Apple Announces Face ID Repair Solution For iPhone X

Apple is said to be working on a new Face ID repair solution for the iPhone X that doesn’t need replacing the entire handset (via MacRumors). The choice follows Apple’s recent announcement that it would soon provide a TrueDepth Camera service that will repair the face unlock function on the 2018 iPhone XS and subsequent models, but not the 2017 iPhone X. Because it’s a pretty sophisticated system including four components: a flood illuminator (part of the display structure), dot projector, “TrueDepth” front camera, and an IR camera, repairing just the Face ID component can be tough. If any of these components fail, you may lose face unlock functionality and have to use a password instead.

Malfunctioning Face ID Can Now Be Repaired

Apple’s previous solution for a malfunctioning Face ID was to replace the entire device with a new refurbished one. And that could be acceptable for customers who have otherwise undamaged phones, an AppleCare guarantee, and don’t mind a gleaming new iPhone. However, because most iPhone X owners don’t have a valid AppleCare warranty since the device’s retirement in 2018, a full replacement will set them back $549. The price of the TrueDepth camera replacement has yet to be determined. However, whole-unit replacements may be inefficient in terms of the supply chain, and data transfers to a new device are always inconvenient — especially for people who do not subscribe to Apple’s iCloud backup service. 

Face ID has also been a stumbling block in the display replacement market, necessitating the transfer of a delicate flood illuminator part and earpiece set up to the new screen to keep the face unlock.

It was also tough to change the screens of the most recent iPhone 13 models without removing Face ID at first. Since then, Apple has fixed it with a software update. They announced a handy scheduled self-repair program that would allow end-users and third-party service providers with parts and equipment to replace screens, batteries, and cameras — but the TrueDepth Camera component is still not listed.