Apple to give better support to third-party iPhone screens and batteries later this year

Apple published a whitepaper today with the title “Longevity, by Design.” The first paragraph sums up Apple’s goals. “At Apple, we are always working to create the best experience for our customers, which is why we design products that last. Designing for longevity is a company-wide effort, informing our earliest decisions long before the first prototype is built and guided by historical customer-use data and predictions on future usage. It requires striking a balance between durability and repairability while not compromising on safety, security, and privacy.”
Buried in the whitepaper is word that Apple will allow more features to be added to third-party iPhone screen and battery replacements. Per The Verge, Apple will allow manufacturers of third-party iPhone screen replacements to offer the True Tone feature on their screen. True Tone adjusts the white balance of an iPhone display to match the user’s environment. Typically, when a third-party replacement display is installed on an iPhone and detected by iOS, the True Tone feature is disabled. But with this change, iPhone users employing a third-party replacement screen will be allowed to enable True Tone “to the best performance that can be provided.”

Apple points out that the result might not deliver the True Tone experience that iPhone users are used to since True Tone calibration is done server-side, changes with each individual unit, and requires “accurate communication between a product’s display and light sensors.” The latter is something that can’t always be achieved when dealing with a component from a third-party manufacturer. If iPhone users aren’t happy with the capability of True Tone on a third-party replacement screen, the feature can be disabled.

At the same time, iPhone users with a third-party battery replacement cannot obtain figures such as maximum capacity and cycle count which are provided for the batteries that Apple includes with the iPhone out of the box. That’s because Apple can’t verify the figures as they apply to a third-party battery. Internal research conducted by Apple revealed that some replacement batteries sold by third parties are actually not new and have been previously used. The metrics that appear when testing these components are often faked to make them look as though they belong to a brand new battery.

Later this year, Apple is expected to show battery health results for third-party batteries with a notification stating that Apple cannot verify the figures. Concerned about the safety of third-party batteries, Apple says, “We encourage all consumers to confirm that the product meets stringent safety requirements.” We should also point out that when Apple says that a new feature will be out “later this year,” most likely Apple means to expect improved support for third-party replacement displays and batteries to arrive with the launch of iOS 18 which should take place in September when the new iPhone 16 line is released.

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