Oh no bro! I’ve dropped my iPhone!

Recently I headed to my local Apple Store, as my iPhone 6 Plus earpiece was barely audible, and I couldn’t hear calls anywhere except my quiet office. And in my line of business, being on the phone is vital.

The quite helpful Genius at the store offered me two options; either replace the earpiece assembly, or replace the entire display. Doing the latter, he also informed me, was a better choice, in case the problem was something else.

So I accepted his advice and opted for an entire screen replacement, and after signing my work order, the Genius invited me to come back in two hours; one and a half, at best.

Excuse me? Two hours?

As my old man says… In my day we would turn around a screen replacement during the appointment; in about 3 minutes.

So what happened?

Well… A couple of things.

When the iPhones 3G was first released, any repair would actually be a replacement of the entire phone; a task which could be done at the Genius Bar.

Starting with the iPhone 4 range, replacement displays were an option. This job was done in the Genius Room, and took only minutes.

However, with the iPhone 5s things became more complex.

For security, Touch ID functionality, as part of the home button, is isolated from all other phone functionality; only the Touch ID’s dedicated microprocessor scans, stores, and certifies your fingerprint. Replacing the screen means moving the Touch ID assembly to the new screen, or the fingerprints will be gone.

Third-party screen replacements often end up using just a regular home button; not only are your fingerprints gone, but so is your entire Touch ID functionality!

Additionally, as seen in this video, if only the display is replaced there are other components which are moved to the new display. Finally, the Genius informed me that the iPhone display is calibrated before being returned.

All of this takes time.

So, if you ever find yourself in need of an iPhone screen display, make sure you head to your local Apple Store to get the job done right, and set aside and hour or two.

And that’s not a bad thing… There’s L’Occitane, T2, kikki.K, Bed Bath N’ Table, Pandora… More than enough to keep you amused while you wait!