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Apple backs down on evil repair antics

by on11 November 2021

If your iPhone 13 screen breaks you will not have to use Apple replacement

Fruity cargo cult Apple has backed down in the face of some stonking criticism for the evil way it handle broken iPhone 13 screen repairs.

For those who came in late, or believe the Tame Apple Press, Apple installed software in the iPhone 13 that bricked the unit if you didn’t use an official screen repair outfit. At the time Apple claimed the move, which involved installing a microcontroller to prevent the broken screen being swapped, was saving Apple fanboys from the perils “unauthorised" iPhone 13 screen replacements. What these perils were, Apple never said. We assume they were just too damn perilous and unauthorised to talk about.

Anyway, the microcontroller broke the iPhone 13’s Face ID if it thought that the screen had been installed by a profane person who was uninitiated into Apple’s fraternity of repairers who provided the company with a suitable cut of their profits.

However, much to its surprise fanboys were rather miffed at Apple and even the Tame Apple Press thought the move was a bit on the nose.

A new report from The Verge says that Apple "will release a software update that doesn't require you to transfer the microcontroller to keep Face ID working after a screen swap."

Screen replacements are the most common smartphone repairs because they are easy to break and if proudly shown off by fanboys to the wrong people are accidently dropped against hard objects.

The repair community has started calling this part-dependency trend "serialisation." Basically, each protected component reports a serial number to the OS, and the software keeps track of which serial numbers the device is supposed to have. If you swap out a part, one of the serial numbers will change, and the OS will know about it. In the case of third-party iPhone 13 screen replacements, the phone would say, "Unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone."

After a wave of bad press, it's "crisis averted" for the repair community. It would be nice if this was never an issue in the first place,  but people still insist on buying Apple products.


Last modified on 12 November 2021
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