Apple hasn’t exactly been known to offer devices that are easy to repair. However, the company has been taking some positive steps toward making do it yourself (DIY) repairs a little easier. The Apple iPhone 14 teardown shows just how far Apple has come. It may not have fully embraced Right to Repair yet, but the company certainly isn't opposing it outright.
With the “Self Service Repair” program, Apple took its first baby steps toward granting iPhone owners the ability to perform repairs themselves. The previous generation of Apple devices seemed to strongly dissuade performing DIY repairs. The design philosophy to consciously make repairs harder seems to have been shelved for the just-released iPhone 14.
Apple has traditionally used glue and solder liberally to essentially seal its iPhone devices shut. However, the iPhone 14 is surprisingly easy, painless, and risk-free to open, indicates a teardown video from iFixit. Speaking about the significant redesign which allows performing repairs at home, iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens said:
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. With any luck, it will inspire other manufacturers to follow suit. All of our—and your—work has paid off. Our advocating, lobbying, yelling in the streets. We've convinced Apple's design team that repairability matters
The iPhone 14 features a butterfly-style design with a pop-off screen and back plate. Simply put, instead of using expensive hardware to soften the glue holding the screen and the backplate, both components come apart after removing a single pair of screws. The smartphone has surprisingly easier-to-remove adhesives. Apple even ditched its easy-to-break and difficult-to-repair grounding welds in favor of "electromagnetic interference fingers". They help spread electromagnetic interference across the entire rear panel.
Although disassembling an iPhone device may have become a little easier, Apple has retained software restrictions. This means newly-added iPhone components require activation from Apple. Needless to mention, this allows Apple to remain the sole supplier of spare parts and no third-party components will work reliably.