Apple has revealed it will show an 'Important Display Message' on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max devices if the phone detects that the screen is a non-genuine replacement.
The company alerted iPhone 11 owners to the message in a new support note that explains how a non-genuine display can impact certain functions and why it's taking an approach that doesn't stop owners from using the device but could affect future servicing.
If a display isn't genuine the Important Display Message appears on the lock screen for four days and in the Settings app for 15 days.
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After that the message will remain in the About page within Settings. The message states that Apple was "unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple display" with a link to learn more.
These notifications don't affect the owner's ability to use their display, unlike the 'error 53' issue of 2016 that bricked iPhones with Touch ID after non-genuine screen replacement.
However, Apple says owners might see a further notification stating that "Apple has updated the device information for this iPhone". This means, "Apple has updated the device information maintained for your iPhone for service needs, safety analysis, and to improve future products."
Additionally, it warns that a non-genuine display can cause problems with multi-touch and cause brightness and color issues, as well as unintentional battery drain.
So if the battery dies early on an iPhone 11 with a non-genuine screen, Apple might not take responsibility for it. And the warning makes it easy for Apple and certified technicians to know whether the screen is genuine.
The company recently rolled out similar notifications for non-genuine battery replacements for the iPhone. Apple explained it was to protect customers from "damaged, poor quality, or used batteries that can lead to safety or performance issues." These notifications also don't stop users from using the phone, but again can affect future servicing.
Apple also offers a safety justification for using genuine parts that are installed by Apple, authorized service providers or certified technicians. Anyone else "might not follow proper safety and repair procedures and could result in improper function or issues with display quality or safety".
"Apple displays are designed to fit precisely within the device. 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," Apple says.
It's not clear why the message only appears for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. However, Apple could implement it in future for older models.
It's understandable why iPhone owners with a cracked screen could be tempted to get a replacement from somewhere else than Apple. Screen repairs for newer models range between $199 to $329 in the US and are more expensive in the UK, but a replacement only costs $29 with AppleCare+ coverage.
Now the AppleCare+ option could be more tempting since AppleCare+ is now available for a monthly fee that can continue so long as it has parts available. Previously AppleCare+ required upfront payment and was limited to two years.