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Apple secretly redesigned the iPhone 14 to make it easier to repair

Updated Sep 29th, 2022 11:04AM EDT
iPhone 14 repair being performed by iFixit.
Image: iFixit

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While the iPhone 14 Pro is a significant upgrade over the previous generation, the iPhone 14 isn’t quite as huge of a leap forward. The iPhone 14 looks virtually identical to the iPhone 13. It’s the same size, has the same notch, and the camera looks the same. It even uses the A15 chip, but it turns out that Apple secretly made one massive change to the base model that didn’t make headlines: The iPhone 14 is the most repairable iPhone in years.

Apple’s devices are famously difficult to repair. Consumers even sued Apple over the right to repair their own devices. Apple has seemingly taken that criticism in stride, as the iPhone 14 is a totally different beast than its latest predecessors.

According to iFixit, Apple completely redesigned the architecture of the iPhone 14 (but not the Pro models). These changes make it significantly easier to remove the back glass panel as well as the display. This “introduces a world of engineering challenges,” iFixit claims, but Apple put in the work to improve repairability beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

You can learn more on iFixit’s website, but we’ll run through a few of the main points. First, the black glass of the iPhone 14 is secured by two screws and one connector. The adhesive is “less aggressive” than on old models as well. Those same screws also give repairers access to the screen. Opening an iPhone hasn’t been this easy in a long time.

Here’s iFixit’s Kyle Wiens singing Apple’s praises in his iPhone 14 teardown:

This design improvement is a big win. These changes to the iPhone will help it last longer and reduce its overall impact on the planet. […] If you’re trying to decide whether to go with the 14 or the Pro or Pro Max, from a repairability perspective the answer is clear: It’s the 14 all the way. Let’s hope this advanced design becomes the standard across the iPhone 15 lineup.

As a result, iFixit awarded the iPhone 14 with a 7/10 repairability score. That’s the best score an iPhone has received since the iPhone 7, which came out in 2016. It can even tell you when you’re in a crash. And then when it’s in a crash, the iPhone 14 can be easily repaired.

More Apple coverage: See what the inside of the iPhone 14 looks like.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.