Even Genuine Replacement Apple Displays Can Mess With IPhones
The aftermarket repair community has verified the behavior in phones from the US all the way to Australia. It's confirmed to be an issue with phones running iOS 11.1, 11.2 and 11.3, which led sources to suggest it's been a problem since the launch of the latest batch of iPhones last fall. I was able to confirm that even swapping the displays of two brand-new iPhones causes the ambient light sensor to stop working, despite it not being altered or touched in any way.youtube.com Experiments have shown that the sensor is disabled by iOS during the boot process. There's some debate over whether this is a bug or a feature. Apple first tied hardware and software together with the launch of Touch ID on the iPhone 5S. Third-party repairers quickly found out that replacing a broken fingerprint sensor with a working unit would disable Touch ID.
This was the root cause of the infamous "Error 53," which broke phones without a valid fingerprint sensor on restore. Apple said the security test that caused Error 53 was only supposed to be performed at the assembly factory, and fixed the bug by disabling the test during the restore process. Apple's reasoning for locking down the fingerprint sensor in this way was security, and it used the same rationale with the iPhone X and the introduction of the Face ID camera array. Some of the repairers we spoke with, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, don't believe this is the case. Instead, they think it represented Apple's first tentative steps towards controlling the entire repair process. When Apple replaces a Touch ID or Face ID sensor, it uses a machine dubbed Horizon, which tells the phone all its parts belong with one another.
Apple recently started shipping these machines (around 400 last year) to some of the 4,800 authorized service providers around the world. But that leaves a large number of authorized service providers in the dark, as well as aftermarket repair shops, which greatly outnumber those officially approved by Apple. And that's not to mention individuals who feel confident enough to fix their own devices. But why would merely swapping the displays of two identical, working iPhones disable a seemingly unrelated sensor? Considering that screen cracks and smashes are among the most common types of damage seen by repairers, it's likely that tens of thousands of phones are currently affected.
One source, on discovering the behavior, was shaken. They said that they had personally replaced over 100 displays. Another source said that they repaired between 20 and 50 iPhone 8 screens per month. The "right to repair" is a hot issue. Just yesterday, the FTC warned companies about preventing third-parties from repairing products. Separately, several states (most recently California) are seeking to introduce legislation that would coerce companies into making customer repairs easier. Historically, Apple has been against right to repair bills, telling lawmakers in Nebraska that a proposed law would turn the state into a "Mecca" for hackers. Locking down Touch ID and Face ID was easy for Apple to explain. Likewise, disabling untested third-party components can be presented as a quality control measure. But it's tough to see why the company would need to lock customers and aftermarket repairers out from replacing parts like-for-like. I spoke with Apple about the problem, but after initially replying to ask some follow-up questions, the spokesperson failed to provide a response in time for publication.
Some iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models running iOS 11.3 or later are experiencing an issue with their microphones. Some users have reported that after updating, their phones' microphones stopped working, affecting voice memos, calls, FaceTime and speakerphone. Some also reported that Siri was no longer accessible. But Apple has apparently acknowledged the problem -- though not publicly -- and an internal document obtained by MacRumors instructs Apple Authorized Service Providers how to proceed if faced with an affected phone. The document notes that in some cases the phones' speaker buttons will be greyed out and service providers should first ask customers to disconnect any Bluetooth accessories connected to their phones. If that doesn't help, they should run audio diagnostics. In the case that "device could not detect dock" or "accessory not supported" alerts come up, the service provider can repair the phone. MacRumors also reports that if the affected iPhone 7 or 7 Plus is no longer under warranty, Apple says the repair providers can request an exception for this issue. The document is apparently light on the details as to why this issue has come up. But since a repair might be warranted it seems like the software update is leading to a hardware defect. Last month, Apple released an update that addressed a bug causing some replacement displays to be unresponsive to touch.
It's no secret that Apple doesn't want you to be able to easily repair your devices. While almost anyone can open an Android repair shop, opening an Apple repair shop requires certification and that you follow a strict set of rules that Apple defines. Apple has even gone after unauthorized repair shops with lawsuits in an attempt to put them out of business. Last year they filed suit to try to do this to a small store in Norway but the court has just recently sided with the repair shop. As originally reported by Motherboard, Norwegian custom's officials seized a shipment of aftermarket iPhone 6 and 6S replacement screens last year. Apple was alerted and claimed the owner was violating their trademarks by using aftermarket parts without authorization.youtube.com Despite the five lawyers Apple put on the case, the courts ruled in Huseby's favor.
"In this case, Apple indirectly proves what they really want.They want monopoly on repairs so they can keep high prices. Importing mobile phone components is not illegal in Norway, but Huseby's Chinese supplier sent him replacement screens with an inked-over Apple logo on them. This is where the legal questions and gray area start to form. ] prohibit a Norwegian mobile repair person from importing mobile screens from Asian manufacturers that are 100 percent compatible and completely identical to Apple’s own iPhone screens, so long as Apple’s trademark is not applied to the product. Since these were phone screens and the Apple logo was only printed on the inside, it would not be visible to consumers. The court thus viewed it as not infringing on Apple's trademark. Although this victory is a good sign for consumers, the legal details of the case only apply in Norway. In the United States, Apple has been heavily lobbying against Right to Repair legislation. They have also worked with government agents to raid third-party iPhone repair shops.
In a bizarre and extremely disappointing turn of events, the "conspiracy theorists" who have been claiming for years that Apple intentionally slows down older iPhone models in order to increase upgrades were recently proven correct. Well, they were proven partially correct, at least. Apple was indeed forced to fess up to throttling older iPhone models once a developer made the discovery that this was the case. According to Apple, however, older iPhone models are deliberately slowed down in order to increase battery life and prevent unwanted shutdowns as batteries degrade over time. It’s not a bad feature, actually, but there is absolutely no question that users should have been made aware of this policy from the start. There’s also no question that users should have control over whether or not iPhone performance is throttled.
The fact that Apple remained silent for all these years while people accused the company of intentionally slowing down older iPhones isn’t just embarrassing and wrong, it’s unforgivable. The company’s lack of transparency has now turned into a public relations nightmare, and at least 15 lawsuits have been filed. In the near term, however, the most important thing for users with older iPhone models is that they stop their devices from being throttled. And the only way to do that is to swap out an old iPhone battery and replace it with a new one. 50 discount is something of a mea culpa, and it’s available to anyone with an iPhone 6 or later even if the phone repair shop in question passes a diagnostic battery test at the Apple store.
Of course, this leaves us with an obvious question: What about people with older iPhone models that were released before the iPhone 6? The answer from Apple is, in a nutshell, is that you’re S.O.L. The iPhone 5s and earlier iPhone models are indeed being throttled by Apple’s iOS software, which means that CPU power is intentionally reduced in order to extend battery life. That’s fine in some circumstances, but not all users want their iPhones to be limited. And what if you’re using a battery case, which likely more than doubles your iPhone’s battery life? Luckily, a third-party repair service has stepped up and seized the opportunity to boost business by helping Apple customers with older iPhone models.
29, matching Apple’s newly lowered rate. Unlike Apple, however, iFixit it including iPhone models older than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in its new program. 29. You can find more information right here on the iFixit website. The key difference between Apple’s battery swap service and iFixit’s is that the latter is a DIY kit that gets mailed to you. In other words, you’ll have to do the battery swap yourself. It’s not terribly difficult though, and iFixit’s kit includes all the tools you’ll need to do the swap. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, you can perhaps find a friend or family member to do it for you. 79, go to a third-party smartphone repair shop, or just continue using your throttled iPhone.
The good news is that some third-party services can provide immediate service. These technicians will stuff a new battery in your iPhone, sometimes for more reasonable rates, and sometimes on the very same day you bring it in. The trade off, inevitably, is that you miss out on Apple’s expertise and seal of approval. Going third-party isn’t a bad idea, so long as you do your homework and seek out a reputable technician. Fortunately, that’s what we’ve done here. What follows is a list of some of the best iPhone repair services out there, based on customer feedback. However, be advised that enlisting a non-authorized service provider to repair your iPhone (or doing it yourself, for that matter) will void its warranty.
If it’s over a year old, the warranty has expired anyway; if not, you might want to bite the bullet and drop by the Apple Store. 29 to match Apple's temporary pricing. Cell Phone Repair, or CPR for short, is one of the most widely-available tech repair firms out there, with hundreds of locations around the country. Customers cite the company’s quick service, with some repairs taking less than 40 minutes. CPR can also repair other devices besides iPhones, including Android smartphones, tablets, computers, and gaming consoles. Contact customer service to find out how soon you can get the replacement done.
UBreakIFix rivals Cell Phone Repair’s network of locations and flexibility in repairing all kinds of tech products. 79, though the company also claims to price-match local competitors. To give you a little extra peace of mind, Google recently partnered with the company to officially service its Pixel smartphones and Pixelbook laptops. Perhaps you could use the convenience of an on-site repair? Fortunately, iCracked send technicians to you mend your iPhone’s battery on the spot, as well as any other problems you might run into. Overall, iCracked operates a bit differently from the previous two service providers, as its employees are independent contractors who are free to charge different rates, but are also trained by the company.
80. And that’s with them coming to you — be it at home, the office, or a coffee shop. There are a couple reasons you might want to visit Office Depot when your iPhone’s battery kicks the bucket. 49, and they’re under warranty for a year. LifeLine’s Yelp pages are inundated with praise for quick and thorough service. Although they don’t have many physical locations, you can still mail your iPhone in. LifeLine claims most repairs can be completed in 30 minutes, so you’ll be sure to get your device back almost as quickly as it arrives at their door, and all the company’s work is backed by a 120-day warranty. Like iCracked, Puls will repair your iPhone wherever you are. 79, which is equal with Apple’s pricing. If something goes wrong with the service — an unlikely scenario with a battery replacement, but possible nonetheless — you don’t pay a cent. The new battery is guaranteed for life, and if there are other issues plaguing your iPhone, like a shattered screen, home button, or water damage, Puls can fix that too. These are just some of the more reputed and popular options out there; you’re likely to find many more in your local community. For tips on how to maximize your iPhone’s battery life, check out our handy guide.
Essentially, the document explains that employees should first run a diagnostics test to see if the customer’s Face ID issues could be resolved with a rear camera repair. If that doesn’t turn out to be the case, the employee should simply perform a whole unit replacement, giving the customer a new phone. While repairing the rear camera to fix Face ID problems may seem counterintuitive, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of it. Several users on various support threads have noted that when their rear camera fails, Face ID also fails. I was talking to the Genius Bar guy and he said that the cameras are connected.
The lenses differ on what they do. The wide angle did the ones that worked and is connected to the front facing camera. The telephoto is connected to the true depth and was not working. The support document distributed this weekend seemingly makes it a formal process for Genius Bar employees to first check the diagnostics of the rear cameras and attempt repair there, before going through the replacement process. While iOS 11.2 caused Face ID errors for some users, this issue appears to be different. Have you experienced issues with Face ID on your iPhone X? Let us know down in the comments!
The biometric Face ID security in the iPhone X uses the cameras in the display's notch to check your face. This news comes from a report by 9to5Mac, which obtained "a new support document sent to retail stores and Authorized Service Providers" this past weekend. In the documentation, Apple formalized repair instructions for its Geniuses and third-party repair persons, instructing technicians to examine the rear cameras, as repairing those may solve Face ID woes. While it seems incredibly confusing for one camera to be disrupting the other, commenters on the r/iPhone subreddit described a similar story back in November. The Redditor sought out support when both the rear camera and Face ID stopped working, though certain camera functions, such as "pano, slow-mo, and time-lapse" were still working. When they tried to use Face ID, an error stating "Face ID is not available, try again later" appeared. If the front and rear cameras are connected and dependent upon each other in the way this report suggests, repairing the back camera certainly makes sense for Apple. 1,000 (or more) phone altogether.
Notably, normal AppleCare doesn't cover accidental damage. Phone XS or XS Max. 15 per month for 24 months. 1,000 on an iPhone XS, it's absolutely worth the purchase. AppleCare's warranty from one to two years, including the complimentary phone support from Apple. But it also adds coverage for accidental damage, either from drops or water. 29 to repair it. 329 if you have the iPhone XS Max. But that's just repairs for the screen! 99 to repair it. 599 if you have the iPhone XS Max. 928 just to repair your phone! In other words, it pays to have insurance — even if you're extremely careful, you can't foresee certain circumstances, and you'll be glad you paid more money up front so you could save more money later on. Apple's insurance plan or not. In other words, buy a phone case. Cases provide some protection for your screen, but more importantly, they protect the most fragile and most expensive parts of the iPhone XS and XS Max: their large glass backs.
Yesterday we reported on the news that Apple recently started performing repairs on iPhones with third-party batteries. Now we’ve gotten a look at the official repair guide that details how Apple will handle repairs with non-original batteries. The new repair document seen by 9to5Mac states at the outset that customers using third-party batteries in Apple devices may still be eligible for warranty service. However, if the non-original battery has caused the problem or device damage, customers will have to pay the out of warranty cost for a repair or replacement. But in the case that Apple determines the third-party battery hasn’t caused the issue a customer is looking to have resolved, the non-Apple part shouldn’t change the service and warranty eligibility.
Notably, non-Apple parts are defined as third-party batteries as well as counterfeit batteries. This is certainly helpful for customers who unknowingly purchased a non-Apple battery. The document does note that if an iPhone or other Apple device has a third-party enclosure, logic board, microphone, Lightning port, volume buttons, TrueDepth camera system, and more, repairs will be denied. Another detail is that if the repair attempt for a device with a third-party battery fails, customers will have to pay the out of warranty cost. Back in 2017, Apple opened up repairs for iPhones with third-party displays. Apple’s move to include third-party batteries in its repair process will surely be welcomed by customers and groups like iFixit. However, as mentioned yesterday, some have safety concerns about servicing devices with third-party batteries. The French Confederation of Democratic Labour issued a statement on Twitter yesterday criticizing that Apple made the move without consulting with French authorities. What do you think? Is this a consumer friendly, and smart move by Apple? Or does it complicate the repair process and pose safety risks for the company’s technicians? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
In December last year, Apple admitted that is was slowing down older iPhones in order to preserve battery life and avoid crashes. But this information wasn't conveyed to users until someone noticed how much faster their old iPhone became with a new battery fitted. 29 battery replacement program. 29 battery replacement pledge for all eligible iPhone owners. Before Apple will replace the battery it checks the iPhone for other damage. If any is found that "impairs replacement of the battery" then it must be fixed first. But users are claiming that even a small crack in the screen , a dent at the edge of the handset, or a broken microphone and speaker are being seen as impairing battery replacement.
29 you expected to spend can turn into hundreds of dollars as Apple decides your screen/case/parts must be replaced before the battery. That defeats the point of offering a cheap battery replacement for many, especially as these iPhones are functioning well enough in spite of the damage they have. The demand for other repairs has been highlighted by the BBC's Watchdog consumer affairs TV program. When they contacted Apple customer support it was explained as a warranty terms and conditions clause, but no such clause in the warranty exists. Apple is treating the statement as a part of the warranty it seems. That's clearly not fair, and the complaints about this are sure to keep piling up. Apple's smartphone designs have become increasingly difficult to repair, and this just seems like a tactic to make a profit on a program that was meant to help customers with older iPhones.
A recent study of the past five years’ worth of iPhone releases saw that the iPhone 6 was, hands down, the worst Apple handset release in recent memory. Both the iPhone 6 and 6s models (regular and Plus) topped the chart of least reliable Apple handsets, according to the "State of Mobile Device Repair & Security" report issues by Blancco, a data erasure and security firm. The 6 was notoriously bad, with a staggering 22 percent failure rate. For those keeping score at home, that means more than one in five of the handsets required repair or replacement at some point. Even the 5s was deemed more reliable, with a mere 5 percent failure rate. Google, Reddit, and Slack will be there. The most common issues plaguing iPhones, according to the report, were Bluetooth issues, Wi-Fi, headset and mobile data.
For Apple, things have improved dramatically following its issues with the iPhone 6. The 6s, for example, failed at a 16 percent rate, while the 7 dropped to just 8 percent. Both current models, the iPhone 8, and the iPhone X, have narrowed the failure rate to just three percent, which seems pretty respectable. For Android users, the tests showed Samsung handsets failed at a higher rate than any other Android phone. Overall, Blancco found that Samsung devices had a failure rate of 27.4 percent — a rate higher than even the worst iPhone, which was released four years ago.
US Customs and Border Patrol agents seized iPhone screens purchased by a prominent repair professional who is active in the right to repair community, according to a CBP letter obtained by Motherboard via Jessa Jones, the repair professional. Jones purchased the screens from a "grey market" supplier in China who sells screens that are a mix of original, refurbished, and aftermarket parts. Apple and CBP believe the screens are "counterfeit," but legal experts say that Jones likely has a strong legal case if she wants to challenge the seizure. "My understanding is that they suspect these are counterfeit parts, according to Apple," Jones, the owner of a shop called iPad Rehab in Mendon, New York, told me. She’s also a prominent member of the right-to-repair movement and a popular YouTuber. Jones also recently served as an expert witness in a class action lawsuit against Apple.
CBP officials told Motherboard that Apple had no role in initially detaining the screens. 1,727 for the parts. The items were seized at a DHL facility in Rochester. "The purpose of this letter is to advise you of the options available to you concerning this seizure," it adds. "Well, I’m definitely not going to do nothing about it," Jones told me, adding that she hadn’t yet decided whether she would appeal or take legal action. Beyond the seizure, no legal action has been taken against her, and no civil penalties have been assessed so far. But even the seizure can impact her business and sends a signal to other independent repair professionals that their businesses could be at risk.
"In order for me to be able to do a repair, I need to be able to get the parts for that," Jones said at a press conference last week advocating for a right-to-repair law in New York. "I would love to be able to go down to the Apple Store and get parts that are OEM-certified, I can’t do that. This is the crux of the issue. Apple doesn’t sell replacement parts to independent repair professionals, so they turn to China’s "grey market." Suppliers there sell parts of varying quality and authenticity. The screens that Jones ordered are hybrids—they have tiny Apple logos on the flex cable, which is what connects the screen to the interior of the phone. The logos are not visible to the consumer.
She said that she buys screens that are mixes of original, refurbished, and aftermarket parts because she believes that the original flex cable is of higher quality than aftermarket ones. "The parts I buy have an original flex on it because that’s what’s best for my consumers," she said. "It’s difficult and pointless to erase the existing Apple logo that’s printed on a tiny piece of flex. There’s no customer-facing Apple logo, no logo anywhere on the glass. It’s smaller than a grain of rice. There is no clear definition of what makes an Apple part "counterfeit," which is the question at issue here. ] on so called ‘parallel imports’ or ‘gray market’ goods, in which both the goods and the marks are genuine, but which are sold outside of the trademarks owners authorized distribution channels," the DOJ’s criminal resources manual states.