Often, customers are unaware that there are two kinds of iPhone 7 screen repair services offered –— either the original screen or “copy” screen repairs. Original screens are ones that use liquid crystal displays (LCDs) made for and authorized by Apple and copy screens. On the other hand, “copy” screens are made with compatible replacements and are designed and produced by third-party companies which do not have any affiliation with Apple.
If you ask us which one we’d pick, it’s obvious that the original screen is better by leaps and bounds. Hence, we’d often suggest to customers to go for the original screens for better assurance in quality. However, it is not always the case that repair centers let the customer choose between screen repair services; because copies screens cost way less to make, many centers may choose to intentionally sell their customers these copy screens beyond their knowledge. These phones, fitted with “copy” screens, are subsequently prone to be damaged again, which brings more business to these repair centers. Overall, this ensures that they have a steady stream of customers and earns a bigger profit.
Telling The Difference
At first glance, it might be quite tricky to tell an original screen apart from a copy screen. However, upon further inspection, the quality differences are stark. Copy screens are much lower in terms of brightness, vibrancy as well as color contrast, whereby the images and graphics on the phone screen tend to look more “washed out”. Copy screens also look rougher and coarser during use –– a result of extremely poor phone resolution, upon microscopic examination. Furthermore, when attempting to remove the copy screen, it’s common for the frame of your phone to flake off too, which may result in you having to pay additional costs to get the copy screen removed and a new original one fixed.
Undoubtedly, original screens do cost more. But this difference in price (often £10 to £14) is quite reasonable considering the upgrade in reliability and quality of the phone screen. After all, you would probably already have spent a great deal to pay for an iPhone with a top-quality Retina display, it would be foolish to opt for a lower-quality copy screen! Despite the higher upfront costs, original screens would be able to last longer, saving you money in the long run. You can use iphone screen cover in order to protect your phone from damage or scratches.
Have You Fallen Victim?
Because of the lack of barriers to entry into the smartphone repair market, many primarily profit-driven companies enter with little expertise. Some do not let customers know about the availability of original and copy screens, and others do not make it clear to customers beforehand the differences of original screens from copy screens and merely try to profit off customers by using the cheapest replacement parts out there. Sometimes, they themselves may not even know the differences between copy, OEM, and non-OEM displays due to their lack of experience and skills.
While there are some customers out there who prioritize the price over quality, there are some companies that intentionally sell lower-quality goods at a premium price, which can be extremely misleading. In more extreme cases, they might even take your original, albeit broken, screen and sell that for more than what they paid when they replaced your screen with a copy.
How Did This Come About?
Initially, from 2010 to 2015, iPhone screens replacements were done with existing refurbished LCDs or salvaged from a stockpile of items that did not meet Apple’s standards. The tightening of their supply chain in 2015 meant that the number of screens available for repair dropped drastically, whilst prices of repairs surged. This resulted in several companies going bankrupt, which led to the emergence of copy screens by mainly Chinese manufacturers. Though lower in price, these screens often skimp on quality.
Touch Sensor Problems
The most important difference between a “copy” screen and an original is the quality of the touch sensor. Original screens have the digitizer made as part of the LCD, while copy screens have manually attached the touch sensor onto the glass. This is also difficult to determine as it is impossible to see physically if the digitizer is good or not. This problem is particularly significant in iPhone 6S and 6S+ as it was then that Apple designed the touch processing chip to be on the LCD itself. So, aside from getting a copy screen, you’re getting copy touch processing chips too.
Poor LCD Panel Quality
Copy screens also have LCD panels that are less bright and vibrant, have a much lower resolution and refresh rate. They also have several specifications that are not identical to the original and this might result in lower battery life and a diminished operating system. This could even lead to damages to the backlight of your phone. Moreover, copy screens can cause disruption to the Touch ID feature of your iPhone as the home button on the models 6S, 6S+, 7, and 7+ have the home button as part of the screen.
In general, copy screens are often not built as well as original screens as many would eventually detach from the frame, causing further damage to the insides of the phone. Copy screens also do not last as long. For original screens, your phone can still function even if the glass breaks but the LCD is still intact. However for copy screens, since the digitizer is on the glass itself, it is likely that the screen would not work when the glass is broken. Furthermore, the LCD of copy screens tends to break more often due to it being thinner and more brittle. Other minute visible differences include the fact that the home button is not flushed with the screen as it would with an original screen.
While Apple has amended its repair policy to include third-party repairs of phone screens, there is still a possibility that copy screens could disrupt the workings of your phone as it undergoes various iOS updates.
In essence, “original” iPhone screens contain LCDs that are manufactured for and authorized by Apple, whereas “copy” screens are ones that are produced by unauthorized third-party companies. By default, unauthorized repair centers usually use copy screens even if it is not clearly stated, and can often result in a lower quality screen being used for your phone. Hence, it is usually better to opt for original phone screens as the difference in quality outweighs the difference in price.