Reuters reports that, for the first time, Apple acknowledged the existence of what it calls the Horizon Machine, which it has been using at retail stores and mail-in repair centers. By the end of the year, it will supply the machines to outside parties completing authorized repairs, including Best Buy.
As described by Reuters, the device, about the size of a microwave, does not remove broken glass and physically replace it. Instead, after technicians replace the glass and fingerprint sensor using other specially designed hand tools, they put the device in the Horizon Machine, which ensures the new fingerprint sensor communicates with the processor so the phone can be unlocked.
Non-authorized repair shops can replace cracked glass – repair advocacy group iFixit provides a guide for replacing the iPhone 7 screen, for example – but Apple holds close to the chest the technology to pair fingerprint sensors with the phone’s software.
More stories about refurbishment/reuse
- Supply chain tech company nets $37.5M in funding
- Oregon debates consumer electronics right-to-repair bill
- Sims feels pressure from lower device prices, cost inflation