iOS 15.2 paves the way for DIY display replacements on iPhone 13

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iPhone 13 display repair
That's the end of that.
Photo: iFixit

Apple’s newest iOS 15.2 beta paves the way for DIY screen replacements on iPhone 13. Earlier versions of the firmware inexplicably disabled Face ID when a display was replaced by anyone other than Apple. But that’s no longer the case.

The change came just a day before Apple revealed its new Self Service Program, which will offer customers the parts and tools they need to carry out hardware fixes themselves — if they feel competent enough to do so.

Apple reverses Face ID block for iPhone 13 repairs

Apple has taken steps to make things difficult for third-party repair shops in the past, much to the frustration of customers looking for more affordable fixes. And it looked like that trend was set to continue with the new iPhone 13 lineup.

Soon after Apple’s newest smartphone made its debut, it was discovered that third-party display replacements — carried out at home or by unauthorized repairers — completely broke Face ID, even if genuine Apple parts were used.

There was no good reason for this move, since the Face ID sensors inside iPhone 13 are not touched in any way when replacing its screen. Fortunately for users, Apple seemingly recognized that and reversed the decision.

Its latest iOS 15.2 beta, which rolled out to registered developers on Tuesday, no longer prevents Face ID from working after an iPhone 13 screen has been replaced — regardless of who replaced it.

DIY repairs are now approved by Apple

On Wednesday morning, just hours after this change, Apple announced a major shift in its hardware repair policy. Starting next year, it will invite customers to purchase genuine parts and tools so that they can repair their own devices.

The Self Service Program will initially support iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, soon followed by Mac computers powered by M1 chips. It will make its debut in the U.S. next year before rolling out to other countries in 2022, Apple said.

Customers will be able to orders parts and tools from the new Apple Self Service Repair Online Store — after consulting an official repair manual to confirm they are comfortable with carrying out the required fixes.

Once the repair has been carried out, old parts can be returned to Apple for recycling, and customers will receive a credit toward their next purchase. What’s more, using genuine Apple parts won’t void your device’s warranty.