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Apple reportedly to make change on iPhone 13 screen repair problem

Repair shops found that replacing an iPhone 13 screen would break Face ID -- unless a microcontroller was moved to the new screen.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
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Apple will reportedly send out an update soon to keep the iPhone feature working. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

Apple's iPhone 13 came out in September, and it didn't take long for independent repair shops to find a big problem that would keep them from replacing the phone's screen. The iPhone maker reportedly will update the phone in the future to address this problem. 

Tech repair site iFixit on Nov. 4 reported about an issue that prevents the iPhone 13 from using Face ID after the phone's screen has been replaced. Apple will reportedly send out an update soon to keep the iPhone feature working after the screen has been swapped, according to The Verge on Tuesday.  

The source of the issue was a microcontroller that's paired to the iPhone 13 screen. When a screen gets switched, the small chip doesn't recognize the new screen and prevents Face ID from working. The only workaround was to remove the microcontroller from the old screen and solder it onto the new screen, which, due to its size, requires the use of a microscope. 

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Independent repair shops have been contending with Apple and other tech companies for years over accessibility on repairing products, an issue known as the right to repair. President Joe Biden issued an executive order in July to help farmers repair their own equipment, but third parties continue to push to repeal state legislation that prevents them from repairing devices.