Apple's iPhone 13 line may have many new features, but it has a major limitation that makes it difficult for independent repair shops and individuals to replace damaged screens. Face ID won't work if you attempt to swap the screen. This is unless you are able to microsolder and move a tiny microcontroller between the screen and the new one.
Independent repair shops who rely on screen repairs for a substantial part of their business may find it more difficult to replace a common replacement. According to iFixit, authorized Apple shops don't have to deal with this problem as they have software that can convert an iPhone 13 into a new screen in just a few clicks. Many indie shops don't belong to Apple's Independent Repair Provider program. This program has restrictive terms that leave them to search for a way to fix iPhone screens.
This video by iCorrect shows how complicated the microcontroller switch can be. This repair takes a long time and requires special equipment. It is almost impossible to do this on your own for most iPhone owners.
Apple has been steadily pushing people away repair done by independent shops through the ominous warnings after battery swaps and screen repairs for some iPhones. The situation with Face ID breaking on the iPhone 13 means that those who need a screen replacement do not have many options.
AppleCare Plus can help you save money on screen repairs, but authorized repairs are more expensive than those that are certified. However, if you have other options, such as finding an independent shop that can handle the microcontroller swap, getting the screen replaced but losing Face ID, or simply living with the broken screen, an authorized repair may seem like the best choice, even though it might be the most expensive.
Apple did not respond to a request for comments.