Are you receiving lower yields for your broken LCD screens from your current buyback company or noticed more of your Refurbished LCD screens failing when using specially designed LCD testing equipment? If so, LCD drivers in your testing box could be to blame.
Just recently, incompatible IC chips are being found in an abundance of refurbished LCD screens resulting in what appears to be more failures if these testing devices are the only method being used.
Ensure your broken and refurbished LCD screens are being properly tested to receive the highest payouts and avoid returning potentially good refurbished units to your LCD supplier.
LCD Testing Devices
Many repair shops, LCD refurbishers and recycle companies use this industry standard testing box pictured above. Produced in China, this box is often used to help in the following areas:
- Test LCD screens with greater speed and efficiency
- Avoid the alternative to costly logic boards that constantly break due to numerous connections to the LCD & Digitizer connection snaps.
- Including an inexpensive replacement chip (~$5) when the connection snap does wear down.
- Include an automated test to check for issues with display. (Dead pixels, water damage, screen burns etc.)
- Automatically detects touch digitizer function.
Prices range from $150-$250 and each box originally was only designed to test one specific model requiring users to purchase a new testing device each time a new model was released.
Multi model testing devices started becoming available that could test many different models by simply replacing the inexpensive connection chip instead of purchasing an entirely new box.(Pictured Above)
IC Chip Issues
The “iPhone LCD Shortage” saga was recently relieved when Chinese manufactures produced an abundance of aftermarket non-OEM screen assemblies to offset demand. For a true aftermarket, these assemblies all the way down to the LCD driver had to be reproduced through unofficial channels instead of reclaiming parts from genuine used material.
Since these LCD screens have hit the market, drivers in the IC Chip on the LCD screen appear to be incompatible with the drivers in all of these testing devices.
Signs of Incompatible Testing Boxes
- LCD will power on for a briefly before powering off.
- LCD will show vertical lines in the display area.
- Failure in the touch panel test.
- No display on the LCD screen.
LCD Screens Effected
The flood of aftermarket screens have just recently hit the market in late December 2015. The amount of these refurbished screens that have already been cracked by the consumer, repaired by a 3rd party repair shop and then recycled with an LCD recycling company is minuscule at less than 5%.
However this amount can really add up and is expected to increase due to the enormous volume of aftermarket screens that are currently being consumed by a majority of the repair industry. Ensuring such, long term supply is expected to be filled with these aftermarket IC drivers too.
- iPhone 5/5c/5s – High impact found in at least 50%+ of all current refurbished product.
- iPhone 6/6 Plus – Minor impact being found in less than 20% of all current refurbished product.
What’s the direct impact and what should you do about it?
- Drivers only seem incompatible with testing boxes.
- No LCD incompatibilities have been found when used on actual repaired devices.
- Don’t buy testing devices of any kind anytime soon until an updated version surfaces.
- Use logic boards to test LCD screens if unsure of results.
- Ensure your recycling company addresses the issue in their testing process for accurate results.
Since the current yield is so low, we’re still using these testing devices in our initial testing process. Isolating incompatible screens are detected in our verification process which includes re-testing all failed LCD screens with an actual logic board. This measure helps reduce any mistakes or inaccuracies in testing ensuring our clients receive more cash in their pockets!
We’ll continue to monitor this incident and post any updates if we see any potential impact in our findings.
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