has removed the main obstacles to repairing the back glass in case of damage.
In other steps, in order to release the brackets and separate the parts, the related screws can be opened. In order to keep the battery in place, Apple has used 2 elastic tabs and a little glue. Also, other related connectors should be used to separate the parts from each other.
After the iPhone 14 autopsy, the iFixit team praised the changes made by Apple in the design of this handset. According to experts, Apple has not only provided easier access to the internal components of the iPhone for repairs; It has also solved the challenges related to maintaining the strength of the hand. The use of the middle frame helps to repel and distribute the shocks caused by the fall of the phone. The shock distribution mechanism to the battery and back glass by the metal frame will be similar to the iPhone 13; With the difference that now the shock caused by the fall is restrained by a metal plate.
Previously, separating the back panel caused problems in the transmission of radio frequencies; But this time, instead of using the welding technique, Apple has used 10 EMI connection points to ground the phone frame as much as possible.
Opening the iPhone 14 from the back
However, the autopsy process has also been accompanied by criticism; Because Apple has been blamed for requiring the activation of the back glass after activating the device. For example, the back glass must be activated through software. Also, Apple continues to apply various software restrictions to prevent the use of aftermarket parts.
Significant changes in the architecture of the iPhone 14 have made this handset achieve a repairability score of 7 out of 10. This figure represents the highest repairability score of Apple iPhones since the release of iPhone 7 in 2016 until today. iFixit claims that the iPhone 14 represents the biggest iPhone redesign since the iPhone X. It is difficult to determine the magnitude of these changes; But for comparison, it is interesting to know that Samsung has not changed the architecture of its handsets since 2015.