•             
  • News

    1. How the Global Chip Shortage is Affecting Screen Prices

      If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ve likely heard of the global chip shortage that is affecting the automotive, PC, and video game industries. Unfortunately, the widespread use of microchips means that this shortage is inevitably spreading to other industries, and now that includes cell phone repair. Currently, we’re seeing higher costs for aftermarket screens, particularly those for iPhone 7 through iPhone XR. We are hoping that these increases will remain restricted to those models, however, it’s possible that more will be included if the supply issues are not resolved.

      What is causing this sh

      Read more »
    2. Severe Weather is Causing Shipping Delays

      Severe weather is delaying shipments- but don't worry, we've got your back!

      As you’re certainly aware, severe weather is making things difficult for people all across the country, and that includes our shipping carriers. Because of this, some shipments are arriving later than planned, depending on weather conditions or transport ability. If you’re located in any of the affected areas, or are far from the west coast, please select a higher shipping tier in order to reduce the chances of a late order.

      That being said, we cannot guarantee that orders will arrive when expected, even at higher shipping tiers. Carriers are doing everything they can to reduce the chances of delays, and to help, we will refund shipping costs for any next-day-air orders that are delayed from their scheduled arrival. Terms and conditions apply and these refunds will only be available until mid-March, depending on weather. Maximum shi

      Read more »
    3. Have You Experienced Touch Issues on the iPhone 11?

      iPhone 11 Touch Issue Banner

      Have You Experienced Touch Issues on the iPhone 11?

      Apple recently launched a repair program for certain models of the iPhone 11 that are experiencing touch screen problems. According to their announcement, a small percentage of phones are experiencing a loss of touch response due to a flaw in the display module of specific iPhone 11 models. This issue specifically affects devices manufactured between November 2019 and May 2020, and customers can check to see if their particular phone is affected by visiting the repair program’s web page. If their phone is affected, they can apply to get it repaired free of charge.

      Genius Bar Staff

      Apple will repair these devices free of charge, but it should be noted that there are exceptions, such as physical damage (including cracked screens) that will need to be resolved before they will attempt the repair (image via Apple).

      While they claim that only a small percentage of phones are affected, the fact that affected phones can be identified based on the serial number hints that this is probably the result of a manufacturing issue. This is further supported by the fact that the program covers affected devices for two years after purchase, implying that the issue is likely to happen at some point, regardless of other factors. It harkens back to the MacBook’s Butterfly Keyboard repair program (though that program extended to four years of coverage) where Apple committed to fixing broken keyboards since their design made them extremely prone to failure.

      What is the problem, exactly?

      It should be noted Apple has not given any details about the nature of the flaw. We don’t know if the issue is located on the display panel directly, or if it’s located on the logic board. While the program is titled “Display Module Replacement”, it’s difficult to know exactly what that means. Some outlets are interpreting that as a simple display swap, however, many of you remember that Apple launched a similar repair program for the iPhone X, which was also titled “Display Module Replacement”. Yet that particular issue was caused by a design flaw in the logic board (just like “Touch Disease” on the iPhone 6 Plus, which Apple claimed was caused by dropped phones). So honestly, it’s difficult to rely on Apple’s explanation of the iPhone 11 issue until independent technicians discover the cause themselves.

      More reports are coming in.

      There hasn’t been much information online regarding the iPhone 11 and touch issues. That said, we have seen and heard a few different quirks with this device.

      Customer Reports

      One customer recently contacted us about touch issues following a screen replacement due to touch loss. He claimed that his customer returned to his shop after 24 hours, with the exact same issue and that the problem required a power-off and battery disconnect in order to be fixed. Another of our customers found that some aftermarket screens would lose touch if they were installed on a phone that didn’t come with an LG-made screen.

      Our Own Experience

      Our own testing department has noticed issues with touch as well. We use actual iPhones to test recycling and RMA submissions. And what we’ve noticed on the iPhone 11 is that touch problems occasionally appear to be “saved” to the device. What happens is that once the screen with a touch issue is installed onto our iPhone 11, all subsequent screens we test will exhibit the same touch issue. As with our customer’s report, the only way to fix the issue is to shut the phone down, disconnect the battery for a while, then restart the phone.

      A Report from Our Screen Manufacturer

      Lastly, we also received a report from one of our screen manufacturers, ZY. We reached out to them to see if they had heard anything about touch, and they also noticed a strange observation on this phone. When testing their screens on an iPhone 11, everything works as expected, however, when reinstalling the original screen afterward, the phone would no longer respond to touch. As before, the issues resolve after a battery disconnect and a restart.

      What can be done about this?

      It’s still too early to know exactly what is causing the iPhone 11’s touch issue, and as a result, there’s no official solution other than to take the phone straight to Apple. But based on the observations we’ve seen, it looks like the iPhone 11 has some kind of “memory” linked to the display’s touch function, and it’s possible that could be related to the issue that Apple is citing. In any case, we recommend that technicians perform a battery disconnect (most of you probably already do this during repairs, but if not, please do so) and a restart after an iPhone 11 screen replacement. This seems to resolve all the issues we’ve seen, and hopefully it will work for you.

      We’re curious to know how wide-spread these touch issues are. Have any of you dealt with them? We haven’t seen much about it from technicians online, and only a couple of customers have shared iPhone 11 touch issues with us. Going by the information that is out online, one could easily conclude that there is no wide-spread touch issue at all with this phone. Yet Apple’s development of a dedicated repair program not only confirms that the problem exists, but also that it may be larger than anyone has realized. If you’ve come across touch issues or any other odd quirks with the iPhone 11, please let us know. We will share any new information that we learn on this subject.

      Read more »
    4. Apple is temporarily closing stores due to COVID-19

      Apple Store Closures Blog Post Head Image

      Apple is temporarily closing stores due to COVID-19

      It’s no surprise, given the state of the pandemic, but Apple has closed nearly 100 stores across the US and in other regions worldwide. According to the Verge, this includes all stores here in California, as well all stores in Tennessee, Utah, and Minnesota. There are closures in other states as well, but it mostly depends on the area, as some are still operating.

      It’s probably the right move, considering how many people these stores attract. Plus they were never really designed with social distancing in mind, so keeping them open does present some risk. There is a bit of a silver lining for our industry though. With Apple stores under temporary closure, there is an opportunity for independent repair shops to attract new clientele and show them the value that local shops can provide. Most consumers aren’t aware of the additional services and offerings that come from these small businesses, many of which simply are not offered directly from Apple. Plus there’s the added benefit of safety, since these shops specialize in repair, rather than large-volume retail sales. It’s just easier to maintain social distancing and other measures at these types of establishments.

      If your shop doesn’t already have a promotional effort, now might be a good time to start one. While Genius Bars are still honoring scheduled appointments, simply walking into your local Apple Store won’t be an option, and that means some customers will be left with an unmet need- and that’s definitely where a business like yours can save the day!

      Read more »
    5. How Durable is the iPhone 12?

      How Durable is iPhone 12?

      If you’ve been following the annual release of new iPhones, then you are surely used to hearing claims like “strongest glass ever in an iPhone.” Well this year, it’s not just marketing speak. As we mentioned in our last post, Apple has incorporated Corning’s new “Ceramic Shield” onto the front of the iPhone 12 series, allegedly making it’s screen glass 4x more resistant to damage. Furthermore, they claim their new angular design brings added strength to the device. But how do these phones actually perform in practice? We’ve turned to YouTube for the answer to this question, and rounded up the results from several channels to get a better understanding of what the phone can take.

      Read more »
    6. iPhone 12: Three Things You Should Know

      Featured image via Apple

      iPhone 12: Three Things You Should Know

      You’ve probably heard by now, but the iPhone 12 was just announced last week. And as with every new iPhone, there are plenty of new features and improvements that have the potential to affect our industry (depending on what services or products you offer). However, we’ve singled out three things that we feel are particularly relevant to all repair businesses, regardless of size or specialization. Read on to learn more.

      Screen Sizes

      Apple has shaken up their dimensions a little this year. The newest kid on the block is the iPhone 12 Mini, which size-wise, sits right between the ori

      Read more »
    7. What we know about iPhone 12

      It’s official- Apple is hosting their next big announcement on September 15th, and we’re eagerly awaiting the likely reveal of the next iPhone (possibly titled the iPhone 12?). But honestly, we may not be in for much of a surprise. The iPhone 12 has been one of the most anticipated iPhones in a long time and has had many, many leaks (some dating back to the launch of the iPhone 11). So while we’ll probably have all the answers we want in a week’s time, let’s go over what we can expect to see and how it could affect our industry.

       

      Physical Features

      Four Models, Three Sizes

      The past two generations have seen three iPhone models, but this year that goes up to four. Two base models (one with a 5.4” screen and another with a 6.1” screen) will feature dual-cameras, while the higher “pro” models (with 6.1”

      Read more »
    8. Regarding Unverified Displays on iPhone 11

      As iPhone 11 repairs become more common, repair technicians are starting to notice the dreaded “Unverified Display” Notification. Discovered around this time last year, the notification appears specifically on iPhone 11 series phones following a screen repair. And while it’s been known for a year now, the fact that it only affects 11 series phones and later means that most technicians are only starting to come across the issue now. So what is this exactly, and what can be done about it?

      What is it?

      As mentioned before, this is a notification that pops up following a screen repair on 11 series devices (and newer) running iOS 13.1 (or higher). Once the device is booted with a new screen, the user is greeted with a pop-up notification that reads “Important Display Message: Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine display.” The notification will also be present on the lock screen for 4 days, and highlighted in the Settings app for 15 days, after which it is permanent

      Read more »
    9. Update on the COVID-19 Impact on our Industry

      Shenzhen COVID-19 Update

      While the Coronavirus situation continues to deepen worldwide, its effects on the smartphone repair industry are starting to fade. The factories in China are gradually working their way back up to normal operation and we have been able to maintain a steady inventory of products. That being said, each supplier’s situation is different, so there will be some parts that are less available than others- particularly high-demand or difficult-to-source replacement screens. We are working closely with each of our suppliers to make sure we get new parts as fast as they can produce them. 

      Shenzhen after Coronavirus   

      Read more »
    10. How the Coronavirus is Impacting our Business

      Many of you have asked about the Coronavirus, how it is affecting us, and what it means for your business. It’s understandably a scary situation, but we are staying pragmatic in our approach to the issue. There are several factors at work and the information is constantly changing, so we are doing our best to make sure this impacts our customers as little as possible. That being said, we are expecting an impact in terms of delays and parts availability. 

      The situation right now

      The outbreak came just as China was preparing for its annual Lunar New Year celebration, which typically results in businesses closing for the holiday. During this time, workers typically return home, and exports cease for a period of about 2 weeks. Because of the outbreak however, China has h

      Read more »
    Page