Get the Lowest Prices anywhere on Macs, iPads and Apple Watches: Apple Price Guides updated August 23rd


Apple enables software-based 3D Touch calibration for iPhones, simplifying repairs

As of Monday, Apple is allowing authorized repair outfits to use software calibration for 3D Touch on iPhones, which should streamline the repair process for both technicians and iPhone owners.

iPhone 3D Touch

The change was announced in a memo sent to service providers by Apple, the contents of which were obtained by iMore. AppleInsider can confirm the existence of the note, but not the specific contents.

Until this week, technicians repairing iPhone displays with 3D Touch were required to hook a phone up to a special "calibration fixture." This required providers to both own and set aside space for the hardware, which created inherent restrictions on who could perform display swaps.

However, this software calibration in no way removes the requirement to have external gear to fix an iPhone. The Touch ID sensor registration with the Secure Enclave and the rest of the hardware still requires a custom piece of hardware designed and supplied by Apple

3D Touch has been on most iPhones since 2015's iPhone 6s. The exceptions are the iPhone SE, and significantly the new iPhone XR, even though that product has other milestone technologies like Face ID and an edge-to-edge display.

The feature complicates the assembly and cost of iPhones though, and has failed to take off the way Apple originally envisioned. Many third-party developers have skipped support or implemented it in a limited manner, for instance enabling homescreen shortcuts and nothing else.