If we look at the exterior design, the iPhone 14 and 13 series aren’t that different. The only significant change is seen in the iPhone 14 Pro and the 14 Pro Max’s implementation of a notch in the form of Dynamic Island.
Internally, however, Apple has brought many changes to the new iPhone 14 series, it seems. Apple made several internal changes to the iPhone 14, making repairs much easier if recent teardown videos from iFixit are anything to go by.
Apple has been notorious for making design choices that make their devices extremely difficult to repair for anyone other than an Apple technician. Without proprietary tools and machines, it is tough for most repair shops to open up previous models of the iPhone.
iFixit, a tools company and one of the biggest supporters of the Right to Repair movement in the US, regularly publishes guides showing just how easy or difficult a new piece of tech can get for a layperson.
In iFixit’s teardown of the iPhone 14, the model is updated internally, including being able to be disassembled from the front and back. Usually, technicians have to remove the display to gain access to the internals for repairs, but now, the back glass can also be removed similarly.
Apple doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to enabling repairs. It has begrudgingly started to provide repair manuals and loan out tools to replace parts, but its products continue to be built in a way that can be considered challenging to fix.
In iFixit’s customary teardown of the iPhone 14, the model is updated internally, including being able to be disassembled from the front and back. Usually, technicians have to remove the display to gain access to the internals for repairs, but now, the back glass can also be removed similarly.
After applying heat and pulling the screen off carefully, the view of the inside of the iPhone 14 is blocked by a large metal panel, the midframe, with gaps to allow the camera and select connectors and components to poke through. It is reckoned that the design change should streamline screen repairs and protect components inside the iPhone that aren’t usually covered by a metal plate.
Opening the rear glass follows a similar procedure and is believed to be a massive change on Apple’s part. The back glass is typically the most challenging element to remove from an iPhone, costing users thousands of rupees.
The decision is a significant departure for Apple, as it previously allowed access via the display since it covers display and battery replacements, two everyday repair tasks. By allowing the rear glass to be removed for unrestricted rear access to components bar the display itself, Apple removes major hurdles for fixing the back glass if it happens to be damaged.
iFixit also praised how Apple could improve the rigidity and the strength of the device without hindering access to some of its internal components.