Andy Harding has been running his small electronics-repair shop, Salem Techsperts, in Salem, Massachusetts, for the past eight years. He does steady business fixing phones for college students and nurses from the nearby hospital. But soon after the release of the iPhone 13 in September 2021, Harding noticed a minor change to Apple's software that he thought might shut down his small shop for good.
One of the most frequent repairs Harding does — and one of his biggest revenue drivers — is fixing cracked iPhone screens. But Apple added a new feature to the latest model that would detect when the display was swapped, including screen repairs, and then disable the FaceID feature. The shift freaked out the owners of many repair shops, including Harding.
"People pay good money for a phone with FaceID, and they want it to work," Harding told me recently. "Broken iPhone screens are the number-one repair for shops like mine. I couldn't survive without that part of the business."