Apple’s iPhone 12 will likely have a new design. Will it be easier to repair?


Apple’s known for its obsessive focus on the iPhone’s design.

Angela Land/CNET

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

When Apple’s 5G iPhone 12, or whatever it’s called, gets announced on Tuesday, Oct. 13, during the company’s online-only launch event, industry watchers will be looking closely to see how Apple sells us on 5G wireless, its new chips and cameras, and whatever other new features it might pack in. (Here are all the final iPhone 12 rumors we’ve heard, and the latest major leak.)

But it’s the design that may end up being its most important feature. The new iPhone is expected to shave the device’s curved edges into squares, much like those on the current iPad Pro.

That’ll draw the attention of repair experts around the world, who will rush to YouTube and Twitter once they get hold of the device to start dissecting it down to each seam, screw and cable inside to learn what’s fixable and what isn’t.

“Apple’s the best at everything they do except serviceability,” said Kyle Wiens, head of repair instruction and parts site iFixit, which typically rushes to perform online tear-downs of new Apple devices when they launch. 

People like Wiens highlight an increasingly public debate within the tech industry over form and function. As gadgets from computers to phones get smaller and lighter, people around the tech world are wondering how far this push for slim design will go, and whether it’ll take precedence…