The iPhone 15 Pro has a discreet iPhone 14 feature that makes repairs much cheaper

The iPhone 15 Pro boasts several key upgrades over the iPhone 14 Pro, but Apple’s latest flagship also inherits an important feature of the standard iPhone 14 that makes repairing the device easier and cheaper.

During its September 2023 launch event, Apple confirmed that both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max feature a “new internal chassis architecture” that allows their respective back glass panels to be “easily replaced” (read: removed). 

This “new” chassis architecture was actually a feature of last year’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models, but the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max were instead stuck with an integrated rear frame that – if damaged – needed to be replaced in its entirety (at a cost of $499 / £519 / AU$879 for the former phone, and $549 / £559 / AU$899 for the latter).

The cost of replacing the rear glass panel of the iPhone 15 Pro, by contrast, amounts to just $169 / £169 / AU$275 on Apple’s official repair site (as spotted by 9to5Mac’s Ian Zelbo), with the same repairs to the iPhone 15 Pro Max listed as costing just $199 / £199 / AU$319.

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In other words, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are much, much cheaper to repair than previous Pro-level iPhones; a seriously welcome upgrade that shouldn’t fly under the radar when it comes to discussing key iPhone 15 features.

It’s worth clarifying that – like the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus – the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus also feature removable, easier-to-replace glass rear panels. And if you’re subscribed to Apple Care, the cost of replacing the rear glass panel on any iPhone 15 model amounts to just $29 / £25 / AU$45 – the same as always.

Is the tide turning on expensive tech repairs?

Clipart image of workers repairing a broken phone

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Vikpit)

News of these reduced iPhone repair costs comes after Apple publicly expressed its support for the Right to Repair bill in California, which could soon open up a much more competitive Apple repair market and, ultimately, make iPhone and MacBook repairs even cheaper for consumers.

Once the bill is enacted – in California, at least – the Right to Repair act will require manufacturers of products that cost over $99.99 (so, all iPhones) to make parts, tools and repair diagnostics readily available for seven years after the point of production. This should ensure that consumers aren’t left high and dry once an expensive tech product reaches the end of its warranty period.

“It feels like the Berlin Wall of tech repair monopolies is starting to crumble, brick by brick,” iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens said in a statement following Apple’s expression of support for the Right to Repair bill. And Apple’s commitment to reducing the cost of in-house iPhone repairs only bodes well for the future of third-party iPhone repair costs.

More iPhone 15 stories (Axel Metz)

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