Improving a device’s modularity and repairability isn’t just a hobby horse for right-to-repair activists—it can also significantly lower costs when something breaks. Case in point: the iPhone 15 Pro, which is said to pick up some of the same internal changes that Apple made to last year’s non-Pro iPhone 14 to make repairs easier.
Replacing the back glass in older iPhone X-style designs previously involved going in through the front of the phone, a tricky and involved process that made it expensive to pay for and extremely difficult to do by yourself. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 Pro change this, making it as easy to remove the back of the phone as it is to remove the screen and giving easier access to the battery and other components to boot.
To find the upshot, compare repair estimates on Apple’s iPhone Repair & Service page (via MacRumors). Fixing damaged rear glass on an iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max costs you $499 or $549, respectively, if you didn’t buy AppleCare+ protection for your phone. That’s half of what those models cost to buy brand new. For an iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, that charge falls dramatically, down to $169 or $199.
That’s an even larger drop than we saw for the non-Pro iPhone models, where repair fees fall from $349 for an iPhone 13 to $169 for an iPhone 14. The costs for other repairs, including for the screen, the rear camera assembly, or the battery, are the same for the iPhone 15 Pro as they were for the iPhone 14 Pro.
Because of all the internal changes, the teardown artists at iFixit declared the iPhone 14 “the most significant design change to the iPhone in a long time,” even though the phones look pretty similar on the outside to the iPhone 13 models that they replaced.
In addition to lowering Apple’s official repair prices, the repairability improvements should also lower cost and complexity for people who buy their own parts through Apple’s Self Service Repair Store or third parties like iFixit. Just be aware that for some repairs, including anything that replaces a FaceID sensor, TouchID sensor, or a touchscreen, you may need Apple’s first-party tools to re-pair and recalibrate these components before they’ll work properly, and third-party battery replacements may also generate warning messages.