How Apple made iPhone 14s easier to repair

This year, Apple has decided to focus the novelties on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. As a result, the iPhone 14s have almost the same characteristics as the 2021 model. And on the design side, almost nothing has changed.

At least, that’s what we thought, looking at the front, the back, or the edge of the iPhone 14. In reality, inside, everything has changed. This is what is revealed by an article published by iFixit, the specialist in smartphone repairs.

Indeed, if the appearance of the iPhone 14 is reminiscent of that of the iPhone 13, Apple has completely revised the design of the interior of the smartphone. iFixit even talks about the “The biggest design change to iPhone in a long time. »

A model easier to repair

In its article, the iFixit recalls that when Apple launched the first iPhone, it opened at the level of the screen. So repairing the screen was easy. But that of other components was more complicated.

Then, with the iPhone 4, Apple opted for another architecture, with an opening back that facilitated the repair of certain components, but which made replacing the screen complicated. And on the iPhone 5, the firm returned to the opening from the screen.

The configuration adopted by Apple from the iPhone 5 facilitated screen replacements and battery replacements, the two most common operations. On the other hand, replacing the back had become complicated.

This was not really a problem, before the release of the iPhone 8, when the firm decided to release iPhones with glass backs, and therefore fragile.

According to the explanations of the repair specialist, the adhesive used by Apple to hold the back of the iPhone 11, 12, or 13 on the chassis is so strong that the usual techniques do not work to remove and replace this back.

“Repair shops deploy a variety of aggressive chipping and scraping techniques to remove glass while carefully working around welded camera frames. The “easiest” way uses a laser to systematically vaporize the adhesive before breaking and scraping off shards of glass with razor blades and cutting tools”we read in the publication.

On the iPhone 14, Apple has made the rear glass removable. The firm used a less aggressive adhesive which facilitates the opening. And moreover, this window is only held by two screws and a connector.

iPhone 14 teardown ifixit

© iFixit

These same screws also hold the screen, which means that repairers only have to remove two screws, and they have an opening in the back as well as on the front. No need for a laser or destroying the rear window to replace it.

iPhone 14 teardown ifixit

© iFixit

The video below, posted by iFixit, shows how easy it is to disassemble.

Apple is “back on the drawing board”

According to the company, Apple had to go to great lengths to make this change in repairability possible.

“The new metal frame that supports the structure required a complete internal redesign, as well as an RF redesign and an effective doubling of their perimeter protection against infiltration. In other words, Apple went back to the drawing board and reworked the internals of the iPhone to make it easier to repair. It’s such a seamless upgrade that the world’s top tech reviewers didn’t notice.”writes iFixit.

In essence, if this standard model of the iPhone 14 series seemed boring at first glance, this one actually benefits from a significant internal design change that makes the product easier to repair, especially if you break the glass back.

iFixit gave a repairability rating of 7 out of 10. The last iPhone to receive such a rating was the iPhone 7. And the most amazing thing is that according to the company, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max the old architecture.

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And for Android smartphones

With the double opening on the front and back, the iPhone 14s also stand out from most Android models. Indeed, on the majority of devices using the Google operating system, the opening is on the back, which makes screen repairs complicated.

“Any repair technician will tell you that screen swaps on the Galaxy are much more difficult than screen swaps on the iPhone. You need to peel off the back panel and then systematically work through the phone removing the components. After everything is essentially disassembled, you’re left with the display assembly. Then you need to assemble your whole phone! »explains iFixit.


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