Join the discussion: Can Apple tell if a screen has been replaced on an iPhone?

Sometimes, life happens and you crack your iPhone screen — and sometimes after you crack your iPhone screen, you get it replaced from the help of a kinda sketchy third party.

You know, one of those shops that's always advertising SUPER CHEAP iPHONE SCREEN REPLACEMENTS NOW!!!!!!!!! with neon signs and a bajillion flashing lights.

Regardless of however or wherever you go to to get your screen fixed, some people are wondering if getting it replaced will hurt their chances of turning in and upgrading their iPhone in the future.

A friend of mine just called me to inquire about whether Apple would be able to tell he had his screen replaced on his 6 Plus in the event he wanted to trade it and upgrade next year. He broke his screen, ordered one online, will have the guys at his school replace it. I have NO clue as to what they do and can/can't determine about your device so I'm asking here because I'm sure someone has...


But what do you think?

We're chatting everything iPhone, Apple, and (i)more in the iMore forums and would love to have you chime in! Hop on into the discussion today and let us know if you think Apple can tell if a screen has been replaced on an iPhone!

Join the discussion on the iMore forum!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau

  • Having spent day after day behind the Genius Bar doing little more than fixing broken iPhone screens (and/or swapping out dangerously frayed lightning cables for iOS devices still under warranty), I can emphatically answer "YES". Most of the time we could tell because the screen actually felt different to the touch or looked thinner. Sometimes we would check the device in only to notice certain tell-tale signs once we got it back to the Genius Room (yes, we actually called it that) where repairs actually performed. If we caught it at the bar, we'd hand the phone back and say that we couldn't actually work on the device. If we noticed it when it was in the back, we'd have to make a note of it in the work order, and the not-so-lucky Genius who was scheduled to return repaired devices to customers that shift would have to have that talk with the customer (oftentimes with a manager nearby in case the customer started getting mad).
    At this point, there is so much glue on the inside of most electronics that almost anyone can pretty much tell when they open it up, because it's no longer fully sealed. It's been a while since I worked for Apple, but $130-ish (or whatever the screen replacement cost is now) isn't so much more than a "sketchy repair shop/kiosk" to deal with voiding your warranty. Plus, a lot of those places won't be able to calibrate the screen correctly -- resulting in other issues like your TouchID sensor no long working.
  • Doesn’t the Apple upgrade program come with AppleCare+? Probably would have been a lot smarter to utilize AppleCare+ vs going to any 3rd party.