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Announced on October 13th, 2020, the iPhone 12 mini is a smaller version of Apple's iPhone 12. It features a 5.4-inch OLED display, an A14 Bionic processor, and dual rear cameras.

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Slight difference in screen border after replacement screen

Hello,

I recently performed a repair on an i12Mini, and after replacing the screen, noted the black border around the display was slightly thicker at the bottom. Is this a hardware issue? Or something else?

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Hi Jeremiah,

What kind of replacement screen did you get? Everything after the iPhone X is now using OLED screens, but aftermarket screens vary widely in quality and fit.

The original uses what's called a soft OLED screen. The LED circuitry is printed on a flexible plastic sheet that is then bonded to the curved glass of the digitizer. This ensures the pixels extend from one side of the glass to the other. It's also supposed to be less susceptible to damage since it's flexible plastic rather than fragile glass - even Gorilla Glass. Soft OLED replacement screens are the closest to the original, and of course they also cost the most.

In terms of expense, the next choice is the hard OLED screens that are available. This is the same OLED circuitry, but this time it's printed on a sheet of glass rather than plastic. Since the glass doesn't bend, it can't extend completely to the edge of the digitizer, so there will be a slight gap all around the outside edge of the display. Other than that, it should match the original in terms of picture quality and display resolution.

The cheapest option for a replacement screen is an LCD. Since it's again printed on glass, it has the same limitation on size as the hard OLED and won't extend completely to the sides of the digitizer. The display will likely be of lower quality that the OLED in terms of contrast, brightness and resolution. The biggest difference is going to be in terms of display thickness. OLED displays generate their own light, but LCD displays need a backlight, so in addition to the display and digitizer, you have to add another layer for the backlight, making the LCD screen significantly thicker than the equivalent OLED version.

So if you opted for either the hard OLED or the LCD as a replacement, then there is going to be space on the edge of the display that wasn't there with the original. If you did indeed get a soft OLED display, then it sounds like it wasn't constructed properly and you may want to consider contacting your supplier to exchange it for a replacement.

I'd love to hear what you bought as a replacement and how this all turns out, so let us know!

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Not a hardware issue. Aftermarket replacement screens need a little more room at the bottom, perhaps due to the way they are manufactured. It’s most notable on iPhone 11 and XR screen replacements. Depending on the quality of the replacement, closest to OEM would be a refurbished screen which should match almost exactly with the borders. However on the cheaper aftermarket screens the glass(black border) may not always be lined up on the actual display(LCD/OLED). Another possibility is that if you used an LCD screen replacement in an iPhone which would normally use an OLED(iPhone 10-14(OLEDs) omitting the XR, SE, and iPhone 11) Since the technology needs a border for the LCD cable to wrap around if I remember correctly.

Nothing to really be worried about. Refurbished is the way to go for best quality, assuming it’s been refurbished correctly. Hope this helps! Best of luck!

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Why is my screen replacement have like a bracket? I think it’s called arc frame bracket, but the original does not? How am i gonna fit it?

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@rey9000, Your original screen did have a bracket, but like many others have done, you've separated the display from the frame in the process of removing it. Look back over on the main body of the phone and you'll find that frame still mounted when it should have come off with the display.

The most common cause for this happening seems to be forgetting to remove the pentalobe screws next to the charging port, but it can happen from simply prying at the wrong spot; you got between the frame and the display rather than the frame and the rest of the phone.

Fortunately, outside of possibly causing problems with the old screen (which doesn't matter because you're replacing it, right?), the fix for this is simple; just go back around the phone redoing the screen removal process, only this time you're removing just the frame rather than the frame and the display as you should have.

If you show us a picture of the rest of the phone, I can point out the frame easily enough; especially if you compare it side by side with a phone that's been opened correctly.

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Jeremiah Brown will be eternally grateful.
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