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  • Writer's pictureJohn O'Rangers

iPhone 11 and iOS14: No Touch/Erratic Touch

I wanted to make everyone aware of a situation I've come across with iPhone 11 models running iOS 14. I'm not sure if older models have been experiencing this problem, but after conferring with other techs within my professional network, it appears to be fairly widespread with the 11s. Lack of touch or limited touch function. Additionally, I have found what appears to be the solution, and it raises some questions as to the reasons.

I've had two cases, and both were solved the same way. The first case was an iPhone 11 that I had replaced the screen on. For the record, Apple has code written to the original screen that so far has not been transferrable to a replacement display. The device works fine, but you'll get a pop up message that says "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple display". It's little more than a nuisance, and it disappears after a couple of days and is only present in settings if you look for it. Of course this device had that warning message, as was expected.

What happened was that the device came back to me with a complaint of limited touch function. You could unlock and navigate, but if you tried to open an app? It wouldn't allow you to do it. I immediately became concerned that perhaps iOS 14, which this device has just been updated to, had been designed to disable replacement screens. That was attempted previously with the iPhone 8, so I became worried. But I was able to resolve it rather easily. More on that in a second.

This morning a gentleman came by with, you guessed it, and iPhone 11. Still under warranty, very well cared for, not a crack or scratch anywhere. No touch at all. He went to his carrier, and they tried some basic resets, no dice. He then went to TWO Apple authorized repair centers in the region, driving 30 miles between the two, only to be told the following:

-Both service centers did no testing or any real investigation. They both said "We're sorry, but it needs a new screen". Keep in mind the customer's display was in like-new condition.

-The first repair center, located in a major chain store, told him they could not repair it for two weeks.

-The second repair center, also located in a major chain store, told him it would take several days because they were "out of adhesive".

So the bottom line was that neither repair center was willing to deal with the problem, and summarily assumed the display was bad. So the gentleman came to me upon referral from a friend and asked if I could possibly make something happen. I did, and it was solved the same way the previous customer's situation was resolved, and I'll describe what occurred.

Since the gentleman's phone was still under warranty, I was resistant to opening it until other external resolutions were attempted. So I first put the device in recovery mode and updated the software while retaining his data. The update took, but afterwards there still was no touch. So I thought about the previous customer's situation and decided to attempt that resolution. It was highly successful, and the phone works as designed now.

What did I do?

Opened it up, disconnected the battery, reconnected, reboot. All good.

Now my friends, I'm not going to accuse anyone of anything. I'll just lay out the facts here. Why is this occurring? It's a software bug, or is it? I cannot say for sure, but what I can say is the fact that two AASCs immediately assumed the display was bad, when it clearly wasn't, indicates these service centers are not doing proper testing. I am also curious as to why both operations gave this man the push off when it came to repairing the device? I don't want to assume anything, nor make any conspiracy theories. All I'm saying is that these devices are freezing up, a battery disconnect/reconnect seems to solve it, and that's it. I'll let you figure things out.

What isn't clear to me is if these AASCs are actually doing screen replacements and charging customers $200-$300+ for these repairs? Honestly speaking, it's obvious that if I put a new screen on it would have worked. Many people don't think about the battery disconnect/reconnect as a testing procedure. The poor customer would have ended up several hundred dollars lighter in the pocket had he trusted the AASC, or he might have bought a new device when he didn't need one. This seems suspicious to me, I have to be honest. But I'm not accusing anyone of anything, OK?

So here's what needs to happen. If you experience this condition, stay away from AASCs right now and bring your phone here first. I'll be happy to do the battery thing for you, free of charge. If the AASCs aren't going to do their jobs, I'll do it for them. If you want to tip me, I'd be humbled, but it's strictly your call. Not required.

That's the deal, McNeil.

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