Reports say that the ambient light sensor of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X stops working after third-party screen repairs, even if the replacement is genuine.
With the component turned off, the iPhone loses its functionality to automatically adjust brightness.
While the issue doesn't always occur in every case, it's widespread enough for repairers to start worrying that Apple is out to get them.
iPhone Ambient Light Sensor Problem
According to Engadget, the sensor is disabled as the iPhone boots up. It also confirmed that the issue turns up even when swapping the displays of two new iPhones and that it affects devices on iOS 11.1, iOS 11.2, and iOS 11.3.
It's unclear what exactly triggers the problem. In terms of how frequent it takes place, a repairer told AppleInsider that it shows up in approximately one out of three repairs on the susceptible iPhones.
How This Spells Trouble
For both consumers and unauthorized repair outfits, this comes as bad news.
From users' perspective, this means they can't avoid Apple's typically more expensive prices for repairs. Under AppleCare+, screen repairs will go for only $29. Without it, they'll have to shell out from $129 for the iPhone 5 lineup, iPhone SE, and iPhone 6 to $279 for the iPhone X.
Meanwhile, on the third-party repair shops' side, a broken glass is one of the most common reasons users turn to them. That said, it's safe to assume that it makes up a significant portion of their profits. With that gone, they risk losing a lot of business.
From the look of things, this was a long time coming, dating all the way back to the iPhone 5s.
"I've been waiting for this for five years to be honest, since the 5S. It's a scary looking future for me," a repairer told Engadget.
This comes hot on the heels of the iPhone 8's touch-screen issue. As the story goes, devices equipped with aftermarket displays that are updated to iOS 11.3 essentially get bricked. In other words, the touch screen stops working.
One takeaway here is that a future where iPhone owners can rely only on Apple and authorized shops for repairs is coming close to reality. It should be noted that this makes sense for the Cupertino brand. That's because it can assure that repairs are up to par, and from a business angle, it can earn a lot from after-sales services.