Replacement screens are not all manufactured by Apple, LG or Sharp even though Chinese distributors would like you to believe they are, most of them are counterfeit. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or Original are words chosen to describe parts that are near Apple’s required quality standard when in actual fact would often be rejected by the OEM.
So what’s happening in the market?
A large over-supply of poor quality screens have forced Chinese suppliers to produce and deliver higher quality parts; there has been a huge increase of returns to many sellers making repair companies look to buy higher cost screen to reduce the defect rate.
Another reason is that Apple want you to upgrade to iPhone 6, the life cycle of an iPhone was intended to last around 3 years so Apple want people to transition off the old device to a new one. Apple have been seizing fake screens along with other counterfeit goods thus having a knock on effect to the cost of replacement parts. If the price of the replacement parts go up, it could make the older phones B.E.R. (Beyond Economical Repair).
Chinese part vendors have also been known to price fix especially when goods have been seized by customs; Apple may well be aggressively working alongside customs so seize inbound parts driving the cost of repairs up in order to increase sales of new handsets.
What about iPhone 6 ?
iPhone 6 LCD’s and 6 plus are believed to be following suit in the near future.