The growing right-to-repair issue has thrust the design and repair practices of major consumer electronics manufacturers into the spotlight. Unfortunately, leading suppliers such as Apple and Samsung have, at least for their smartphones, gone out of their way to discourage all but the most determined DIYers to attempt to replace even commonly damaged parts, such as the display, on their own. In the case of Samsung, the Korean electronics maker is seeking to block the import of off-brand phone display screens into the U.S., alleging these parts violate Samsung’ OLED patents.
Electronics hobbyist Hugh Jeffreys, who runs a popular YouTube channel where he explores repairing various consumer electronics products, recently attempted to undertake the repair of Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max, a highly touted smartphone that nevertheless is considered a major challenge to repair.
The six-month iPro 14 Pro Max Jeffreys takes apart and rebuilds saw its stainless steel frame snap from the phone being dropped, which in turn caused the display screen to separate. He said Apple’s quote of $1,150 to repair the phone prompted him to take a stab at repairing it.
Jeffreys spent over four and half hours working on the phone, dealing with far too many screws and adhesive strips, and shelling out over $500 for a new housing and display, the latter itself costing $379. To add insult to injury, the display screen Jeffreys used was immediately detected by the iPhone software as a third-party part and caused disabling of the display’s auto-brightness feature.
You can view Jeffrey’s iPhone 14 Pro Max repair experience here. Think twice before attempting this on your own.
Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News covering the electronics beat. He has many years of experience covering developments in components, semiconductors, subsystems, power, and other facets of electronics from both a business/supply-chain and technology perspective. He can be reached at [email protected]