Face ID on the iPhone 13 stops working if a third-party replaces the phone's display

The limitation may be a bug.

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iPhone 13 Face ID
iFixit

With the addition of features like a 120Hz display on some models, Apple’s iPhone 13 lineup is many ways a step above the phones the company shipped last year. But when it comes to the question of repairability, the story is more complicated. Conducting a teardown of the device, iFixit found it couldn’t get the iPhone 13’s Face ID feature to work if replaced the phone’s display. No matter what workaround it tried, iFixit could not get Face ID to work again. By its estimation, the display on the iPhone 13 lineup is serial-locked to the device. “Right now, if you replace your screen, Apple kills your Face ID, unless they control the repair,” the company warns.

While obviously not a good look for Apple, there may be a simple explanation for what’s happening. iFixit says it spoke to a licensed repair technician who said they were told by Apple support that the issue is a bug the company plans to fix in a future iOS release. We’ve reached out to Apple for more information. If it turns that limitation is not a mistake, it would be a brazen move on Apple’s part given that the FTC, at the behest of President Joe Biden, recently voted unanimously to tackle unlawful repair restrictions.

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