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Today in 2019 there are original Apple iPhone screens versus a plethora of independently manufactured iPhone LCD screen that it can become really confusing really fast for the average customer to keep up with what specific type of screen they might be offered as a replacement on their iPhone.
We have put together a fresh take on the differences to look out for to keep you in the loop, should you need to repair or buy a new iPhone.
Screen Colour and Brightness
The absolute first difference that you should spot is the shift in screen colour and brightness. This brightness issue is due to poorer copy screens not using good backlight layers behind the LCD panel or not calibrating their screens to push out the most brightness from the LCD. The lack of colour goes hand in hand with this and is caused by the IC's (integrated chips) on the display connector not being of the highest quality or just poorly assembled, thus leaving the LCD unable to translate and deliver the full vibrancy, colour information being sent from the iPhone display chip.
Diamond or Vertical Lines
When we talk about the lines on the glass of an LCD, we refer to the different assembly solutions used by third party manufacturers to mimic and an original iPhone LCD. The top glass is not the same Gorilla Glass used as the original and neither is the structure of the different layers that make up the complete LCD panel.
Typically Apple layer their screens with the Gorilla Glass on top of which is bonded to the touch controller and LCD display underneath. This ensures a tougher shell and less chance that the touch will stop working if the iPhone screen suffers minor drops and a few cracks.
Third party manufacturers tend to use a thinner glass layer with the touch controller bonded to the bottom of the glass, which in turn is bonded to the LCD panel. Therefore increasing the fragility of the glass and the increased likelihood of not being able to interact with your iPhone should it develops a few cracks.
You can spot the diamond or vertical lines on aftermarket top glass layers under direct light, which tells you straight away that you are not dealing with a genuine Apple manufactured screen.
Flush with Frame
As a direct result of the different manufacturing solutions mentioned above which require extra bonding layers to hold the screen intact, often the result is a thicker screen than the original. This causes the top glass to stick out from the frame more and not look as flush or well put together. The extra thickness can also put the phone at a higher risk of future damage.
Time Does Tell
Even though a customer won't be able to see if the new screen on their iPhone is well assembled or poorly assembled, the sure fire test is the test of time. Through normal handling, everyday bumps and knocks and the occasional flying iPhone test you can gauge how well the screen is holding up. Usual signs of poor assembly is the glass lifting away from the frame, touch issues developing without any damage to the screen and in some cases the screen going blank and ceasing to show a display at all!
What You Can't See
This is the aspect of screens customers do not have access to - the insides. The screen is compromised of the different layer and ribbon cables as mentioned above. A copy screen doesn't replicate Apple's internal coding system, using instead their own systems for keeping track of their own assembly procedures. You would find the codes on the ribbon flex do not match up or some don't even have a code on them at all.
Similarly, the IC's (integrated chips) on the LCD connector are not as well soldered and arranged as you would find on a genuine LCD. This can affect the longevity of the screen and how well it will hold up under testing conditions.