iOS 11.3.1 Fixes Bug on iPhone 8 Units Repaired with Third-Party Displays

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Apple has released iOS 11.3.1 to address a problem where iOS 11.3 disabled touch input on iPhone 8 models that had received third-party screen repairs. It also provides security fixes for everyone.

The local Apple store offers limited opening hours, long lines, and the first possible date to get your screen replaced on Tue, about three weeks from today, around 10:30am. Great, except for those amongst us who actually have to go to work.

I’m not at all surprised a lot of people chose to have their shattered screens fixed elsewhere. If Apple really wants to make sure people have that work done by qualified techs using genuine parts, I suggest they start worrying about availability of those services.

While I understand the reasons for recommending official Apple screen replacements, I’m not sure it’s practical advice for non-bleeding-edge iPhones. I bought a refurbished iPhone 6s Plus last September for $340. It’s been great. Last week, I dropped it and cracked the screen. It’s still 100% functional (and only slightly aesthetically blemished) but I figure that the handwriting is on the wall. Josh’s article prompted me to try to schedule a repair.

I live in a mid-sized metro area in California. The only appointment time that they offered that was in any way convenient was at a nearby Best Buy store, but I discovered (only after I’d scheduled the appointment) that it would take 5-7 business days and they wouldn’t give me a price in advance.

I decided to elect to send it to Apple, where it would take “5 business days” for the repair. But when I actually selected that option, I was back to “5 to 7 business days” and a price of $330 (only $10 less than I originally paid for the phone, and considerably more than the phones are currently selling for on eBay).

Apropos the “Disassembly Robot and Recycling” thread, well-reviewed screen replacement kits are available from Amazon for $40. Apparently, the iPhone 6s Plus is fairly repairable (I have years of experience; I doubt it’s a job for the faint-of-heart).

Would I rather have an official Apple repair? Absolutely, and I would not have blinked at spending $150, and would have grudgingly paid $200. But when the dealer repair is far less convenient and four times the price of the corner mechanic (several shops in town will do the screen swap for $75 while-you-wait), it’s hard to justify going with Apple.

I’m going to give the Amazon kit a go and find out for real how repairable the iPhone 6s Plus really is.


It sounds like one of the issues involved with iPhone repairs is that most people don’t have backup phones. That’s not surprising — unless you keep a functional older model around for emergencies and can get it working through a SIM card swap or the like, a backup phone would seem extravagant.

But then, if anything goes wrong, it’s hard to not have access to any iPhone for a week if it needs to go back to Apple. We sent Tonya’s iPhone 6s back to Apple for a new battery, but only after we’d gotten Tristan’s old iPhone 6’s battery replaced so Tonya could use that phone while hers was out for repair.

So costs aside, immediacy of repair (or availability of loaners) is really key to dealing with a broken iPhone, and that’s something that Apple needs to work on. I know for a fact that the company does not compensate independent Apple Authorized Service Providers well for iPhone repairs, which has made that a tough business to get into or stay in. But it would seem that there’s enough demand for iPhone repair services — if Apple were to let that be a more lucrative business, it might encourage more companies to get into it.

Last time I had my iPhone worked on (also for a new battery, a couple of
years ago), Apple gave me a loaner, are they not doing that any more?


Any comments on the 11.3.1 update for iphone 6+?

This discussion is best handled in the comments on the article about iOS 11.3.1, so I’ve moved it here.

I am running iOS 11.3.1 on my iPhone 6 with no problems.