You dropped your iPhone for the third time this week. Now you have to decide if you’re going to get your broken screen replaced at a local Apple repair service provider or if you’re going to start scrolling online to find the best options for a new or refurbished iPhone.
Let’s say you decide to have the screen on your old phone fixed up by a tech-savvy friend of yours so you can sell or exchange the old, beat-up iPhone 6 for a good deal on a new iPhone 13. Now you’re wondering, “Can Apple tell if I replaced my screen?”
Screen replacements come in a variety of different kinds, like LCD or OLED. Other types of smartphone screens include TFT and IPS. You may have heard of AMOLED or even Super AMOLED displays. Most of these touch screens are made by third-party manufacturers. All of these screens can function on an iPhone — and they’re cheaper than an original. So what’s the problem?
Apple says that all its screens are designed and tested for ‘Apple quality and performance standards.’ This is done before iPhones and iPads hit the shelves for the first time to ensure all Apple products have their proprietary technology like multi-touch, true tone, night shift, and haptic touch functioning properly.
While you may not understand all the jargon, this basically means that iPhone screens are immaculate in functionality — and we’re not even talking about the Pro versions here. There are many reasons why having an original iPhone screen is important, both as a buyer and as a seller. An original screen can go a long way in terms of performance, specifications, aesthetics, and exchange offers if you’re eventually looking to upgrade.
Getting your iPhone screen replaced by an authorized Apple service provider can be an expensive affair — but cheaper, aftermarket screens that aren’t from Apple often come with several issues.
To answer the question above: yes. Apple can tell if you’ve replaced your screen. As a matter of fact, you can check for yourself. In this guide, we’ll look at how you can check for genuine Apple iPhone screens, issues with non-genuine screens, and the difference between the two.
How to check if an iPhone screen is genuine
Genuine iPhones will use OEM parts. This means they’re the original equipment manufacturer for all their hardware. Every original Apple product goes through a rigorous quality check process to ensure every part, from the display to the speakers, is compliant with their standards.
Most non-OEM parts come from third-party manufacturers who use cheaper materials to make their screens. The costs are lower upfront, but, you get what you pay for. It's likely that you'll have to keep replacing your screen at iPhone repair shops because third-party screens perform poorly and lack longevity.
This is why it’s important to get OEM parts, even if it’s a little more expensive. Your iPhone will perform at an optimum level, as Apple meant it to, and you’ll safeguard your warranty. Original parts also help with resale value if you eventually look to sell your iPhone or exchange it for a newer model.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which you can check the legitimacy of your phone in just a few minutes.
Go to settings on iPhone 11 models and later
If you own an iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or any of the models after it and are using iOS 15.2 or later, you can follow these steps to check the parts and service history of your iPhone.
- Go to Settings.
- Tap General > About.
- Here, you’ll be able to see PARTS AND SERVICE HISTORY under your iPhone’s general information.
- Under this, you’ll see Display. If your screen was replaced using parts verified by Apple, “Genuine Apple Part” will show up next to it.
- If the display is non-genuine, pre-used in another iPhone, or not functioning as it should, you’ll see “Unknown Part ! ” appear just below the serial number, next to Display.
In iPhone models after iPhone X, the non-genuine display message also pops in as a notification suggesting a possible non genuine Apple screen.
Shine a flashlight on the screen
Another quick way to check whether your iPhone screen is genuine is by shining a flashlight on it. You just want to shine the light directly on the iPhone’s screen.
Focus on the reflection of the light on the display. Fake screens tend to have grid lines on them, which will show up under a flashlight. These could be running across the screen horizontally, vertically, or both. The most common causes for this include software incompatibilities, hardware failure, or screen damage.
If the screen on your iPhone is genuine, the screen will be solid black and you won’t see any grid lines on it.
Turn your brightness all the way up
The last few iPhones to be released all have a maximum brightness level of around 1200 units. This means that iPhone screens get very bright and usually have best-in-class color accuracy.
You can use this to check if your iPhone’s screen is genuine. Simply bump the brightness slider up to maximum brightness, and open a solid black picture. You can head over to this website for a completely black screen.
Once you’re on this screen, zoom in and look at the display. If you have a genuine Retina OLED screen, it will look pitch black — as if you haven’t turned on your iPhone.
However, if the screen replacement process was non-genuine, you might have an LCD screen that isn’t from Apple. You can tell if you have a non-genuine screen if you notice color mismatch, specks, or marks of white or grey. Anything other than solid, fullscreen pitch black is not an original iPhone display.
Get a device certification report
If you want to get the entire lowdown on the authenticity of your iPhone, you can get a complete device certification report. This is especially useful if you’re looking to buy or sell a used phone.
A device certification report will give you your device status, carrier details, and phone repair history, among many other things. The entire process only takes a few minutes.
If you’re looking to sell your iPhone or buy a refurbished one, making sure all of its parts are genuine through Phonecheck’s device certification report can help you save time and put a proper valuation on your phone. Don't buy a used device without a Phonecheck Certified History Report.
Common issues you may experience with non-genuine iPhone screens
Having a non-genuine screen on your phone can cause several issues. Not only this, but the chances of selling or exchanging your phone for maximum value will substantially decrease.
Here are a few common issues to look out for that are signs of a non-genuine iPhone screen:
One of the most common issues with a non-genuine touch screen is multi-touch. Non-genuine screens will not be as prompt or accurate as genuine iPhone screens. Some of the signs of a non-genuine screen are:
- Missed screen touches or touches not registering in the intended area.
- Certain parts of the display not responding to multi-touch.
- Unexpected touches registering during phone calls.
- The screen staying on during phone calls.
- Registering accidental touches on the edge of the iPhone.
Display brightness or color issues
Another common issue with non-genuine iPhone screens is that there could be LCD display panels that aren’t from Apple. Original iPhone screens usually have Retina or Super Retina displays made from an OLED panel that is incredibly bright and color accurate.
If you notice the following issues with your screen’s display, you might have a non-genuine iPhone screen:
- iPhone's true tone feature does not work properly (this is when your screen uses different sensors to adapt the screen's color to the light sources around it).
- The display's brightness is not consistent.
- The maximum brightness is not as bright as it should be.
- Unexpected battery depletion.
- Imbalance in color calibration, causing the screen to seem excessively yellow or blue.
- Deterioration of the ambient light sensor, causing the screen to fade or brighten inadvertently
Apart from the more common issues related to multi-touch and display brightness, you may experience the following issues with your iPhone if you have a faulty screen:
- Your iPhone does not turn on.
- Your home button does not work.
- Your screen might feel coarse or rough.
- White or grey specks show up on the screen against darker backgrounds.
- Horizontal and vertical gridlines run across the screen’s display.
- Certain apps may lag or stutter.
- Some Apple store apps may fail to open altogether.
- Your iPhone gets stuck at the Apple logo while turning the phone on.
- A non-genuine screen may cause damage to your backlight.
- With some non-genuine iPhone screens, digitizers tend to malfunction, creating dead areas in the screen (usually the bottom) where your touch commands have no effect. A digitizer is a layer of glass that converts analog movements like your touch commands and gestures to digital signals that your iPhone can understand and interpret. The digitizer rests over the device's LCD or OLED display.
Is there a difference between an original iPhone screen and a replacement display?
There’s a clear difference between an original iPhone screen and a replacement display in terms of both performance and price.
While original iPhone screens may be slightly more expensive, they’re the screens that were initially manufactured specifically for Apple iPhones. You can slap a third-party screen on an iPhone, and it will work, but the performance will be nowhere near as seamless. Non-genuine LCD panels will have lower brightness levels and weaker contrast. The colors won’t pop and the screen will feel coarse to the touch.
As mentioned in the previous section, non-genuine screens have tons of issues when it comes to multi-touch, true tone, night shift, and other features that Apple meant to be enjoyed exclusively on an iPhone.
A non-genuine screen’s touch will be inaccurate, the iPhone won’t respond as well, the screen won’t be as smooth to the touch, the brightness will flicker on its own, the battery might deplete quicker, and you may experience a lag in day-to-day usage. With a genuine Apple-approved iPhone screen, you are far less likely to experience these issues.
A genuine iPhone screen is just as important on the day you buy it as it is when you decide to sell it. If you’re looking to sell your phone or hand it in to exchange for a new iPhone, the value of an iPhone with a genuine screen will always be far higher than an iPhone with a non-genuine screen.
Non-genuine screens will show up in your device’s parts and services history, and you’ll end up selling your iPhone for way less than it could have. There’s a good chance that you will pay for a screen a third time after your first non-genuine replacement fails to work properly. It’s best to get a genuine iPhone screen replaced with another genuine iPhone screen.
It’s likely you’ll have a more durable screen, better performances, and fewer problems in the long run until you decide to sell your phone for the best price available.
Ensure quality with a device certification report from Phonecheck
It’s clear that while a genuine iPhone screen may be more expensive than third-party replacement counterparts, the pros far outweigh the cons. Not only will you enjoy using your phone more, but you also won’t have to break the bank when you want to upgrade.
Speaking of upgrades, if you’re looking to buy or sell a used iPhone, we highly recommend a complete device certification report from Phonecheck. This report will help uncover any issues and give you an in-depth record of your iPhone. Avoid costly hidden problems by purchasing a history report on phonecheck.com for about the cost of a cup of coffee.