Aftermarket iPhone Replacement Screens – What Are Their Differences?

After Samsung, iPhone screens tend to be the ones that require frequent repairs. This could be because iPhone screens are made of glass - they crack pretty easily if subjected to rough usage!

There is no dearth of iPhone replacement screens in the market. Such is the quality of the ‘high copies’, that it becomes extremely difficult to distinguish it from the original!

All original Apple screens are manufactured by LG or Sharp, whereas the high copies are manufactured by aftermarket companies such as Longteng (IVO), TianMa, ShenChao, KingWo (Teevo), JingDongFang (JDF/BOE) and AUO.

To begin with, here’s how Aftermarket iPhone LCD is made!

Understanding The Process Of Making Aftermarket iPhone Replacement Screen:

Let us take the example of an IVO screen. A company first contacts IVO and asks them if they can produce a kind of LCD for their phone. They cannot ask IVO to develop LCDs for an iPhone outright - this could lead to copyright and patent issues with the parent company, Apple!

IVO and the company will sign an agreement, post which the company asks IVO to study the LCD in question. Once IVO produces the LCD, the company will ask its own factory or a third party’s factory to assemble the screens and proceed to sell.

Once the demand for these screens builds up, the company looks for other factories to assemble the screens for them, and continues to sell them in the market.

Eventually, the company will not assemble the screens themselves, as more brands keep coming in. They will directly sell the IVO LCDs to certain factories. These factories purchase the spare parts like the glass, frame, backlight, OCA, etc. themselves, and assemble the LCD with these spare parts.

To create a more effective cost-benefit ratio, and to compete with other similar factories, they may use different grades of spare parts, resulting in the differing quality of LCDs. In fact, the quality of Aftermarket LCD depends not only on the LCD, but also the quality of the spare parts used.

Therefore, not all IVO LCDs will be of the same quality!

The same is true for all other brands as well.

While it is always ideal to advise customers to buy original screens, the price differences between the originals and the copies could lead them to look around, and choose the cheaper alternative anyway!

In order to ensure that the customer is not cheated, it is important to explain the differences between the originals, good-quality Aftermarket copies and poor-quality Aftermarket copies. Some of the glaring differences are given below:

  • A poor-quality copy looks washed out - it will have much lower brightness, contrast, and vibrance.
  • The copy screen will have much lower resolution than the original.
  • The frame may have been shabbily installed.

Let’s take a more detailed look at the problems that might come up!

Differences In Quality Between Original And Copy LCDs:

It is clear that the copies aren’t direct ‘copies’ of the original iPhone LCDs. They are closely compatible replacements that have been manufactured from scratch and may have varying differences in quality. Here are some of the quality issues customers may have to face:

  1. Problems With The Digitizer:

One feature that differentiates an original from the copy is how the digitizer (touch sensor) is designed. In the case of an original, it is manufactured as part of the LCD itself. In the case of a copy, the digitizer is placed on the glass.

As mentioned earlier, while the bare LCDs are manufactured by a few, several other companies purchase these and assemble them along with the other spare parts to make them functioning screens. The quality of the spare parts used determines the ultimate quality of the screen.

So, even if you could purchase an LCD from the best “copy” manufacturer,  the digitizer/touch (as part of the separately-manufactured glass) might have been sourced from non-dependable sources!

Unfortunately, the quality of the digitizers used would only be as good as the supplier’s word for them. A lot of them might switch to cheaper ones to gain a better margin!

For instance, with the iPhone 6S and 6S+, Apple moved the chips responsible for touch processing onto the LCD itself. The ‘copy’ screen will end up having ‘copy’ chips too!

Additionally, if you drop an Apple original, the glass often breaks, but if the LCD itself is unharmed, you can continue to use it until the glass is fixed. This is usually how Mobile Repair Stores and Aftermarket Suppliers refurbish original parts with aftermarket glass. As for the copies, since the digitizer is on the glass, it stops working when it breaks. In fact, the LCD itself is more likely to break due to the thinner and more fragile glass.

  1. Poor Quality LCD Panels:

The LCD panels may have poor image quality, as mentioned earlier. They could have issues in brightness and contrast, a more ‘coarse’ look as compared to the original, and a reduced refresh rate.

  1. Repercussions Of Parts That Don’t Match:

There will always be a telling difference between the performance specifications of an original and a copy. For instance, in the case of a copy, the battery can get drained more quickly and mess with the operating system which was meant for the original screen design. Your backlight could get damaged too!

  1. Fingerprint Problems

With the 6S, 6S+, 7 and 7+, the home button- part of the 3D touch- is part of the screen assembly. A lot of times, the home button flexes on copies don’t work properly and stop the touch ID from working.

Overall, copy screens may be more prone to damage, than the originals, even if used carefully!

There are issues with the frame that holds the LCD in place - often, they just come off! This can cause damage to the flex cable, and the screen will need to be replaced.

Finally, unlike the original, the home button often sits lower in its hole in the case of a copy!

Given the differences between the original and the Aftermarket copies, it might seem wrong to promote the sale of the latter. However, it is a fact that customers tend to choose the cheaper copies over the originals. Also, customers may have to wait longer to get original replacements as most Mobile Repair Stores don't keep them in stock.

So, what is important is to get replacement screens that are as close as possible to the originals. As mentioned earlier in the article, some of the most popular brands available in the market are Tianma, IVO, BOE, etc.

Let’s analyze these brands to make the choice easier for you, and your customers!

Analyzing The Different Aftermarket iPhone Replacement Screens:

Here are the features of the different brands that manufacture copies of iPhone screens.

1) KingWo (Teevo):

KingWo claims to provide a close to perfect copy of the iPhone LCD, especially in terms of brightness and polarizer. Here are some of the features it offers:

  • High-quality connector.
  • Teevo certified LCD and Digitizer
  • RA copper FPC folding is 30% more than any ordinary material.
  • Excellent brightness (5.5-inch above 400nit, max.565nit; 4.7 above 450nit, max.550nit)
  • Kingwo3D let you play 3D games.
  • 360° vision with sunglasses.
  • Compliant with the original iPhone LCD test standards.
  • Comes with Camera Ring/Sensor Ring/Flex Cable Foam.
  • Comes with cushion pads.
  • Has a home button connected flex cable (to avoid damage).
  • CE and RoHS approved.

The Teevo LCD, when tested, displays a luminance above 400-450 cd/m2, as against 300-350 cd/m2 of other brands.

The white image chromaticity of a Teevo LCD is X 0.288+5% Y 0.296+5%.

Additionally, it comes with an anti-fingerprint oleophobic coating that prevents fouling and scratches.

2) Tianma:

When you compare a Tianma LCD screen to an original…

  • It is found that the Tianma screen is thicker owing to a plastic layer added onto the glass.
  • The flex textures on the LCD flex cables are different from those of the original.
  • The IC module of the original screen is totally covered, while the Tianma screen is partly covered for its reassembled IC.
  • 30% of Tianma screens do not fit perfectly for its higher bezel - although, this does not affect daily use.
  • There are no differences between the home button hole alignment between Tianma and the original.
  • Unlike the in-cell structure of the original, Tianma applies G+F technology making it slightly thicker.
  • Tianma screens have relatively lower hydrophobicity - they lack the special materials on the surface of the original.
  • As compared to the original, Tianma screens are colder and green-toned.
  • Both touch and 3D touch function well.

3) JingDongFang (JDF/BOE):

When you compare a BOE screen to the original…

  • The BOE screen is thicker than the original because of a plastic layer added to the phone glass lens. The assembly weight, the home button size, and the thickness of the whole screen and glass lens are higher than the original.
  • The display and digitizer touch screen flex cables are different in length and textures.
  • BOE screens have strip-like touchscreen textures, while the original has none.
  • As against the original’s in-cell structure, BOE screens use G+G technology.
  • While the original is waterproof, alcohol-proof, and hexane-proof, BOE screens don’t have any such features.
  • BOE screens come with an uncomfortable LCD supporting bezel frame.
  • There are color changes in BOE displays when compared to the original.
  • Some BOE screens have backlight leakage and shadow issues.
  • BOE screens have touch insensitivity issues.

4) LT (IVO):

When you compare an LT screen to the original…

  • The assembly weight, the home button size, and the thickness of the whole screen and glass lens are higher than the original.
  • The display and digitizer touch screen flex cables are different in length and textures.
  • LT screens have visible touchscreen textures like diagonal lines and light spots, while the original has none.
  • As against the original’s in-cell structure, LT screens use G+G technology.
  • While the original is waterproof, alcohol-proof, and hexane-proof, LT screens don’t have any such features.
  • LT screens come with an uncomfortable LCD supporting bezel frame.
  • There are color changes in LT displays when compared to the original.
  • Some LT screens have backlight leakage and shadow issues.
  • LT screens have touch insensitivity issues.
  • With LT screens, there’s a gap between the LCD touch screen assembly and the body.

Which Of These Aftermarket Screens Are More Cost-Effective?

  1. Original Refurbished
  2. KingWo (Teevo)
  3. AUO 
  4. TianMa
  5. Longteng (IVO)
  6. JingDongFang (JDF/BOE)
  7. ShenChao

In terms of price, ShenChao and JDF are usually considered as the cheapest screens you can find on the market. For Middle of the pack in terms of quality with a competitive pricing TianMa and Longteng are good choices. For the highest quality on the market KingWo (Teevo) and AUO are your immediate go to choices.

Looking For Dependable iPhone LCDs? Choose TechRepair!

At TechRepair, we provide iPhone LCD screens and digitizers that are individually tested and packed into premium boxes. These parts are tested when manufactured and certified by our team to ensure the highest quality standards.

What’s more, these repair screens and digitizers come with a lifetime warranty!

Take a look at our products here

Looking for someone to sell your broken or unwanted screens? Sell them to us for in-store credit or PayPal! All screens will be tested by our team to verify the working status, and offer you the best rates on the market!

Fill out the LCD Buyback Form here

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1 comment

michael deflorio

michael deflorio

im having issue with the ear piece very low cant really hear on a phone call.does the screen replacement include the ear piece and the microphone.

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