iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus

Editor’s Desk: Could the iPhone 14 be a sign Apple is softening its response to the right-to-repair movement?

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Year after year, we hear from smartphone repair experts and phone teardown YouTubers about just how bad the iPhone is to try and repair yourself. Swapping out parts isn’t easy and often renders your iPhone much less useful by shutting off some features. Apple calls this a feature of protecting the privacy of its users, but many others don’t agree.

The right-to-repair movement isn’t solely focused on Apple; however, Apple’s track record with some of its decisions does make it easy to call the company out for being antagonistic towards the movement. Is the iPhone 14 (opens in new tab) changing that? 

iPhone 14 has a separate glass back

As devices are starting to get into the hands of reviewers and customers alike, people have noticed that the back glass of the iPhone 14 is made to be removable (opens in new tab). This is definitely true on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models, and according to MKBHD, the iPhone 14 Pro (opens in new tab) and Pro Max also have this feature. So what does that mean for you?

Well, for starters, the back glass panel is now a separate piece from the rest of the phone, meaning no ribbon cables or other components are attached to the back glass at all. This is starkly different from previous models, which often needed special and expensive equipment to take off.

In theory, this should make it much easier to replace the back glass if it ever breaks and simplify accessing the entire internals of the phone for any other repairs you may make. 

Could it be the start of a fully self-repairable iPhone?

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