Latest iOS update ‘bricking’ iPhone 8s with third-party screen repairs

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The latest iPhone update could be rendering phones with screen repairs useless, according to reports.

The latest iOS 11.3 update is reported to affect consumers with third-party screen repairs, instead of going through Apple to fix their cracked glass.

Vice News has reported that impacted iPhones can be turned on, but the display is non-responsive to touch, which renders the phone mostly useless, called bricking.

The tech giant has been accused of wanting to prevent customers from getting their phones fixed via third parties, often at reduced costs.

Speaking to Vice News, the CEO of US-based screen repair shop Injured Gadgets, Aakshay Kripalani, said: “This has caused my company over 2,000 reshipments… Customers are annoyed and it seems like Apple is doing this to prevent customers from doing third party repairs.”

There is said to be virtually no difference in quality between a third-party repair and an Apple screen repair, but Apple is reportedly able to detect which phones stick with Apple and which phone users have gone to a third party.

Every iPhone screen is powered by a small microchip, which is allegedly the culprit in detecting screen repairs. Fixing the screen also requires an upgraded chip, which has required many third-party repairers to reship their phones.

Similar complaints arose when the iPhone 7 was released and devices were apparently bricked after users upgraded to iOS 9. It was claimed that Apple took steps to prevent users from using independent repair shops to fix faulty home buttons.

The reports come just as Apple announced a red-coloured iPhone, with some proceeds going to fighting HIV-AIDS in African nations.

Consumers not ditching iPhones

It’s well reported that Apple does not like third party repairs on its iPhones, with users generally advised to seek genuine Apple repairs when possible. However, with screen repairs costing upwards of $200, it’s an obvious cost burden on average consumers.

Canstar Blue research indicates that 80 per cent of consumers have a protective case for their phone and nearly two thirds have a protective screen, potentially saving up to hundreds of dollars in repairs.

Still, however, the iPhone isn’t going anywhere. The iPhone 8 and iPhone X were released in September 2017 to much fanfare, despite some models costing upwards of $1,500 outright.

Aussie smartphone users are a very loyal bunch, with Canstar Blue research indicating that well over half of consumers stick to the same brand of smartphone every time they upgrade.

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