Apple Releases iOS 11.3.1 With Fix For iPhone 8s Bricked By Third-Party Displays

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Two weeks ago, we brought you a report that that confirmed that the iOS 11.3 update was bricking certain iPhone 8 smartphones. To be more specific, the update disabled touch functionality on iPhone 8s that were fixed using third-party displays. Without touch support, these smartphones were pretty much useless.

“A lot of people crack their phone screens. Yet, Apple doesn’t make the replacement screens available to the thousands of repair shops that people take those phones to in order to be fixed," said U.S. PIRG’s Nathan Proctor, Director of their campaign for the Right to Repair.

It appears that Apple has heard that message loud and clear, and has resolved the issue with a new supplemental release: iOS 11.3.1. The release notes indicate:

iOS 11.3.1 improves the security of your iPhone or iPad and addresses an issue where touch input was unresponsive on some iPhone 8 devices because they were served with non-genuine replacement displays.

There's no indication on whether the unexpected "bricking" was a result of an oversight or bug on Apple's part, or if the company is simply responding to the negative publicity surrounding the initial iOS 11.3 update. 

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Apple does go on to state that using "non-genuine" replacements parts for its devices can lead to comprised visual quality and may not work properly. The company also encourages customers to have their repair performed by Apple-certified technicians using genuine parts.

However, that's easier said than done given that many Apple customers live in rural areas which can be hours away from an Apple Store or authorized Apple repair center.