iPhone Face ID repairs may soon no longer require a whole device replacement

The move could help reduce Apple's carbon footprint, according to a leaked memo.

David Imel for Engadget

Apple reportedly told employees its stores and authorized third-party repair shops will soon be able to resolve Face ID hardware issues without having to replace an iPhone entirely. Technicians may have access to a TrueDepth camera part that includes the Face ID and front-facing camera modules. They'll be able to swap it into an iPhone, according to an internal memo obtained by MacRumors.

The company reportedly said the part may lower the number of whole-device replacements, which will help reduce the company's carbon footprint. Although Apple didn't mention pricing for such repairs in the memo, it would make sense for a new part to be less expensive than a replacement device. What's more, consumers wouldn't have to be concerned about losing or having to restore their data.

The report notes that the part will be compatible with iPhone XS and newer devices. As such, iPhone X owners might miss out.

If Apple does offer authorized technicians the part, it seems like a good move for all involved. It should bolster Apple's repairability efforts a few months after the company said it would sell iPhone and Mac parts to consumers and offer repair guides to help them resolve hardware issues by themselves.

Shortly after the iPhone 13 was released, it emerged that Face ID stopped working in some cases if the screen was replaced by a third-party repair shop. Apple seemed to have resolved that issue with the rollout of iOS 15.2 in December.