It’s extremely common for iPhone troubles to occur, especially when there’s a new upgrade in line. There are minor issues that begin to pop up, such as battery draining or problems
with chargers recognizing the device. We have been repairing iPhones with these problems (and cracked screens, water damage, etc.) for many years; but it was not until the most recent generations that repair technicians realized that Apple seems to have an upper hand.
Made to Break
The past three iPhone generations, like the iPhone 7 and 8 plus had their own issues, such as Apple using three different display manufacturers that weren’t fully interchangeable. Similarly, the new iPhone 12 faces its own issue; when replacing a camera module from one iPhone 12 to another, the phone will reject the replacement part. Since its release there have been faults which appear when attempting to replace the camera. These issues are described as not only being hardware-related, but also glitches within the cloud system. Some other problems when attempting to replace parts include display unresponsiveness, bugs, and when switching camera modes. It’s possible to take apart the new iPhone 12, but here is our run down on where the repair process may get complicated.
Restricting repairs with serialization
Technicians who independently run repair shops often fix these issues with tools that change serial numbers stored on tiny EEPROM chips. These chips are “soft” serial number issues that are easily fixable by repair shops. Next, the “hard” serialization number issue was brought to light when the iPhone 5s was released, which featured a touch ID fingerprint. This sensor could not be replaced without Apple tech reprogramming called “Secure Enclave” which was configured within the phone. Serialization is not security, there is a difference between hard versus soft serialization. By placing authentication security checks on simple parts to the iPhone, the repair and resale market is now limited. With no obvious benefit to the consumers, Apple is looking for any opportunity to make a greater profit.
iPhone 12 repair cloud authorization
Interestingly enough, the iPhone 12 Pro appears to work fine when its cameras were interchanged. According to Apple’s internal training guide, the next generation (starting with the iPhone 12) official instruction manual moving forward for authorized technicians, would need to run Apple’s proprietary cloud-linked System Configuration app to fully repair cameras and screens. Apple is making it clear that they are pushing to tighten restrictions on third-party repairs using environmental goals as the security measure. So while this doesn’t mean a third-party repair on an iPhone won’t work, it does mean that there are issues which may arise, this is yet another example of Apple’s “attack” on independent repair shops.
Restrictions on Third-Party Apple Repairs
This doesn’t mean that an iPhone camera, or screen, will not work at all without an official tech’s touch. It’s possible for there to have been a glitch, since the iPhone 12 Pro itself had no issues with the camera replacement. This just makes the question arise why such extreme security precautions are needed over a simple repair of a camera mode or screen. With our findings, the hardware system is easy to repair, but Apple continuously keeps on increasing its technology hurdles and intentional lockouts. Hopefully the large corporation will provide answers in the future. It only makes sense for consumers to be able to access the same tools that Apple provides to their technicians. The customer purchases the phone, that means Apple shouldn’t make people have to pay over the top costs to have the iPhone repaired.