TrueDepth system with all front components of the iPhone X notch

iOS 11 is also affecting light sensors of iPhones with official Apple screens exchanged by third parties

Just yesterday, we reported cases of iPhones that had their screens replaced (probably for non-original parts) at unauthorized service centers and simply froze with the iOS 11.3 update. Now, another piece of news covers some of the recent versions of iOS and brings a more subtle problem, but it raises the question: what the hell is going on in Cupertino?

THE Engadget reported today that some iPhones 8, 8 Plus and X running the iOS 11.1, 11.2 or 11.3 are failing to adjust the screen brightness automatically after a screen change made by an unauthorized agent. Apparently, for some reason still unknown, the light sensor in front of the devices is being rendered useless in operation.

TrueDepth system with all front components of the iPhone X notch

The most curious thing is to note that the problem affects even iPhones whose new panel is a original Apple piece – the x of the issue here seems to be, really, the “status” of the service where the exchange was made. iPhones whose service was performed by Apple itself or an authorized technical assistance did not suffer any type of damage, even though we are talking about the exact same part in both cases.

It is worth noting that changing the screen of an iPhone does not involve any direct contact with the device’s luminosity sensor – the component is built into the front of the device, so changing the screen simply changes the sensor as a whole, too .

No one can say yet what is causing the problem, not even if the behavior is a direct consequence or side effect of some deliberate decision by Apple. As is well known, the company has increasingly joined the aspects related to hardware and software in its products – a practice that had its first great example with the launch of the iPhone 5s, whose Touch ID is so connected to the rest of the components that the fingerprint reading feature is simply disabled in the system if the sensor is replaced by an unauthorized agent, for security reasons.

Of course, a brightness sensor is totally different from a digital reader and, at first glance, there is no logical reason to explain the problem if it comes from some conscious decision by Apple. Some technical assistance owners talked to the Engadget, however, and expressed their fears that the Apple was using the light sensor as a simple test for more drastic actions in the future – imagine, for example, a coming iPhone in which all the internal components, from the simplest to the most vital, are connected to the logic board so that any unauthorized repairs or exchanges turn off their function immediately until Apple itself takes action. Yes, it sounds like a very dystopian future.

Anyway, even if these are mere speculations, it is good to remember that – at least in the United States – neither Apple nor any electronics manufacturer can fail to provide warranty for devices that have been opened and / or have been repaired by non- authorized, as we mentioned earlier. So the idea that Apple knows exactly when your device was opened, and by whom, apparently via software, does not seem very appropriate.

Apple has yet to comment on the matter, but we will return to the case when (or … if) that happens.