A repeat horror for iPhone 7's last year has come back to haunt the iPhone 8: broken touch functionality after a software update. The issue only affects devices that had a screen repair performed by a 3rd party, rather than directly through Apple. Apple's recent iOS 11.3 update looks to be the culprit this time around, which renders iPhone 8 touchscreens useless if they were repaired "unofficially". However, an update was released just one week later to fix the touchscreen problems. It's not yet clear at this time if Apple is working on a fix for iPhone 8's that have been repaired by an external party.
The dead touchscreen issue has affected thousands of customers, with the CEO of Injured Gadgets claiming "This has caused my company over 2,000 reshipments" in a statement to Motherboard. Some speculate that Apple is intentionally causing issues to discourage 3rd party repairs.
The news isn't all bad for users who have run into this problem, according to Motherboard:
According to several people I spoke to, third-party screen suppliers have already worked out the issue, but fixing the busted phones means re-opening up the phone and upgrading the chip.
Not wholly positive and certainly doesn't liberate affected users from the grief caused, but it does provide a path for users who can't afford to wait (or take the risk) for Apple to provide a software fix. Users will need to contact their individual repair shops to determine the availability of functional touchscreens and the policy on getting it re-repaired. There's still time for Apple to release a patch, but no guarantee that they will.
If you have an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus that has undergone 3rd party repairs, we highly advise against updating the software to iOS 11.3 — and would suggest abstaining from future updates until a fix is supplied from Apple.