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Apple executive praises iPhone 14 repairable glass back

Published Feb 9th, 2023 11:31AM EST
iPhone 14 repairability
Image: The Sydney Morning Herald / Apple

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The iPhone 14 series launched five months ago. While the Pro versions were praised due to the new camera system and the redesigned Dynamic Island cutout, the regular models didn’t get the attention Apple was expecting.

Even the Plus model, which offers the best battery in an iPhone ever, has seen poor sales. The latest information about the popularity of the iPhone 14 Plus comes from well-known display supply chain analyst Ross Young. According to his report, the iPhone 14 Pro models account for 75% of Apple’s display shipments. The number should continue to grow at the expense of lesser models, especially the iPhone 14 Plus.

To shed light on the benefits of the regular models, Apple’s longtime senior director of iPhone design, Richard Dinh, spoke with The Sydney Morning Herald about these models. One of the things he approached was about Apple not always bringing Pro features to the regular version but doing something entirely new:

“We don’t always follow a recipe, as much as maybe our customers would like to predict what we’re going to go do next, but it always starts with the customer experience,” he said, noting that a standard phone might have different goals for performance, weight, longevity and photography than the Pro models. “Sometimes we do draw from the Pros because they’re just incredible, and we’re bringing some of that hardware to a broader audience, and sometimes we go do something different.”

Although the latest model looks similar to the previous generation on the outside, Apple has brought a redesigned architecture to reduce weight, make it faster, and improve repairability.

“Since iPhone 5, we’ve used a single enclosure design, what we call a bucket design, and then since iPhone 8 with the introduction of wireless charging, we added the back glass, which was permanently affixed to the aluminium housing,” said Dinh, while poking at opened iPhones on a desk. (…) “[The iPhone 14 ] design also introduces our first four-sided stacked main logic board [which] really condenses all the iPhone 14 components in a smaller space and allows us to access the board from either side, for improved repairability.”

That said, repairing an iPhone 14’s back costs $275, while doing the same repair for an iPhone 13 will cost $579. Apple explains that since the display and internal components are now separate, there’s also less chance of accidental damage during repairs.

You can read the full interview here.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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