Apple Inc's new iPhone 14 base model looks similar to its predecessor but is redesigned on the inside, making it much easier to repair cracks in the back glass, repair firm iFixit said in blog post Monday.
Glass backs returned to iPhones in 2017, but the way they were attached made them difficult to replace. Apple charged up to $599 to repair the back glass on some models, though much less for customers with AppleCare+, Apple's device insurance program.
Availability for the iPhone 14 began Sept. 16 and iPhone 14 Plus will begin Oct. 7. (Apple)
IFixit, which assesses the reparability of consumer electronics, said on Monday Apple has made major changes to the iPhone 14 base model. Previous iPhones had back glass glued to the phone's frame and buried under other components, meaning the device had to be almost totally disassembled to fix it.
In the iPhone 14, the back glass is held in place by just two screws one connector, making it easy to remove.
Pre-orders begin Friday with availability starting on Sept. 16. (Apple)
Apple did not mention the internal redesign when it announced the iPhone 14 earlier this month. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Given the cost of previous repairs "everyone was just living with phones with tape on the back," iFixit Chief Executive Kyle Wiens told Reuters. "This gives people a shot at getting them fixed. It also creates opportunities for local repair shops."
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 06: Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers a keynote address during the WWDC22 at Apple Park on June 06, 2022 in Cupertino, California. Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the annual WWDC22 developer conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/ ((Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) / Getty Images)
The costlier iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max still have the older style of glued-in glass back. Apple's phones have long been a target of repair industry critics who argued the devices were so hard to fix that consumers were more likely to discard them and buy a new device.
Apple has slowly started to embrace the repair industry in recent years as part of its environmental sustainability efforts. In 2019, Apple started selling tools, parts and manuals to independent repair shops. Last year, Apple began offering those items to the general public.