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Buying a replacement 1st-gen display: what do I need to know?

I have a 1st-gen 12.9” iPad Pro (A1652) which needs its display replacing: both width ends of the display have a blue-ish tint, looking almost as if the display has two different colour temperatures (from what I’ve previously read, this issue seems to be the ‘screen lottery’ issue that other owners have shared).

As I’m on a tight budget, I want to attempt replacing the display myself. I’ve found replacement displays on eBay and AliExpress with varying prices, but no obvious difference between them (except some are without a digitiser).

Before I buy one, I thought I should ask if there’s anything specific I need to be aware of for choosing a replacement display? Anything I should absolutely avoid or particular quality issues to know about? Any recommendations? Thank you.

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First things first: never buy iPad screen from Ebay or AliExpress! they are notorious for false advertising and low quality screens that do not match description.

That iPad pro you have comes with a daughter board on the back panel of LCD, I’m not sure if it’s soldered on or not, if it is and you are capable of doing soldering work, then buy a standalone screen and transfer the original daughter board over, otherwise just buy one with daughter board pre-installed at a slightly higher price. I bought a lot of screens from MobileSentrix, base on my experience dealing with multiple vendors they are among the best if not the best iPad parts supplier in terms of quality/price/customer service etc. (your experience may vary, don’t hold it against me), search around and compare review and pricing across different companies, look for specific keywords such as tesa tape, daughter board, once you make the purchase and receive a replacement screen, take a few minutes to go through this fantastic guide written buy @refectio Minho in his answer to this post After doing my repairs (battery and screen) I have problems

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Thanks for your answer, Gorilla. I had a feeling that sourcing via eBay or AliExpress might be risky for this particular component :/

Presumably the daughter board is the flex cable on the rear of the display panel. It's been a very long time since I did any soldering and I wouldn't trust myself to try it out on something like this, so I'm probably best buying a display panel already with a daughter board.

I had a look at MobileSentrix. Seems they have a good reputation, but after shipping and customs etc., their panel would probably cost more than buying here in the UK. Saying that, a lot of parts stores here are currently out of stock and I've noticed those with stock or providing display repair services have nearly doubled in price since January (when I should have done the repair job!), so I'm wondering if there's an outstanding supply chain issue with some panel manufacturers.

Thanks for the repair thread recommendation - seems to have some useful tips I haven't seen in YouTube repair tutorials :)

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I should have added, one other option that came to mind yesterday was to look on eBay (or similar) for a 'spares/parts only' condition iPad with a fully working display and to use it as a donor. I can't think of any reason why that wouldn't work? The main challenge is probably finding and identifying such a unit, given that most spares/parts iPads have broken displays.

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@jonastouch you can definitely go that route but do keep in mind there's chance of getting one with bad display. These 'spares/parts only' iPads are usually bricked with iCloud lock or defective logic board, the latter you take your chances of hoping screen is still functional since there's no way to test, iCloud locked ones can be tested for touchscreen/LCD functionaly in initial set-up page and you can stress that with seller. If you are comfortable of salvaging screen from donor iPad and the price is right, I don't see any reason not to take this option.

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Buying parts from out of country can become quite expensive when considering taxes, duties, fees etc. Union Repair (China) has good quality parts and they ship via DHL which has lower fees.

Buying a device is also a good option but now you have to manipulate the screen twice so there is an increased chance of breaking or otherwise causing cosmetic damage to the digitizer or LCD. Whatever you do, do not buy a device that has even the tiniest crack or scratch as it will expand when you pull the screen out.

While I am not a large volume iPad tech, in my experience the larger screens are more fragile and you really should buy one from a vendor that stands behind their product with a solid warranty (lifetime, even after installation unless physically damaged). These are expensive screens and getting stuck with a multi-hundred dollar dead screen sucks big time.

Of course, it can all go perfectly as well. Just keep all of these observations into consideration. Sometimes it's just easier to pay Apple to do it.

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Thanks for the additional input, everyone. After some more research, it seems the aftermarket route is just too unreliable (or too expensive, after import costs) and, following what you said @Minho, trying to salvage a display myself is likely to be too messy. I've found that refurbished OEM displays are available, but sellers are uncommon and prices are obviously higher than aftermarket models. It might yet be better for me to sell my iPad in its current condition and replace it entirely instead.

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James sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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