Apple said it will abandon its plan to crack Face ID on independently repaired iPhones. When "unauthorized" iPhone 13 screen replacements began to cause the Face ID system to malfunction, the often disputed relationship between the company and the repair community was put to the test again. A new report from the technology website The Verge stated that Apple "will release a software update that does not need to transfer the microcontroller to keep Face ID working after changing the screen."
Industry and Apple opposed the "right to repair" law. Screen replacement is the most common smartphone repair. Apple installed a new microcontroller on the iPhone 13 display, which can pair the screen with other parts of the phone. According to iFixit reports, if a third-party repair shop replaces the iPhone 13 display, Apple will disable the phone’s Face ID system. The repair community has begun to refer to this partial dependence trend as "serialization." Each protected component reports a serial number to the operating system, and the software keeps track of which serial number the device should have. If you replace a component, one of the serial numbers will change, and the operating system will know it. In the case of a third party replacing the iPhone 13 screen, the phone will say, "Cannot activate the Face ID of this iPhone."
Authorized repair shops can use Apple’s proprietary software that pairs a new display microcontroller with the rest of the phone to re-enable Face ID. Unauthorized stores may replace the display microcontroller, but for the most common cell phone repairs, this is a dramatic increase that requires a microscope and delicate desoldering work. Face ID on iPhone 13 is a completely different component from the display, so there is no clear reason to lock Face ID after changing the display. However, according to iFixit, the result is an "unprecedented blockade" that "gives Apple the ability to approve or reject each repair."
After a wave of negative reports, the "crisis averted" in the maintenance industry. However, it would be nice if this was not a problem from the beginning.