iPhone Replacement Part | The Industry Norm
A very common misconception in the iPhone industry remains in it’s repair business. The confusion still remains in the true meaning and definition of Non-Original LED screens and OEM(Original Equipment Manufacturer) screens that are original LCD screens. Seemingly various companies selling LCD screens or buying back broken LCD screens do use a slightly different terminology.
Feeling unsure? Let’s not panic. Let us rather define the basic differences between the stock conditions of the company.
Different Conditions and Grading scales | The reasons
All this confusion basically owes to cultural differences, marketing and name brand copyright infringement spread along various regions.
The Asian market generally boasts of manufacturing or refurbishing LCD screens. Now post manufacturing there always remains a culture and language barrier between the various nations when it comes to cell phone replacement parts. Infact, the term OEM is used more often than not in the Asian market itself whereas Americans would like to use the ‘Original’ or ‘Genuine’.
There are various marketing twists so as to advertise LCD screen parts and make them sound more official and keep off the focus of the customers from the actual variant of the genuine product.
To illustrate this, the title “Original White LCD Display having Digitizer and Frame Assembly for iPhone 4S” may seem eye catching and feels 100% authentic and new but basically it means it is a full complete iPhone 4S LCD screen assembly having a authentic iPhone LCD manufactured by Toshiba or Sharp (the LCD maybe real but it actually is refurbished). Also an aftermarket Digitizer is attached along with the LCD. Other spare-parts or components extracted from broken LCDs are basically used as after market parts in re-manufacturing industry.
Brand Copyright Infringement
One cannot sell iPhone spare parts unless technically licensed to do so even if they are offering 100% authentic and new parts. Now if you see words for iPhone 4, 4S, 5 etc you will probably know why. Note the missing Apple in there. To be honest Apple has so far been quiet about seizing of sale of parts without authorisation at US customs and online marketplaces.
Sellers basically twist their advertisements to prevent the risk of selling refurbished or unauthorised parts of Apple by confusing the customers with fancy words that basically masks the truth.
Following are the common terms that are mostly used in the sellers’ offerings – Original, OEM, Grade A Copy, High Copy, High Copy Grade A, Grade A, Grade A+ ,Grade AAA , Original Replacement
Feels similar right? It is worth noticing how each and every word has a positive tone attached to it. There is a Grade A and Grade A+. In grade school we went from an A to B, not from an A to Almost Perfect. Basically you will only see a different positive word used to ultimately confuse the customer. These terms are always meant to define one major component or a part rather than the entire assembly.
Basically most LCD suppliers hover around with the same pricing but whenever a lower price is offered you have to be ready to compromise with either the amount of the truly new parts on the assembly or quality of reclaimed parts or quality of manufacturers work companies service in regards to sales , shipping , ease of returns , and duration of warranty.
Now, if you are going to buy the cheapest LCD from your supplier and asked “Are these new?” you will mostly likely be answered with an “yes”. The LCD must be new but be sure that it was a fake LCD made only to shave off the cost and you should be ready to compromise with possibly DPI and resolution or colour brightness or quality of workmanship.
The sad truth is most buyers think they are buying a new LCD screen but 95% are refurbished. In fact, what differs is the process of refurbishment. The truth remains that Toshiba and Sharp are the only companies who made LCD screens for iPhone’s and have not manufactured new ones for over a year. The manufactured LCD’s made only for authorised service centres and over the counter replacement phones only. Basically to date, most LCD buyers are purchasing assemblies at as low as €18-€26. But a true new original LCD would cost well over that and would be quite hard to find. An LCD at below €35.00 means you are definitely buying a refurbished model.
Incidentally as per the industry standards, Original and Non Original are used as different terminologies .
This indicates that the material has never been refurbished before. If you buy a brand new Apple iPhone 6 directly from Apple, it comes to you in the box, you cracked the screen and take it to a repair shop and remove the screen to replace it. This screen is original as the iPhone was opened and used as brand new and the original LCD has never been replaced. Technically ‘original’ does not mean fake or real. Original means it is a part of the original phone when purchased new.
The LCD has been reclaimed from a broken LCD screen assembly at least once, Non original does not mean fake.
It is also worth mentioning a few easy do it yourself tests to recognise a real OEM from a fake. Just put a drop of water on the screen and if the water focuses on the screen and does not flow then it is real. Although better high quality copy glass has now been available in China .But this test cuts out quite a bit of fake ones.
Moving on to the next stage, check the plastic frame for defects as fake LCD screens are made of fake frames . Look out for glitches at the edge of the frames. You can also check out the metal holding for screws as they are poorly adjusted.
Also there are instances where the LCD may be original but the flex cables may be produced from a secondary below standard factory. In such cases it is rather impossible though for a non technical person to spot the difference yet if one holds an original assembly of Apple LCD along with a fake one it may be quite possible to differentiate the two. It is recommended to get the Flex cable from a OEM factory assembly as fake Flex cables may cause huge problems for the iPhone.
To summarize in one word one should always go for a Genuine OEM LCD assembly from a professional repair business. Afterall, its an Apple gadget we are talking about.