Apple acknowledged that the iPhone 14 was designed to be easier to repair, but it might have undersold that upgrade. iFixit has finished a teardown of this year’s base iPhone, and it’s clear that the device was reworked from the ground up with do-it-yourself fixes in mind. The back glass is easier and cheaper to fix, as promised, but used a metal midframe to keep the front just as accessible. The design is more repairable than the many Android phones that are only simple to open from the back, iFixit said.
The iPhone 14’s midframe maintains the same structural rigidity you saw in the 13 family. Apple had already moved the earpiece and front camera array to a more repairable location on the previous generation’s mainframe.
The iPhone 14 isn’t going to make Fairphone buyers regret their purchases. Apple still requires that customers and technicians activate parts after they’re installed, so you can’t just use an unofficial back instead of potentially pricier Self Service Repair components. Even so, iFixit claims this is the most repairable Apple handset since 2016’s iPhone 7.
The rework isn’t completely surprising. Apple is facing pressure to improve repairability from both the federal government and state legislatures. If it didn’t address at-home repairs with its designs, it risked battles with regulators that could force changes and dish out penalties. Whatever the reasoning, you probably won’t mind if you’ve been waiting for an iPhone that’s truly fix-friendly.