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Released September 20, Apple's largest and most expensive 2019 smartphone features a 6.5" OLED display, a triple-lens camera system, and greatly improved battery life. Successor to the iPhone XS Max.

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Earpiece Replacement and Face ID Functionality

I’ve been asked to replace the front earpiece for an iPhone 11 Pro Max. Will Face ID still work after replacing this part? I’m a bit uncertain about this from the repair guide: “The flood illuminator forms part of the biometric Face ID security feature, and Face ID functions will fail if the original component is damaged or incorrectly installed. Replacing it with a new part will also cause Face ID to fail, so take extra care not to damage any of these components during this procedure”.


Link to guide: iPhone 11 Pro Max Earpiece Speaker and Front Sensor Assembly Replacement

It seems that the flood illuminator is included in the earpiece that needs to be replaced. Anyone have any experience with this repair?

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Just as an update for anyone researching this subject, I ended up creating a guide for this process; it's on an iPhone X, but the final steps are identical so it should work just as well for other models of the iPhone with Face ID.

iPhone X Earpiece Speaker Replacement Without Losing Face ID

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Hello Lucas - from what I gather if you are replacing the whole Earpiece and front sensor flex assembly on any iPhone with FaceID, FaceID will then stop working. This is because it is paired to individual iPhone, and when changed the phone knows it has been replaced so deactivates FaceID. You will need to use the original earpiece flex assembly to retain FaceID. So in short, yes, replacing the earpiece and sensor flex cable should deactivate FaceID sadly. Hope this helps (:

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is there any way to replce the speaker only and not the flex cable assembly, so that the face id does continue work (assuming face id works currently on a 11 pro max)?

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@tatertech @dp70737 - Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. I took a look at this thinking you were out of luck, but ran across a video of a guy who figured out how to replace just the speaker without the illuminator, preserving Face ID functionality.

iPhone 11 Pro Max Ear Speaker and battery Replacement Keep Face ID Detailed - YouTube

Turns out there are only two points where the flex cable is soldered to the speaker assembly, and they're frankly not all that hard to get to and desolder. Actually didn't look like a particularly difficult repair, to be honest. You can look more extensively yourself, but a quick check on Amazon shows they do sell just the speaker without the flex and illuminator, so you don't even have to disassemble a new one to get the speaker.

AmazonSmile: Earpiece Ear Speaker for iPhone 11 Pro Max - MEEFIX Earspeaker Internal Sound Receiver Replacement Part : Cell Phones & Accessories

Who'd a thunk it? Looks like you're in luck!

Edit: I snagged the picture from the replacement guide and marked where the two solder points are, along with a piece that's held on with adhesive. The guy in the video just unsoldered the two points then hit the part in the square with a heat gun; it only took a moment before it came right off.

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@dadibrokeit

That’s exactly it!

It really is that easy just as you explained it!

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@hellomacos - Awesome! If you're feeling ambitious while you're at the repair, it sounds like you'd help quite a few people if you took pictures along the way and wrote a guide on how to do that repair. If need be, you can copy the existing guide up to step 22 and use that to cut down the amount of work you have to do dramatically.

Let us know how it goes!

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@jason_b, This procedure will indeed work for an iPhone XS, but I don't believe it will help your situation.

In theory, changing the screen should not affect Face ID, as long as you correctly transfer the front sensor assembly from the original screen to the replacement. Sadly, it is all too easy to damage parts of that earpiece speaker assembly if you don't take the utmost care with it, and if that happens there's nothing else that can be done to get it working again outside of taking it to Apple and having them replace the screen.

So no, this procedure isn't what you want. It only lets you change out the speaker while leaving the rest of the sensor components intact so that Face ID continues to work. It will do nothing if your Face ID is already dead.

The first thing we need to know is, when the original screen was replaced, did whoever did the work transfer the earpiece speaker assembly to the new screen? If not, then your Face ID would stop working. If they did transfer the earpiece speaker assembly, then they did something wrong and may have damaged a component, rendering your Face ID unusable.

In the first case where they simply replaced the screen without transferring the earpiece speaker assembly, AND you still have the original screen, then yes, it may be possible to restore Face ID by finally doing the transfer from the old screen to the one that's on the phone now. That is the ONLY circumstance here where you may be able to restore Face ID.

Here's the guide to replacing those components.

iPhone XS Earpiece Speaker and Front Sensor Assembly Replacement - iFixit Repair Guide

You will need to remove it from the original screen, remove whatever is mounted on the screen you're using now, then put the original parts onto your current screen. If everything goes as planned, you may get your Face ID working again. Note that you may have to do a hard reset or perhaps even a restore to get the components recognized again.

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It will work, just be careful not to damage it.

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THis will work for iphone XS? I've had two aftermarket screens put in my XS and los teh face Id after the first new screen. I STILL have my ORIGINAL screen so that means I can fix the face id buy swapping this over??

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It should restore Face ID if the front facing camera and Face ID pieces weren't damaged and you transfer them to your current phone screen

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