iPhone 8 Units with Third-Party Display Bricking after iOS 11.3 Update

iPhone 8 Plus front view

Many iPhone 8 users are reporting that the display of their handset has stopped working post the iOS 11.3 update. The handsets in questions had their display recently replaced by third-party stores. Apple had previously disabled Touch ID on those iPhone 7 units whose display were replaced by third-parties, and it looks like something similar is happening here.

As per Michale Oberdick, owner of iOutlet in Ohio, every iPhone screen contains a small microchip which is likely the culprit here for the busted displays. On the bright sight, the report from Vice says that third-party screen suppliers have already resolved the issues. The problematic part is that they will still have to re-open phones that they had already fixed and re-install the new ‘fixed’ display units.

It is possible that like the iPhone 7 and Touch ID fiasco, Apple would end up rolling out a software update that would unbrick the affected iPhone 8 units due to the criticism it receives. After all, these handsets were working just fine with third-party screens before the iOS 11.3 update was released.

Most consumers prefer third-party stores over those from Apple as they are cheaper and can be easily located. However, Apple has been increasingly making it difficult for third-party repair shops to replace components inside its newer iPhones. On the iPhone X, for example, replacing the display will lead to the ambient light sensor not working properly. Its the same story with the TrueDepth camera system located on the front of the iPhone X. If the front camera is replaced by a third-party shop, Face ID on the iPhone X will stop working. That phone, in general, is very difficult to repair and most shops shy away from conducting any repairs on it.

Our Take

Apple’s tiff with third-party repair shops is likely to continue, and since the company controls every aspect of the smartphone it manufactures, it can kill handsets that are not using genuine products anytime using a software update. Do keep this in mind the next time you get your iPhone serviced from a third-party repair shop.

[Via Vice]

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