Apple 12 anti design features

Sunday, 15 August 2021  |  Admin


Apple have been making it harder for us to repair phones since the iPhone 5s home button feature but more so with the 11 series upwards. They have put all sorts of serial numbers into their parts and coded them to the motherboard and once parts are changed for aftermarket and often even genuine parts the phones issue a nag screen warning to alert customers to this fact. Primarily it seems to be to warn the customer that a third party repair has been done. Even if we use genuine parts it claims we haven't We use genuine original reclaimed parts as they work better than after market parts but this doesn't stop apple's in phone software complaining as the original serial number doesn't;t match. Irritatingly they have now gone as far as disabling some features such as the battery health indicator despite it having a new battery fitted. (one of the web's biggest repair community websites) discovered that it is not possible to repair the iPhone 12's camera without access to Apple's proprietary, cloud-linked System Configuration app, raising questions over the repairability of the device.

iFixit says that it conducted exhaustive testing, compared notes with multiple repair technicians, and reviewed leaked Apple training documents to reach the conclusion that the ‌iPhone 12‌'s camera "is entirely unreliable when swapped between iPhones.". In fact from all the technicians we've spoken to it appears that even swapping one camera from one new phone stops a lot of the features working. Even though we know it's a know genuine part.

The matter was first addressed by Hugh Jeffreys on YouTube (see the link below for the full video)

Apple's internal training guides for the ‌iPhone 12‌, seen by iFixit, reportedly said that starting with the 12, authorized technicians will need to run Apple's proprietary, cloud-linked System Configuration app to fully repair cameras and screens. This is because Apple seems too have put serial numbers on all it's parts that are linked to the main processor and back to Apple's server and changing a part causes the phone to add a nag screen and indeed disable certain features. This seems to be designed to stop third party repair companies like ourselves offering aftermarket repair in local economies to help customers to save them the expense and time travelling to Apple Centres in the larger cities often far from where they live.

Although it may theoretically be possible to complete camera and screen repairs without Apple's proprietary technology, iFixit is pessimistic about what the move means for independent repair companies.

Apple, by design or neglect or both, is making it extremely hard to repair an iPhone without their blessing... It doesn't look good for independent repair. Apple is putting yet another question mark on a core component of the iPhone. Why? Why does a camera need to have its serial number authorized remotely by Apple just to let someone take pictures with their phone?

It is possible that Apple could address the ‌iPhone 12‌'s camera swap behavior with a future software update, but iFixit believes this is unlikely.

Taken together with the System Configuration document, and all the other bugs, tricks, and intentional lock-outs that Apple has put in the way of fully functioning iPhones, we take this as a sign that things won't get any better unless there is major change—from within, from customer demand, or from the law.

There is an argument to suggest that warning an ‌iPhone‌ owner about non-genuine parts, especially if the phone was bought used, is useful information, but iFixit notes that the camera module is not a security component.

It's a part prone to malfunction and damage, and can be harvested from otherwise-broken iPhones. Putting an authentication check on a simple camera swap poisons the iPhone repair and resale market. With no obvious benefit for iPhone buyers, it reeks of greed. Or worse: planned obsolescence.

Last week, iFixit scored the iPhone 12 a six out of ten for repairability. In response to this discovery about the camera module, iFixit is now actively reevaluating how its repairability scale scores iPhones going forward.

Watch the original video showing the problems faced by technicians like ourselves when trying to repair the iPhone 12


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