Replacement iPhone screens don't work properly with iOS 11.1 and later

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Weird things are happening to iPhones that have had their screens replaced by third-party repair houses, and it has a whiff of conspiracy theory to it.

On Monday Motherboard reported that iPhone 8 users were finding that their phones bricked after updating to iOS 11.3. Owners claimed that their devices had worked fine before the update, but after installing 11.3, their screens lost touch functionality. The common thread between all the bricked phones was that they had been repaired using aftermarket screens.

Now it appears that those with aftermarket screens are not the only ones being affected by display problems after the update. According to Engadget, some repair shops using genuine Apple replacement screens in iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X are finding that the displays will no longer auto-adjust the brightness. It is a subtle glitch and one that does not entirely make the device useless, but it is still not an acceptable issue that users should have to swallow. This concern is not only isolated with iOS 11.3, but also affects devices running 11.1 and 11.2.

These problems are understandably frustrating for users, but third-party repairers share in the frustration as well.

"We don’t even do the 8 repairs this year."

Georgia-based repair shop Injured Gadgets CEO Aakshay Kripalani told Motherboard, “This [loss of touch functionality] has caused my company over 2,000 reshipments.”

Where the story gets conspiratorial is that some shops using genuine Apple parts are saying that those same screens function fine when replaced by Apple. Third-party service providers are wondering how it is that their repairs are failing while Apple’s are not.

“Customers are annoyed, and it seems like Apple is doing this to prevent customers from doing 3rd party repair,” said Kripalani.

Repair tech Michael Oberdick said his shop intentionally refuses to do iPhone 8 repairs. “We don’t even do the [iPhone] 8 repairs this year, on purpose. I had a really good feeling that something like this was going to happen again,” he said.

Oberdick was referring to a similar problem with iPhone 7s last October that sprung up after the iOS 11.0.3 update. In that instance, Apple quickly issued a patch that resolved the problem. In all likelihood, the same will happen this time.

The last thing Apple needs is a bunch of angry users with bricked devices, especially after the FTC has just come down on several companies regarding the legality of placing “warranty voiding” stickers in their devices.

While the FTC did not mention which companies it had targeted, Apple is known to void warranties if they can detect that the phone has been opened. A device can even have its warranty voided when official Apple parts are used outside of an authorized repair facility.

Whether there is anything to the conspiracy remains to be seen. Perhaps it is just an honest bug in iOS 11.3, or maybe it is Apple fighting back and turning up the heat on the Right to Repair movement that we have reported on numerous times in recent months.

So far Apple has not responded to requests for comment.

Permalink to story.

 

Panda218

TS Evangelist
Sounds a lot like Apple being *******s like usual. I stopped repairing iPhones for people and tell them to go to the apple store. I don't need the extra headaches when software bricks devices or causes issues again. I had done quite a few screen and touch ID replacements. An iOS update came through and bricked devices with a 503 error and people were angry with me.
 

MaikuTech

TS Evangelist
An iOS update came through and bricked devices with a 503 error and people were angry with me.
Even when you know its not your fault at the end of repair job, it makes you want to go down to the manufacturers area and hurt people.
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
I've replaced many screens, buttons, ports in android devices, but I WON'T touch an apple device. "Can you fix my iphone"...yes, but I won't...take it to Apple. But...but...they charge so much. I said yeah, and when I fix it, they will push an update that bricks something. You overpaid for an iphone, then over pay for the repair.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
If professional repair shops are having these issues with genuine parts, I find it hard to believe Apple can explain this away. When the only variable changed is the location the repair has taken place but the parts used are the same, it's unlikely a software issue. To me it seems like Apple is continuously testing it's customers by seeing how much they can take away without them noticing.
 
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Puiu

TS Evangelist
If professional repair shops are having these issues with genuine parts, I find it hard to believe Apple can explain this away. When the only variable changed is the location the repair has taken place but the parts used are the same, it's unlikely a software issue. To me it seems like Apple is continuously testing it's customers by seeing how much they can take away without them noticing.
It seems the screens have an ID attached to them and the software checks for it after the update.
 
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MaikuTech

TS Evangelist
I had a feeling that was it but I was going to say the digitizer on the lcd isn't fully registering for the apple phone to take it.
https://batteryfort.com/products/replacement-iphone-7-plus-screen-replacement-lcd-digitizer-touch-screen-kit?gclid=Cj0KCQjwh7zWBRCiARIsAId9b4phJj2GnmbRRU9PZc85XLVQPB6jvSoAL8Mwm_zfHDWB5-J43-fBpgAaAiLTEALw_wcB
Apple could role out a hot fix to allow certain authorized lcd parts to work even if it is out warranty.
https://support.apple.com/iphone/repair/screen-damage
 

gusticles41

TS Evangelist
It's one thing to disallow third party screens from day 1. It's a whole other level of A-hole to do it after someone's repaired their phone.

If that's actually the case get ready for a class-action lawsuit.
 
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Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member
It's one thing to disallow third party screens from day 1. It's a whole other level of A-hole to do it after someone's repaired their phone.

If that's actually the case get ready for a class-action lawsuit.
That's what I was thinking too. Some people were reporting that their replacement screens were working fine until they updated the OS. That is not good and it's not going to look good in court either.
 
Is this just affecting the iPhone 8, or would older models also be affected?

If so, then I guess that means my wife can never update her iPhone 6 to iOS 11 -- we're still currently using iOS 10, but we had to replace her screen last year when it cracked, & we had it done at a local Batteries+Bulbs (much cheaper than Apple Store, & they were not only fast & courteous but did an excellent job).
 

FreeBetaTester

TS Enthusiast
Yay iPhoneys for i_D_i_o_t_s. They then cry about how iDon't know why crap always happens to me. Serves the them right! Stop buying junk from crapple. They were not the first, nor were they the best. They are just skilled at marketing and fooling the sheeple.
 

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member
Is this just affecting the iPhone 8, or would older models also be affected?

If so, then I guess that means my wife can never update her iPhone 6 to iOS 11 -- we're still currently using iOS 10, but we had to replace her screen last year when it cracked, & we had it done at a local Batteries+Bulbs (much cheaper than Apple Store, & they were not only fast & courteous but did an excellent job).
So far there have been no reports of screen issues on earlier models. The unresponsive screen issue seems to only affect the iPhone 8 (at least reports have only rolled in from 8 owners) and the auto brightness issue seems to only be affecting 8, 8+, and X.
 
So far there have been no reports of screen issues on earlier models. The unresponsive screen issue seems to only affect the iPhone 8 (at least reports have only rolled in from 8 owners) and the auto brightness issue seems to only be affecting 8, 8+, and X.
Phew, that's good to know on a personal level. But still not something to be happy about in general.
 
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