Apple has redesigned the iPhone 14 base model from the inside out, making it far easier to repair, says teardown specialist iFixit
The base model of Apple’s new iPhone 14 is far easier to repair than other recent iPhone versions, according to tech repair experts iFixit.
The company said Apple had completely redesigned the interior of the iPhone 14 to make it easier to access both the front screen and back glass panels, something Apple did not mention in its official announcement.
In fact, most reviewers said the iPhone 14 appeared to be nearly identical to the iPhone 13.
“Apple has gone back to the drawing board and reworked the iPhone’s internals to make repair easier. It’s an upgrade so seamless that the best tech reviewers in the world didn’t notice,” iFixit said in a blog post.
Apple introduced a glass back panel with the iPhone 8 and it became far more difficult to repair beginning with the iPhone X.
Removing the back glass panel requires removing all the components from the device, after which the repairer must deal with a powerful adhesive holding the back panel down.
The simplest method of doing so involves using a laser to vaporise the adhesive before shattering the glass and scraping the shards off with razor blades and cutting tools, making it impractical for DIY repair, iFixit said.
Apple charges hundreds of pounds to repair the back glass, although it is far less with Apple’s insurance programme, AppleCare+.
iFixit said that unlike those difficult-to-repair models, the back glass of the iPhone 14 base model is secured with two screws and a single connector.
“Apple has seemingly used a slightly less aggressive adhesive, making opening it up a tad easier than screens of yore,” iFixit said.
The same process also allows access to the front screen.
iFixit gave the iPhone 14 a repairability score of 7 out of 10, the best score since the iPhone 7, before back glass was introduced.
Right to repair
The firm said the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max still use the old design.
Apple has been courting phone repairers in recent years as part of its sustainability efforts, in 2019 starting to sell tools, parts and manuals to third-party repair shops and last year to the general public.
But it has a long history of producing difficult-to-repair products, such as the AirPods Pro, which in 2019 were given a zero repairability rating by iFixit.
Last November iFixit found that if the construction of the then-new iPhone 13 made it prohibitively costly for third-party shops to carry out a basic screen repair, an issue Apple later fixed.