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iPhone 11 has a secret feature that you might not appreciate until the iPhone 12 launches

Published Sep 26th, 2019 6:50AM EDT
iPhone 11 Pro vs. iPhone XS
Image: Apple Inc.

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The iPhone 11 phones are already a hit for the company, selling a lot better than their predecessors, according to different analysts. Stock for several iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max versions was depleted soon after preorders kicked off, with the new colors being the most popular among those people who preordered one — Midnight Green for the Pro phones, and Green and Purple for the iPhone 11. We also saw plenty of reviews that said the same thing, that iPhone 11 is the best iPhone ever made, without question, and a tough phone to beat by Android rivals. iFixit’s teardown, drop and durability tests, benchmarks, camera reviews and comparisons, and battery life tests all followed, revealing several of the iPhone 11 series’ features. But it turns out there’s one more iPhone 11 secret feature you should know about, one you might only appreciate come next year when the major iPhone 12 redesign arrives.

Several leaks already claim the iPhone 12 will bring a few notable features that will certainly help push upgrades. We’re looking at an iPhone 4-like design and 5G support, which should be enough to convince people to buy a brand new iPhone. Once that iPhone 12 launches, however, the iPhone 11 will become more affordable, and I’m not just talking about Apple’s official iPhone stock.

The used iPhone market will be flooded by all sorts of older iPhones, including the iPhone 11 and Pro versions that will be a lot cheaper to buy for the iPhone fan that doesn’t want to pay full price for the handset. And here comes Apple’s secret iPhone 11 feature into play.

A newly discovered support document indicates that Apple will display warnings if the phone is rocking a display the operating system can’t verify as genuine. Considering the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max feature the best OLED displays out there, buyers of second-hand 11 Pro models should definitely be aware of the feature.

Initially, the notification will be display on the Lock screen for four days, then in the Settings app for 15 days. After that, you’ll have to remember this path: Settings > General > About, as it’s there that you’ll find the warning:

Image source: Apple Inc.

The warning applies only to iPhone 11 models, including the Pro versions, so you won’t see similar notifications on older hardware, not even the iPhone XS series.

Right to repair advocates might criticize the move, as it can be seen as another way Apple is blocking third-party repair shops from servicing the iPhone.

But considering how important the screen is for a phone, and how expensive iPhone displays are, especially the OLED variety, the notification is good news for users. Even if you’re not in the market for used iPhones, and you simply want to replace the broken screen of an iPhone 11, you’ll benefit from the warning. That’s because you’ll be able to verify whether the shop you hired to replace the broken screen used genuine parts. iPhone 11 models did well in drop tests, but the screen isn’t going to survive all accidental drops.

That said, the iPhone will continue to function as intended even if it doesn’t have a genuine screen. Apple does explain that nongenuine displays may come with several issues that might affect the user experience, including multitouch, True Tone, color experience, brightness, and battery life.

Apple addresses battery safety in the document, saying that screen “repairs that don’t properly replace screws or cowlings might leave behind loose parts that could damage the battery, cause overheating, or result in injury” — read the full support document here

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.