Apple has published a new support document that says the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max will present customers with a warning if the devices are unable to verify a genuine display after a screen repair job. “If you need to replace your iPhone display, it’s important for certified technicians who use genuine Apple display parts to repair it,” the page reads. “Replacements not performed by Apple, authorized service providers, or certified technicians might not follow proper safety and repair procedures and could result in improper function or issues with display quality or safety.”
Apple goes over a laundry list of problems that could arise if your display is swapped the wrong way or with a non-genuine part, such as multi-touch problems, issues with screen color accuracy and brightness, or True Tone failing to work properly. “Additionally, repairs that don’t properly replace screws or cowlings might leave behind loose parts that could damage the battery, cause overheating, or result in injury.”
The company isn’t afraid of nagging customers about this, either. Apple says that a notification will appear on the affected iPhone’s lock screen for 4 days after a problem is first detected, then it’ll move to the main settings menu for 15 more days. After all that, it gets pushed away to Settings -> General -> About.
According to Apple, this new measure only applies to its brand new iPhones and not previous models. Even if it can’t be verified as genuine, the display isn’t prevented from functioning normally by iOS.
This new screen verification warning follows another alert that Apple recently began showing customers when iPhones detect an unauthorized battery replacement. “We take the safety of our customers very seriously and want to make sure any battery replacement is done properly,” an Apple spokesperson said about that notification, which was criticized by right to repair advocates because it also disables the iPhone’s battery statistics and health data. “There are now over 1,800 Apple authorized service providers across the US so our customers have even more convenient access to quality repairs.” Apple recently said it would make genuine parts available to more independent repair businesses.
Raising a safety issue with batteries is perfectly reasonable; batteries can be dangerous. But should the company be this aggressive about swapped displays? On the other hand, this is a pretty direct way of alerting customers that they might’ve been given a bum display by their local repair shop. And if you’re buying a used iPhone 11 at some point in the future, there’ll be no wondering whether the screen was replaced with a cheap, non-Apple part.
However, there’s an added element to this display notification that seems a little alarming, too. Apple makes it sound as if the iPhone might report back to the company that you’re using a display that couldn’t be verified and tie that information to the device’s service history. This could potentially cause problems if you need to get something else on your iPhone fixed down the line.
You might see an additional notification that says, “Apple has updated the device information for this iPhone.” This means that Apple has updated the device information maintained for your iPhone for service needs, safety analysis, and to improve future products.
The Verge has reached out to Apple for more details on these new display verification measures. The company recently introduced a subscription model for its AppleCare+ extended warranty, letting customers pay monthly even beyond the usual two-year window and maintain coverage for as long as Apple offers servicing for that device.