Apple has always frowned on third-party, especially DIY, repairs to guard its secrets and reputation. It’s implemented hurdles in hardware design and software to discourage unauthorized repairs, though that hasn’t stopped the likes of iFixit from trying and fighting for the proper repair. The iPhone 13 series is not any different, but the iPhone 13 Pro teardown reveals some changes that make repairing the phone easier and harder at an equivalent time.
Getting into an iPhone is just about the normal fare for iFixit by now, but that doesn’t make it less precarious, considering you’ve got to start by heating up and prying off the display. It doesn’t help that the iPhone 13 Pro’s upper sensor cable is noted to be “scary thin and way too short,” almost like a call for participation in disaster. Fortunately, the remainder of the journey isn’t notably difficult either.
The L-shaped battery, which is larger this year, remains a pain point since it’s not easily removable. The great news is that replacing it not leads to a blocked phone. You’ll still get the scary warning message, but the iPhone 13 Pro will still function as normal.
On the flip side, replacing the earpiece speaker would require even more work now that it’s located inside the chassis instead of fixed to the rear of the display. Meaning that you’ll need to remove the logic board before you get to it, which successively requires removing other parts of the iPhone 13 Pro first. Fortunately, it’s not one of the foremost commonly broken components on a smartphone.
The relocation of the earpiece is a component of Apple’s plan to make the notch smaller for the iPhone 13 series. The opposite part involves combining the flood illuminator and dot projector into one module. That said, iFixit does note that this only makes the notch narrower but is as tall, so users aren’t exactly getting more vertical screen land anyway.