About a month ago my son managed to reach the limits of elasticity as far as the digitizer was concerned. it smashed into so many little pieces that i was glad we had the screen protector, it held them in place and left the iPad operational.
So i decided to fix the iPad on my own, as an adventure, so i hopped online to look for the parts i will need. i looked around and everybody is fixing a non broken ipad with a complete digitizer. This was not very useful as i figured out later.
I ordered a new digitizer and waited to get it in the post. it reached quickly after a few days, so i started the gruesome task of opening the iPad. since i never did it before i expected it to be simple as the people explaining the process on iFixit, it isn’t so simple. my recommendations are to start with the LHS near the top or bottom corner with 2 metal openers as the plastic ones wont handle the force of the clips. also be aware that the bottom LHS is a very delicate plastic that will squish when force is applied. my take was shatter the frame just be careful of the LCD.
Another thing i noticed when trying to get the digitizer off the plastic frame was that its not easy to remove shattered glass even when heated out of a plastic frame. so be prepared to get a new frame, its better and so i did. i was ooo so exited getting the new frame out of the box, i had an open iPad with all the parts waiting to be assembled and i even bought a set of clips to put to the frame as the ones that were on the old frame just bent and broke. alas the screws are too small for the holes the frame has, something was missing.
After a short look around the internet i found 2 things that are important for the final assembly, screw nuts that go in the frame and the adhesive that holds the digitizer to it. order that and wait a week to get it.
Yesterday it all came to be, all the parts are ready and i am about to put it together with my son, and i realize the nuts are not fitting they are very hard to press in. i decided the brutal way is just what the doctor ordered and took a hammer and an elan bit to push the nuts in, it was the right way.
From that moment onwards it was just an assembly game screw the LCD then the clips and then put the adhesive in the right order stick it all up and you got the screen assembly done. the next phase is to put it all together and here comes iPad back to life.
After a month of lacking the iPads presence i have it back. it is such a nice feeling.
So what is are my lessons?
The biggest is don’t mess with apple, the way everything is tightly positioned into the packaging and the way it is assembled is to prevent you from dealing with the internals of the thing seems to be well thought out. though it is much better then an iPhone 4 situation it is still not the easiest thing to open and close.
If you are going to fix it yourself either buy all the items in one go, list below, or but a fully assembled digitizer and frame with the clips and all as it is available these days from some places.
List of items to buy:
Digitizer adhesive strips
T4 screw driver
Metal opening tool (expensive but worth it)
I hope you will have a quicker and easier fixing experience then i did after reading this.