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How to know if a LCD replacement screen is OEM or High Copy?


 The top of two black LCDs are iPhone 5 LCD, you check the label to distinguish them among 5S and 5C.

Many of you might be on the go to fix your iPhone screen as soon as possible. After all our phones play an important role in our lives, both in professional and personal life. But in a hurry you might buy the wrong replacement or replacement of inferior quality! How do you know if a the iPhone screen replacement that you are going to buy is an authentic product? To know this, you have to first know the terms, OEM LCDs or high copy LCD screens.


To give you a quick hint let me give you a rough idea about these terms. OEM(Original Equipment Manufacturer) LCDs are original replacements and high copies are non-original third party made replacements made with an effort to re copy the original replacement. To make things clear, we have to know the grading scale and condition of LCD to distinguish between both of these types.


There are mainly three elements, manufacturing country, marketing and copyright infringement that decide whether a particular LCD screen is OEM or high copy,


Manufacturing Country


Most of the LCD screen replacements are manufactured in Asia. The main reason for this is low cost of production in countries like China. The customers who are located at a different part of the world experience the culture and language barriers. There is a belief among people that products manufactured in China are made of cheap quality materials. OEM is a phrase that is mostly used in Asia similar to U.S customers calling a product, Genuine or Original.




It is a known fact that companies make new terms or buzzwords to advertise their products. In a similar way LCD screens could be added with words to make it more official and genuine. When these words appear upfront, customers could take their focus off from the true condition of the product. So if you are buying a screen replacement you need to be careful about this.


For instance, if you look an item listing “Original iPhone 4S LCD display with digitizer and Frame Assembly” you might think for the next moment that the item is new. But Original may not be entirely new. Below are possibilities


  • Any of the or all LCD, Digitizer or frame assembly may be refurbished.
  • All the parts are newly made and available for first-time use.

Copyright Infringement 


To sell iPhone parts the vendor must have license and using words like “Original” in-front of the products is not allowed. Apple sees every replacement made for its gadgets as original or 100% authentic. If you see words like Original in front of iPhone screen replacements sold online, then you’ll have to know if it original for real. Unfortunately, Apple has been quiet without much consent about fake replacements and online market places that sell parts without authorization. It is customers who have to look closely on the products and who is selling them.


If you look through online stores such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba or any other independent iPhone replacement stores you can find different terminologies being used on the products. Some of the common ones include, Original, Grade A copy, OEM, High Copy, Grade A, High Copy Grade A, Grade A, Grade AAA, Grade A+ and original replacement. All of these words have a positive tone to them and convince the buyer to buy them. They don’t give you sufficient information about a product’s makeup and quality. You can’t even compare products, Grade A+ vs Original which one would you prefer? The words are ambiguous and should be looked into carefully.


Using Price to identify quality LCD screen replacement


Like always you get what you pay for. The LCD suppliers selling genuine LCD screen replacements will have slight differences in the price. If you see a supplier offering iPhone LCD for significantly low price than other then you have the risk of gaining refurbished parts, low quality manufacturing or duplicate item.


What to ask your LCD screen supplier?


Asking questions to the supplier is only half the battle. The probability of getting a honest answer is not more than 50%. To get most out of this process, ask specific questions and possibly many of them. You can analyze the answers you received and find discrepancies in them.


First ask the seller whether the LCD screen is manufactured by the same company from which you bought the phone in this case Apple. Also to make it more specific ask if the screen is same as the newly purchased iPhone. Second, ask if the parts used in the screen replacement are brand new or it is made out of recycled or refurbished parts. Third, if the screen was made out of refurbished parts ask the seller about the parts that are reclaimed out of old one. Many suppliers hire trained representatives who have ready-made answers to frequently asked questions. But make sure you get the desired response from them.


To get a newly made LCD screen, a buyer probably has to buy it from the official store. This is because the number of brand new replacements made by manufacturers today to sell to independent retailers is very low. The LCD screens that come in hands of online retailers are mostly made out of refurbished parts. Again, price helps in knowing if a screen is brand new or old. For instance, if an original screen costs $50 and you find a LCD screen for $30 then its most probably is a refurbished screen.


It is definitely confusing for a buyer when seller uses different words to mean different things for the same product. The best way to translate Original is not repaired or refurbished and Non-Original means it has been repaired or refurbished. But before believing the words quoted in the item listing make sure you ask the seller about the product. Also it depends on what type of replacement you prefer to buy depending on the iPhone replacement cost you can afford and other factors. If you think you don't want to give away the true experience of using iPhone, then always get the OEM screen replacements and get best quality iPhone LCD display. Otherwise, you could look for good quality high copies as they do the same thing but are on the low end in terms of quality and durability.