Oops! Apple forgot to tell us about the best feature of the iPhone 14

Consumer tech giant Apple (AAPL -1.81%) just released the iPhone 14 product line. You know the drill, right? The processor is faster, the cameras are slightly nicer, and the new device offers some features that weren’t there last year.

Notably, iPhone 14 comes with an unexpected and very welcome improvement that may have some wool-dyed Android users convert iPhones. Yet Apple didn’t even mention this groundbreaking update at its launch event.

Yet still, it makes sense that Apple wants to keep a check on this major redesign. The company has solid business reasons for doing so. Let me explain.

Image source: Getty Images.

Apple’s intuitive secret

Apple is known for its strict limitation on home repairs.

iPhone and iPad are held together by special screws and quick-tempered glue. When you manage to replace the broken iPhone 13 screen yourself, you will find that the phone has lost its automatic brightness and ambient light adjustments. The only way to keep these features intact is to pay out of your own pocket for a repair authorized by Apple technicians, who can use a special connector to update the screen’s expected serial number.

However, the recently unveiled iPhone 14 series has made some radical design changes that make repairing much easier than any iPhone released in the past six years. Independent phone repair companies and enthusiasts, such as iFixit and Zack Nelson (JerryRigEverything), agree that this update is a game changer. Both the screen and the back panel are relatively easy to remove, making it a breeze to handle common phone repairs. This includes replacing a broken screen or all-glass back panel and no longer having to take the whole thing apart to replace the scratched camera lens.

“These changes to the iPhone will help it last longer and reduce its overall impact on the planet,” iFixit noted. “With any luck, it will inspire other producers to follow suit.”

In disassembling Zack Nelson’s iPhone 14, he stated that the parts that break most often are easy to repair in the iPhone 14. “I think the iPhone 14 screen and rear glass are now even more repairable than most. part of Android phones, which is something I never thought I’d say. ”

Keep in mind that this wasn’t a small nip-and-tuck redesign – it’s a complete rearrangement of the iPhone’s internal design. Every component inside the iPhone has been moved to fit the new chassis structure.

Whispering in a friend's ear on a city balcony.

Image source: Getty Images.

Why Apple isn’t hitting the table on this awesome update

This is arguably the most user-friendly iPhone platform change in years, but Apple is keeping quiet. Here’s how the iFixit team describes the situation:

All our – and your – work has paid off. Our defense, lobbying, screaming in the streets. We convinced Apple’s design team that repairability is important. Now we need your help to get their marketing team to talk about it.

Here’s the deal. Apple would market the light of day of the iPhone 14’s superb repairability if it wanted to steal customers from the target audience of the Android system. That’s not exactly the idea, though. Some Android users are more price-conscious than Apple’s almost fanatical enthusiasts. Cupertino has no interest in generating additional sales if it also has to lower the price.

This is especially true in this age of limited semiconductor supplies. Apple can already sell as many iPhones as it can. There is no need to reduce iPhone profit margins in this market.

The company could also make sure that an easily repairable phone can stay in your pocket longer. However, Apple would love to see you buy a new iPhone as often as possible, preferably every year. Why extend the service life of a highly profitable product?

Apple isn’t really opening the doors to home repairs or alternative repair shops just yet. Replacing your iPhone 14 screen will still remove a couple of useful features due to a missing serial number update, even if you’ve got your hands on a genuine screen from Apple factories.

What’s the big idea?

Instead, it appears that Apple wants to increase the profit margin on full iPhone repairs. The back glass of an iPhone 14 Pro Max can be extremely simple to replace, with less risk of failed repairs and shorter service times. However, Apple still charges $ 549 for that replacement. This is up from last year’s $ 399 cost for the same service on an iPhone 13 Pro Max.

It’s hard to say how important the AppleCare repair service is to the company’s bottom line. Apple does not break down this segment’s sales or operating profits in its financial reports, bundling its results with advertising, digital content, and payment services revenue in its services division.

But services are Apple’s second business category, behind only iPhone sales. It is also the fastest growing part of the company’s business. Anything Apple can do to expand profit margins in this crucial segment should be taken into consideration.

Making the iPhone easier to repair is a great example of that profit-boosting idea. Apple is not ashamed of making huge profits, which explains why many long-term investors love this stock.

Anders Bylund has no position in any of the aforementioned stocks. The Motley Fool has positions and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: March 2023 $ 120 long calls on Apple and March 2023 $ 130 short calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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