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Shattered Gorilla Glass and the Fake Parts Scandal

A number of shady companies have been selling fraudulent replacement parts for smartphones, so if your front cover does shatter it can be very difficult to get a new one...


Iphone 4s Screen Protector

 

The unthinkable has happened. You went ahead and dropped your Galaxy S4, and you weren’t even wearing a screen protector.

...and it shattered.

But Gorilla Glass, you stammer, it’s supposed to be tough?

Well, a good marketing campaign may have lead people to think that Gorilla Glass is indestructible, but people need to take a look at the second word in the product name: glass. Yes, it might be hardened glass, but it’s still glass, and glass scratches and shatters when it comes into contact with harder materials, such as the floor.

So you are rocking back and forth in the corner of a darkened room, cradling the wreckage of your once beautiful phone in your arms. Your day couldn’t get any worse… right? 

Dead wrong.

Samsung don’t want to hear about your problems, and that insurance premium means that you can’t go to them for help. There must be another way? A quick Google search reveals that there are a number of easy-to-follow guides out there that teach you how to replace the front glass of your broken screen. Excitedly, you order a replacement part on eBay, carefully you follow the instructions on the easy-to-follow guide, miraculously you don’t break the phone in the process, unbelievably you still don’t use a Galaxy S4 screen protector, and a few weeks later your phone is scratched to pieces.

What happened?

 A number of companies are selling fraudulent replacement parts on the internet, meaning that if you scratch or shatter your phone, you can’t be sure that your next front cover is going to be any more scratch resistant than butter. Even worse, those highstreet screen replacement people that charge you a complete fortune to replace your screen, odds are they’re not using genuine parts either - possibly because they don’t know, possibly because they are out to pull a fast one on you. Either way, it’s bad news for you and your scratched phone.

What should you do?

I’m going to go ahead and state the obvious here: you should’ve been wearing an Expert Shield screen protector in the first place.

If you weren't and you’re now in the much more expensive replacement parts market, here are a couple of ways to check if that part you are considering buying is genuine.

  1. Unprofessionalism. Samsung, Apple and the rest of them may not be perfect companies, but they’re still (usually) a good deal more professional than some bedroom-dwelling scam parts merchant. Typos, mistakes and other errors on their website or seller’s profile are indicators that this person might not be worth doing business with.

  2. Tight-lipped. Is it strangely difficult to find a good quality picture of the part you want (other than one poached from Samsung’s website), or is it hard to find out more about the company that you are dealing with? Most companies love publicity, those with something to hide aren’t worth the time of day.

  3. Differences to watch out for. If you get a chance to take a good look at the replacement part before you buy it (and many fishy companies aren’t keen on letting you do this), there are a couple of ways to tell if your part is genuine. Check the colour - even a part that is supposed to be black might be a little on the grey or blue side. It’s also worth trying to remember if a genuine part for your phone is shiny or mat.

  4. The logo. Logos are pretty hard to replicate, so a logo without clean, sharp lines is a dead giveaway that you’re looking at a fake. Check the borders of the logo, as well as the logo itself.

  1. Patterns and texture. Replicating the exact texture of a genuine front cover can be costly, so look out for shortcuts taken. Sometimes a counterfeiter will create the illusion of a texture by simply printing a pattern. This is obvious to spot when you know what you’re looking for, but if you don’t, then chances are you could never notice.

Needless to say, a fake front cover isn’t going to be half as scratch resistant as an original, so if you do end up with a fake part, that’ll probably need replacing in almost no time at all too. Oh, just think of the time, stress and work that you could have saved if you had just gone ahead and put on a mobile phone screen protector the first time round.

If you’ve had any bad experiences with scam parts, then let us know about it!


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