Right now, I know many are wondering why iPhone screen repair prices are fluctuating (mainly going Up!). Well here’s why…
What is short in the market?
First let me educate everyone on what is composed of an LCD assembly and what is China’s role in manufacturing those lcds. So Originally Apple has given authority to 3 manufacturers to make their LCD’s (LG, Sharp, and Samsung. Now they have a technology that the Chinese manufacturers can not copy and don’t have the manufacturing capabilities to make, the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). So the fact is that China cannot make the main component of the LCD. However, China can make the backlight, attached to the LCD. They can make the polarizer, the OCA, the Flex cable of the LCD, and the glass the Frame to produce the Copy Assemblies many of our competitors use. However when it comes to the main component the LCD they lack that capability. So when you hear there is a shortage of material they are referring to the fact LCD’s are hard to get currently.
Where was China getting the materials from before?
20-25% of the LCD in China come from refurbishing a broken glass LCD assembly. However the main supply of OEM Screens and LCD’s came from a leak in the Apple supply chain. And factories in China get access to the raw material directly. Now all the iPhone 5/ iPhone 5s / iPhone 5c have the same raw component, but the flex cable is different which determines with motherboard to fit with.
So what happened now?
Honestly , I don’t even know the exact answer. To my knowledge it is 2 things. First, Apple has tightened the security in their supply chain and now the factories are relying on the 20-25% of the material coming in from broken screens. Second Option is that Apple has put a stress on the factories to manufacture more LCD’s for the launch of the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6c, and 6s plus. So the factories don’t have time or resources to make extra material, when Apple has assembly lines maxed out. Not to Mention that these companies have their own products to make and other companies to supply, also there is rumors that Apple plans on using the iPhone 5/5s/5c LCD on the iPhone 6c. But that is just a Rumor so far, no guarantee.
When should this last till?
In my opinion this price increase will last till the end of year. Even mid January (till the end of Chinese New Years)
What can you do?
I would just recommend, finding a good, honest repair shop (such as Elite iPhone Repair) for your broken screens. (I recommend ourselves, but you are more then welcome to shop around), and know that some are using double refurbished and/or low quality second run screens. The whole market is short, not just here, so as the customer you have very few options unfortunately. We do our best to keep extra LCD’s on hand, so you don’t have to feel the wrath of the shortage, but when our vendor is out, so are we.
Who is the cheapest now ?
Don’t always go by price, as the main focus should be quality, as a few dollars to get a cheap screens ends up with angry customers or frustrated techs with having to do a repair 2 or 3 times to find a good quality part. Honestly, Elite iPhone Repair is currently the most affordable OEM quality Screen user in the market! And No, we aren’t saying everyone else uses cheap parts. We actuality work hand in hand with some other shops to focus on quality and are all struggling to find the most premium parts available in the market. But the trust is that our suppliers have a shortage on LCD’s, and they don’t want to say they have run out so they will jack up the price, so as to limit people on buying large quantities. We might be out, but we get shipments in almost daily and anyone of the sales people here work really hard to keep repairs affordable and timely.
After all is said and done, the average price of a quality LCD assembly for a 5, 5C, or 5S is between $65-$70 and still rising. After labor and overhead we charge $97 plus tax, landing your total bill at $105. Just last month we were charging $80-$85 total, but at current screen prices, it would cost money to continue at $80-$85 after tax. Of course our lower quality competitors are still at the $85-$90 plus tax range, of course, if you don’t care that it is likely to crack for no reason in a short period of time, or that it comes with a very limited 30 day warranty, then that should suite your needs. But if you want the 6 Month warranty and OEM Quality parts that Elite iPhone Repair Delivers, then unfortunately, prices have had to change.