We’ve been getting a lot of calls about fixing broken iPad Mini screens. This is definitely one of those repairs we want to start doing, so we picked up an iPad Mini with a cracked glass. Then did our first tear apart and diagnosed the repair difficulty.
We have good and bad news. First, the good news: the iPad Mini is only slightly more difficult than an iPad 2, 3 or 4 repair. It’s something we can easily do. Or at least, we could easily do if we had the right parts.
And that’s the bad news.
We bought a few replacement iPad Mini digitizer from one of our suppliers. It turns out the replacement screens are missing a very important adaptor. The pictures on the right show it best.
The one on the top is a picture of a digitizer we purchased from our supplier. Notice the ribbon cable connector with about 70 “pins” on it?
Now check out the picture on the bottom – that’s the connector on the broken screen we removed from an iPad Mini.
The difference should be clear.
The one on the bottom has a small adaptor that converts those 70 pins into a little plug connector. I actually removed that adaptor and, sure enough, underneath it is the ribbon cable exactly like the replacement device we bought.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible for a human being to move that adaptor over. Everyone one of those tiny pins on the ribbon cable has to match up with a pin on the adaptor. A machine is the only thing that could consistently line those connectors up and then seal the two parts together.
In other words, we can easily remove a broken iPad Mini screen and could easily put a brand-new one on if we had parts with that little adaptor.
At the moment we don’t have those parts.
Worse yet, we can’t find them anywhere. We’ve talked to several of our best suppliers, called a number of other suppliers we have worked with in the past, and even dug up a few new suppliers. All of them have replacement iPad Mini screens. None of them have screens with the adaptor on them. We even went to eBay – the source for just about anything – and couldn’t find them there either.
We did find a number of websites that claimed to have the right parts. But calling those vendors proved equally fruitless – they were all “out of stock”. More likely, they’re just putting the pictures up to gather names of desperate iPad Mini owners or repair shops like us.
Now that you’ve read the long version of this story, here’s the much shorter version…
The iPad Mini will be a straight forward repair once we have the right parts. Those parts are not available in the market right now. We believe those parts will be available within the next several weeks.
We will post an update to this blog once we find the parts. That will also be the time when we start offering this repair.