What you need to know
- Apple’s iPhone 13 has been taken apart by the professionals at iFixit.
- iFixit has confirmed that replacing an iPhone 13 with a third-party display breaks Face ID.
- Face ID can’t be restored by switching Face ID components.
It appears the display is serial-locked, ensuring only Apple can do screen repairs.
Whenever Apple releases a new iPhone it’s only a matter of time before the folks at iFixit rip it apart. That’s now happened for iPhone 13 and the outfit has confirmed what we previously reported — third-party displays are a no-go on iPhone 13 if you want Face ID to work.
In a comprehensive teardown of an iPhone 13 Pro device, iFixit confirmed that Face ID requires an Apple display in order to work, despite the new Face ID setup actually making it easier to switch displays out. And while some had pondered whether transferring Face ID tech to the new display might get things up and running again, iFixit tried that with no luck.
Face ID works even when we disconnected the front sensor assembly. However, any display replacement knocks out Face ID. We tried transferring the sensors from the old display and porting over the Face ID hardware, but no dice. It looks like the display is serial-locked to the phone.
This, and the fact Apple’s devices are made of glass that breaks, means the iPhone 13 Pro tested by iFixit was given a repairability score of 5/10/ Not terrible, but far from great.
Apple put the iPhone 13 lineup on sale on September 27 and it’s undoubtedly the best iPhone lineup the company has ever offered. But it suffers from the same repairability issues other iPhones have, while adding the Face ID situation to the mix.
You can read the full teardown post to get the ins and outs of how this thing is put together and, importantly, how it comes apart.