Apple has made a behind-the-scenes change to its views on third-party screen repair.
Apple has updated its policies to say that if you use a third-party company to install a new display in your iPhone, your warranty will not be voided, according to 9to5Mac, which obtained a copy of a memo detailing the change. However, Apple asked its employees and workers at authorized resellers to ensure the device wasn't illegally tampered with before continuing on in any non-screen repair.
Apple has long said that third-party screens would violate its warranty and it would not perform any repairs on devices with screens that had been fixed by an unauthorized company.
Exactly why Apple has changed tack now is unclear, but the company has come under fire for quite some time for failing to acknowledge that third-party screen repair companies can in some cases get the job done, and do it at a better price. Many Apple device owners have even turned to third-party screen fixers despite Apple's policy.
But Apple isn't willing to go all the way with its third-party-friendly policy. According to the memo obtained by 9to5Mac, Apple will force you to pay the full, out-of-warranty cost on a screen repair if the third-party display you buy fails. And if it permanently damages your device, you'll need to pay full price for an all-new iPhone.
A slew of companies offer iPhone screen repairs outside of Apple's watchful eyes. Verizon, for instance, has launched its own troupe of repair people to fix up ailing handsets. It's joined by countless others, including iCracked, a smaller company that works to fix screens and other ailments around the U.S. You can even walk into some Staples stores to get a fix.
Pricing varies greatly depending on the company you choose and the nature of your problem. In fact, most companies won't even quote you a price until you get to their store and show them the problem.
Apple, however, has pretty clear pricing on its iPhone screen repairs. If you have AppleCare+ on your device, expect to spend $29 on a new screen most of of its recent devices, including iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s. But if you're out of warranty, costs can range from $129 to $149 depending on the size of your screen.