Since the iPhone was first released in 2007 with a ground-breaking full glass panel for a screen, the inevitable problem of dropping and breaking the screen arrived hand in hand. As we approach the 10th and 11th iterations of iPhone the screen replacement continues to dominate the repair market. The repair for a damaged iPhone screen can be divided into two groups: Apple iPhone screen repairs and third party iPhone screen repair services.
We have compiled this short article to give you a run down on the pro's and con's of both repair options.
When we make a comparison between an original Apple screen and a copy screen it's like comparing an original pair of Louis Vuitton shoes to the countless number of fakes that are ever present in the market today. The genuine shoes are the staple and the holy grail for all those that are passionate about their kickers. While the doppelgangers can range from well made and indistinguishable all the way to laughable recreations which will barely last you a walk in the park.
Apple are constantly in negotiations with reputable manufacturers and have signed contracts with the likes of LG and Japan Display and YES Samsung! to provide ion-strengthened 'Retina HD Displays' with a specific resolution of 1334 x 750 (iPhone 6-8) and 1920 x 1080 (iPhone 6-8 Plus). These panels are adhered to their frames and thereafter calibrated by Apple's own software algorithm to maximise colour vibrancy and lock in the touch to work harmoniously with iOS 13 (and previous iOS versions) and with the rest of the iPhone hardware.
As of June 2019, LG has also become Apple's second source of OLED panels used in their iPhone X range of devices.
Likening back to the example of Louis Vuitton shoes, when you buy from Apple you are reassured 100% that you are getting the highest quality direct from the source. You will be keeping your iPhone in its original condition just as you got it out of the box. There would be no differences in colour, brightness and resolution after any repair carried out by Apple.
Now, it's worth noting that not all third party manufacturers are equal in quality and manufacturing processes. In a minefield of screen producers it's easy and surprisingly common to find lower resolution screen panels that look washed out, combined with less refined touch digitisers (top glass) which give inaccurate or unintentional touch responses, and poorly adhered frames which loosen fairly quickly - all usually from companies who lack relevant resources or investment.
Copy iPhone screens are made by various production facilities who have cropped up to fulfil a huge demand by third party repair companies. These facilities attempt to replicate the original Apple screen using parts and procedures they deem to be the most accurate in reproduction of the end product.The more serious manufacturers source original parts wherever available and use high quality duplicates for what is not available.
So at the brighter end of the scale there are manufacturers who take their work seriously and ensure the resolution of their panels are accurate pixel-for-pixel as the Apple originals.
They use similar setups as Apple's own Foxconn facilities to minimise differences in production.
The parts are adhered as reliably as possible to prevent the screen panel loosening from the sub-frame and the IC's (integrated chips) used are originals for a stable touch display as well as original reflective coatings to help the backlight produce a brighter image.
Foxconn assembly line ©Foxconn
First and foremost the biggest deciding factor is the price of a new iPhone screen from Apple compared to an independent third party repair centre.
Apple promotes their AppleCare+ subscription when you buy a new iPhone, which brings all iPhone screen replacements to a flat rate of £25. If you have a history of breaking screens - highly recommended!
However, if you didn't take out AppleCare+ with your iPhone purchase, you would be looking to pay £132.44 for an iPhone 6 LCD replacement and £166.44 for an iPhone 8 Plus LCD replacement (June 2019).
At a third party repair centre you can repair an iPhone 6 screen with a high quality copy screen for around £45 and similarly it costs around £80 for an iPhone 8 Plus replacement screen.
Which works out to a saving of a whopping £87.44 or £86.44 respectively.
Accidental damage is unpredictable and usually occurs at the worst possible time. A few days before your holiday or at work where your phone is essential for communication.
In most situations you need your phone fixed, and you need it NOW!
At an Apple store you need to book an appointment and bring your device in for repair. Apple have narrowed down their repair times considerably and you could be on your merry way with a repaired iPhone after just one hour.
The stores do also have constraints due to the number of stores verses the sheer number of customers. If there are multiple appointments, it is a high traffic time of day or there are simply no available times slots - you could expect to wait a few hours or even the next working day. Given the scope of Apple, that is still a very good turn around time, until -
You compare it a typical third party repair company. For example, at celltech Labs an iPhone 8 screen replacement can be booked in and repaired all in 30 minutes. When time is a major factor, (when is it never?!) this becomes invaluable and incredibly convenient. Also local repair centres are often closer and don't require travel to a city centre location.
We have a more in depth blog related the physical differences between genuine and copy screen. Check here: https://celltechmobilerepairs.co.uk/blogs/news/the-actual-difference-between-an-original-iphone-screen-and-a-copy-screen
The video below details the brightness and touch issues which are associated with poor copy screens:
For the surest way to repair your damaged iPhone screen in Birmingham - UK, we have compiled a list of repair centres that have garnered the highest praise and offer the best value for money.
Based purely on Google reviews, we have cross-checked the repair centres with the most reviews but also the highest consistency of positive reviews as of June 2019. Here are our top 3:
1) celltech (Kings Heath)
Reviews: 202 Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Based in Kings Heath, celltech has been operating on the High Street for close to 10 years. They have very high praise across social platforms like Facebook and come highly recommended. As is reflected in their very positive Google Reviews.
2) T&G Repairs (Sellyoak)
Reviews: 148 Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5
T&G Repairs has been around since 2010 and have established themselves on a customer first ethos. Deducing from their positive reviews they put customers needs first similar to the above example.
3) M6 Repairs Limited (Edgbaston)
Reviews: 137 Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5
Also having offered their services for 10 years, M6 Repairs Limited work to a high quality standard. They offer a quick turn around time and make sure customers are well looked after even after the repair.
Whichever ever route you choose to take, always ensure you are given a warranty period.
Any reputable company would stand behind their products and services and offer peace of mind after repair care.