Apple is mired in controversy again this mornning, amid reports that the California company’s latest iOS update seems to render iPhone 8s that have third-party replacement screens useless.
Inevitably, there’s fury among owners of Apple’s 2018 device, as well as plenty of concern that once again it is looking to flex its muscles and clamp down on cheap repair outlets.
Concerned you might be affected? Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the problem?
A report from Motherboard, citing third-party repair services in the US, says that iPhone 8 owners who replaced their screens with them rather than with Apple have found their screens become unresponsive following the installation of iOS 11.3.
Hasn’t this happened before?
Yes. In 2017, Apple did something similar with the iPhone 7. Following an uproar among users, it released a software update that fixed the problem.
The previous year, a major bug known as ‘Error 53’ saw iPhone owners who had replaced their Touch ID home button using a third party unable to utilise the fingerprint scanner.
Once again, Apple said sorry and fixed the issue, but only after a wave of negative publicity.
So, what’s causing the problem?
Third-party repair outlets believe that a microchip that powers the screen is at the heart of the problem, with iOS 11.3 affecting how it works with replacement screens.
They say that fixing Apple’s latest smartphones is becoming harder than ever, with such issues leading to fury among customers.
What has Apple said?
Nothing, yet. But going by previous occurrences, it’s likely that it will issue a software fix.
However, this will doubtless also come with warnings about using third party stores to repair its products.
That despite authorised resellers and Apple itself charging a premium to fix phones that are out of warranty.
Should I use a third-party repair shop, then?
It really depends. The iPhone 8 is still inside its first year of warranty, so any major issues with the device should be covered by Apple.
However, certain faults, such as further broken screens and water damage, are not.
Apple’s prices are much higher than independent high street shops, but they don’t carry the risk of leaving your iPhone useless after the release of new software.
Until such a time that Apple is forced to stop charging higher prices and allow third parties to make repairs without fear of device failure, then sadly the best option remains going through the tech giant directly.
We take a closer look at the pros and cons of using third-party repair shops in our guide.