A new feature in Apple’s latest iPhone software update is rendering certain phones unusable.
Apple released iOS 11.3 at the very end of March, and the update is reportedly killing touch functionality in iPhone 8s that have been repaired with third party screens.
So people who have kept to already break their iPhone 8 screen and went the cheaper route of getting it fixed by a non verified Apple repair shop are now at risk of having a useless phone.
The update was pushed out on March 29, introducing the Tim Cook’s promised iPhone battery health information giving users more control over Apple’s controversial phone throttling measure.
But whether intentional or not, the iOS 11.3 update has caused massive issues for the touch functionality on some iPhone 8 devices.
Tech publication Motherboard first reported the issue and the CEO of a repair company in the US, Injured Gadgets, told the outlet it was already hurting business.
“Customers are annoyed and it seems like Apple is doing this to prevent clients from doing third party repairs,” said Aakshay Kripalani, who claimed the issue had already cost her business more than 2000 reshipments.
According to the report, every iPhone screen is powered by a small microchip, and that chip is what the repair community believes to be causing the problem. Fixing the busted phones means re-opening up the phone and upgrading the chip.
This is not the first time this problem has arisen in the subtle tug-of-war between Apple and unsanctioned repair services. Previous iOS update killed touch functionality on iPhone 7s with third party screens but a later update resolved the problem.
Apple was also taken to court last year by Australia’s top consumer watchdog over “error 53” which bricked iPhones if they had their home button replaced by a third-party repair shop.
Whenever Apple is pressed on its repair policy, it constantly says the policies it has in place are about protecting the client and promoting the longevity of its products.
A cynic might think Apple doesn’t want to lose control of its highly lucrative repair market but the company claims as its gadgets get increasingly sophisticated, it is hesitant to open them up to unqualified third-party repairers.
When news.com.au asked Apple executive Lisa Jackson in November about why the company was actively fighting “right to repair” legislation in the US she reiterated the stance.
“We run our own repair programs and then authorize and certify repairers. The question is in a gadget that is increasingly complex, what is best for the user?
“And third-party, unauthorized repairs are exactly what they sound like,” she said, suggesting they would make the gadgets less secure and even jeopardize their longevity.
“We want to make sure repairs are done properly.”
Has this iPhone 8 problem happened to you since downloading iOS 11.3?