iOS 11.3 update breaks iPhone 8 devices with third party-repaired screens

Software update disables touchscreen on £700-plus smartphones that have not had their screens repaired by Apple

Apple’s latest iOS 11.3 software update is causing iPhone 8 devices with third-party repaired screens to stop working.

Users who have had a screen repair performed by a third party, rather than with Apple, on their iPhone 8 smartphones found that the iOS 11.3 update stopped the touchscreen from working, reports Motherboard. The update was pushed out on 29 March, introducing Apple’s promised iPhone battery health information, as well as the ability to turn off the slowing down of smartphones related to the battery following the scandal in December.

The screens continue to display the homescreen once updated to iOS 11.3 but cannot be interacted with, effectively rendering the affected iPhone 8 device unusable without warning from Apple.

“This has caused my company over 2,000 reshipments,” Aakshay Kripalani, chief executive of repair shop Injured Gadgets told Motherboard. “Customers are annoyed and it seems like Apple is doing this to prevent customers from doing third-party repair.”

There is little affected users can do for their £700-plus smartphones other than have the screen replaced again, hopefully with one that will work regardless of the iOS 11.3 update. But this is not the first time a software update from Apple has caused serious problems for those opting to repair their broken smartphones at third-party shops rather than sending them to the manufacturer.

A similar thing happened for the iPhone 7 last year. An iOS update prevented the touchscreens from working on iPhone 7s with third-party repaired screens. Apple then released a follow-up software update that made them work again, resolving the issue.

That followed the storm caused by the so called Error 53, which rendered iPhones useless if they had had their home button replaced by third-party repair shops after a software update. The problem was related to the Touch ID fingerprint scanner embedded within the home button. Apple later apologised and issued a fix for the Error 53 issue.

The consequence is that at any stage Apple may break iPhones that have been repaired by third parties via software updates, effectively making its in-store service the only viable option. Apple charges £156.44 to repair the screen of an iPhone 6S, 7 or 8, £176.44 for the larger iPhone 6S Plus, 7 Plus or 8 Plus or £286.44 for the top-of-the-line iPhone X.

Repairing “other damage” costs between £306.44 and £556.44 for an iPhone 6 or newer. Apple also offers an optional insurance policy, called AppleCare+, which costs £129 for two years for an iPhone 8 and then charges users £25 each screen or £79 for other damage – but users can only claim for two incidents.

Third-party repair shops, which are popular in the era of glass phones and frequently smashed screens, often undercut Apple and offer services Apple does not. Unless they are an authorised-by-Apple repair provider, however, they can only obtain “after-market” parts, not parts directly from the iPhone manufacturer.

Apple did not immediately comment.


Samuel Gibbs

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
What's the cheapest way of buying an iPhone 8?
Don’t be suckered in: navigating the multitude offers reveals buying an iPhone 8 outright and signing up to a cheap sim-only deal is the most cost-effective option

Alex Hern

15, Sep, 2017 @12:04 PM

Article image
iOS 12: how to install Apple’s latest iPhone software right now
Apple’s new faster update with anti-smartphone addiction features is now available to test for the iPhone 5S or newer

Samuel Gibbs

26, Jun, 2018 @10:50 AM

Article image
Uninstalling Facebook app saves up to 15% of iPhone battery life
Testing reveals Facebook iOS app drains battery life, even when it isn’t being used, and that using Safari instead will make an iPhone last longer

Samuel Gibbs

08, Feb, 2016 @10:00 AM

Article image
iPhone XR review: Apple's cheaper battery king
With Face ID and a decent screen, this phone attempts a happy medium between quality and price – but £750 still isn’t a bargain

Samuel Gibbs

31, Oct, 2018 @6:00 AM

Article image
iOS 13: Apple launches faster iPhone software with more privacy
Update opens apps twice as fast, includes Sign in with Apple to protect personal data

Samuel Gibbs

03, Jun, 2019 @6:26 PM

Article image
iPhone X review: Apple finally knocks it out of the park
The company’s most important smartphone in years does not disappoint, with Face ID and an all-screen design that spells the end of the home button

Samuel Gibbs

10, Nov, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
iOS 12: everything you need to know about new iPhone features
Apple has unveiled its new OS for its smartphones and tablets. What does it mean for notifications, privacy and emoji?

Samuel Gibbs

05, Jun, 2018 @11:17 AM

Article image
iOS 10 brings bigger emojis, better Siri and facial recognition to iPhone
Apple launch new version of iPad and iPhone operating system, including redesigned Apple Music, internet of things Home app, and new Apple Watch OS

Samuel Gibbs

14, Jun, 2016 @9:15 AM

Article image
What I learned after downloading every iPhone App of the Day for a month
I’m pining for the time the iPhone was new and apps were still cool. Can the App Store’s new daily feature rekindle the magic?

Alex Hern

14, Nov, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
Apple apologises over Error 53 and issues fix for bricked iPhones
Move comes after class action lawsuit over ‘security measure’ that left iPhones inoperable after they had home buttons replaced by non-Apple repairers

Jonathan Haynes

19, Feb, 2016 @6:43 AM