After the launch of new products such as the iPhone 14/Pro series, Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra, Apple Watch SE 2, and AirPods Pro 2 headphones, Apple quietly made some changes to the AppleCare+ plan. spread warranties on Apple products and increased coverage for accidental damage. While AppleCare+ used to offer accidental damage twice a year, these repairs are now “unlimited.” AppleCare+ pricing varies by device, and customers can choose to pay monthly or pay full price. For iPhone 14, AppleCare+ is $9.99 per month, or the full price of $199. It’s worth noting that even if you subscribe to AppleCare+, you still have to pay Apple for the service. That is if your device will need repairs.
Currently, Apple has reduced the difficulty of repairing the iPhone 14 series. However, the question of “who can repair it” has caused heated discussions. Apple’s iPhone 14 series appears to have tightened restrictions on third-party repairs to some degree. However, it is difficult to repair through third party channels. A third-party repair shop claims that it is quite easy to disassemble the iPhone 14. However, getting it to work again after disassembling it is quite difficult.
The new issue focuses on the iPhone 14 series’ All Weather Display (AOD). This is a feature that uses the phone’s two Ambient Light Sensors (ALS) to calibrate the brightness of the screen. To save power, the screen automatically turns off at night or when the phone is in your pocket. However, if your screen breaks and you replace it through a service center not authorized by Apple, the ALS will always be off. This will leave the screen permanently black unless you can remember exactly where the slider is.
Ambient light sensors have been a problem on older iPhones
The ambient light sensor has been an issue on previous iPhones. In fact, even the location of the driver is a problem. In the iPhone 12, for example, it is in a sensor curve that tilts on its own in the event of a mechanical failure. In iPhone 13, it moved to a new group of components, which reduces the risk of accidental damage. The iPhone 14 ALS is in a similar location, so any failure is a software related issue.
Youtuber @Hugh Jefferys posted a video on this topic where he swaps motherboards between two sets of new iPhones (14 and 14 Pro). Although all parts are new and original from Apple, these phones still have many bugs and functional failures. This includes but is not limited to FaceID, battery status, True Tone and auto-brightness, etc. Even the front camera is not working properly. The problem persists when you change them back. It was not fixed until I downgraded the phone to iOS 16.0.
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Namely, Apple has adopted a new “partial pairing” restriction on the iPhone 14 series. Every part of every phone is linked with a digital ID. The display will have a unique ID registered to its hardware. Therefore, whenever you check to put on the device, the id is verified. As far as the iPhone 14 is concerned, it only works when its “own” screen is active. If the original id is not detected correctly, sorry, it is a brick. At the same time, users will also see a series of error messages urging them to go to local Apple support for a replacement.
Only Apple can solve this
The only way to get around this is to manually approve a new matchmaking ID. This can only be done with internal software/tools by an Apple Authorized Technician. The process, which requires a technician to connect to Apple’s private network via the Internet, is “tightly controlled” by the company, the sources said. Before iPhone 13, third-party repair shops could use custom EEPROM programmers to resolve this issue. Service personnel can read the ID code of the original screen part and write it on the screen that needs to be replaced. This is usually a refurbished original screen, but unfortunately, this method is no longer available for the iPhone 14 series.
As a result of this policy, repair shops other than official Apple Stores will not be able to repair any new iPhone. However, the cost of joining official Apple Authorized Stores is so high for some small stores that many partner companies are reconsidering the status quo. “As an independent repairer, the Independent Repair Program (IRP) is not profitable enough to sustain a retail business,” said one of the people, who asked not to be identified.
But you should know that Apple has historically been opposed to users repairing their devices themselves, even if Apple previously released an official self-repair kit. Apple supports anti-repair entitlement groups and attempts to perform all repairs within its own service process. This has led to problems like high basic maintenance fees for some Apple machines.
Apple is shutting down third-party repairs for personal gain
The critics have been criticizing Apple which is crippling third party repairs for your profits. They claim that Apple’s monopolistic behavior is designed to make a profit. Nevertheless, Apple denies this, telling the US Antitrust Subcommittee that “the cost of providing repair services in 2019 exceeded the revenue generated from the repairs.” Apple did not explain whether this constitutes its entire repair business or if it is just repairs made under warranty.
The company was forced to loosen its grip on the right to repair, thanks to a concerted effort by regulators and activists. In 2019, the company said it would allow third-party repair shops to receive the same tools, parts, and manuals as its ASPs. Since then, the company has expanded the program to include Mac, iPhone and iPad repairs. On November 17, 2021, the company announced a self-repair program that will provide users with tools, parts, and manuals. But the end result is that consumers have to pay far more for repairs than they should or can afford to keep their iPhones running. For example, a third-party store using genuine Apple screens will cost around £140 to repair an iPhone 11 screen. The same repair at an Apple Authorized Store will cost close to £220. This compares to £95 for screen replacements done by third-party companies.