The new iPhone 14 which came out in September of this year, is the easiest to fix since the iPhone 7 which dates from 2016. At a first glance, the iPhone 14 doesn’t look much different from the model it replaced. But the ones who look further than just the outside design will notice how Apple made lots of changes. Apple has completely modified the inner parts of the iPhone 14 to make it easier to repair. A major advance in the context of the Right to Repair movement.
Why Apple devices are hard to repair in general
Every smartphone repair expert would agree on the fact that it’s a bad idea for non-professionals to try to repair an iPhone themselves. In general, Apple devices are often seen as:
- Inaccessible: it’s hard to open Apple devices because adhesive is used to hold in place screens, batteries, cabling, and components. For the parts where Apple does use screws to hold parts together, mostly very tiny, non-standard screws are used. This prevents people from opening their devices.
- Non-modular: Apple products often have a non-modular design. This means that inner parts are glued or welded together into one single component, which makes it hard to take out components for replacement and repair.
- Non-interoperable: Apple devices generally only work with Apple-approved hardware. It’s not as easy for everyone to go out and buy an identical component to make the device work.
Change is coming? iPhone 14 is easier to open, repair, and upgrade
The newest iPhone 14 is one of the easiest-to-repair iPhones that Apple ever introduced. The adhesive seems to be more of a thing of the past; both the back and front open with just two screws. Glue is avoided more and for parts where an adhesive is used, it’s noticeable that it isn’t as strong and stiff as before.
iFixit gives the iPhone 14 a repairability score of 7 out of 10. That’s the best score they have given an iPhone since the release of the iPhone 7, which makes the newest generation of iPhones the most repairable one in years.
A very positive impact on the Right to Repair movement
For ages, there have been discussions about how unnecessarily difficult Apple's devices are to repair. Smartphone experts, Apple consumers and environment activists are just a handful of groups that do not agree with Apple’s way of working which makes it difficult to repair their devices. These groups are happy with the choices Apple made for its new iPhone 14. The advantages of an easier-to-repair iPhone are that it saves time, effort and money to repair the phone.
But, most importantly, this is a huge step in the right direction of The Right to Repair movement; a coalition of European organizations that push for system change around repair. This movement fights for consumers’ rights to be able to fix and repair their own devices, or at least let them have the choice about who repairs their product, so they don’t have to take their broken devices to the original makers to get an authorized repair.
Why the Right to Repair is such an important development
Letting consumers have more rights around the repair of their devices will have a positive impact on the environment. More repairable devices will make the product last longer and reduce e-waste. When repairs become easier, more accessible and cost-efficient, consumers will think twice before throwing away their damaged or broken device. Throwing away electronics results in e-waste; a growing and very harmful problem because e-waste can be toxic, is not biodegradable and piles up in our soil, water, and living things.
So, with a more repairable iPhone, Apple made a big step in supporting the Right to Repair. The design improvement is a big win. The changes of the newest iPhone will help it last longer and reduce its overall impact on the planet.
We are very happy with Apple’s first steps on a path back to long-lasting, repairable products because we believe that a sustainable, repairable world of technology is possible.