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Introduction

Use this guide to remove and replace the front camera assembly (a.k.a. selfie cam) in an iPhone 12 mini. Note that if you replace this part, Face ID will no longer work. This repair will restore a broken selfie cam to working order, but only Apple or an Apple “authorized” technician can restore Face ID.

You’ll need replacement adhesive to reattach components when reassembling the device.

  1. Before you begin, discharge your iPhone battery below 25%. A charged lithium-ion battery can catch fire and/or explode if accidentally punctured. Power off your iPhone before beginning disassembly.
    • Before you begin, discharge your iPhone battery below 25%. A charged lithium-ion battery can catch fire and/or explode if accidentally punctured.

    • Power off your iPhone before beginning disassembly.

    • Remove the two 6.7 mm-long pentalobe screws at the bottom edge of the iPhone.

    • Opening the iPhone's display will compromise its waterproof seals. Have replacement seals ready before you proceed past this step, or take care to avoid liquid exposure if you reassemble your iPhone without replacing the seals.

  2. Heating the bottom edge of the iPhone helps soften the adhesive securing the display, making it easier to open.
    • Heating the bottom edge of the iPhone helps soften the adhesive securing the display, making it easier to open.

    • Use a hairdryer or heat gun or prepare an iOpener and apply it to the lower edge of the iPhone for about two minutes in order to soften up the adhesive underneath.

    • If you have trouble during the opening procedure the adhesive most likely cooled down. Apply more heat to further soften the adhesive. Follow the iOpener instructions to avoid overheating.

  3. The next two steps demonstrate the iSclack, a handy tool that we recommend for anyone doing frequent repairs. If you aren't using the iSclack, skip down two steps for an alternate method. Position the suction cups near the bottom edge of the iPhone—one on the front, and one on the back.
    • The next two steps demonstrate the iSclack, a handy tool that we recommend for anyone doing frequent repairs. If you aren't using the iSclack, skip down two steps for an alternate method.

    • Position the suction cups near the bottom edge of the iPhone—one on the front, and one on the back.

    • Press both suction cups firmly into place.

    • If your display or back glass is badly cracked, covering it with a layer of clear packing tape may help the suction cups adhere. The iSclack also includes two pieces of tape for this purpose.

  4. Hold onto your iPhone securely and close the handle of the iSclack to slightly separate the screen from the rear case of the phone. Don't try to completely separate the screen; a small opening along the bottom edge is all you need. Insert an opening pick into the gap under the display on the lower edge of the iPhone.
    • Hold onto your iPhone securely and close the handle of the iSclack to slightly separate the screen from the rear case of the phone.

    • Don't try to completely separate the screen; a small opening along the bottom edge is all you need.

    • Insert an opening pick into the gap under the display on the lower edge of the iPhone.

    • Skip the next two steps.

  5. If you're using a single suction handle, apply it to the bottom edge of the phone, as close to the edge as possible. If your display is badly cracked, covering it with a layer of clear packing tape may allow the suction cup to adhere. Alternatively, very strong tape may be used instead of the suction cup. If all else fails, you can superglue the suction cup to the broken screen.
    • If you're using a single suction handle, apply it to the bottom edge of the phone, as close to the edge as possible.

    • If your display is badly cracked, covering it with a layer of clear packing tape may allow the suction cup to adhere. Alternatively, very strong tape may be used instead of the suction cup. If all else fails, you can superglue the suction cup to the broken screen.

  6. Pull up on the suction cup with firm, constant pressure to create a slight gap between the front panel and rear case. Insert an opening pick into the gap. The watertight adhesive holding the display in place is very strong; creating this initial gap takes a significant amount of force. If you're having a hard time opening a gap, apply more heat, and gently rock the screen up and down to weaken the adhesive until you create enough of a gap to insert your tool.
    • Pull up on the suction cup with firm, constant pressure to create a slight gap between the front panel and rear case.

    • Insert an opening pick into the gap.

    • The watertight adhesive holding the display in place is very strong; creating this initial gap takes a significant amount of force. If you're having a hard time opening a gap, apply more heat, and gently rock the screen up and down to weaken the adhesive until you create enough of a gap to insert your tool.

  7. Slide the opening pick around the bottom right corner and along the right edge of the iPhone, slicing through the adhesive holding the display in place. Don't insert the opening pick too far underneath the front panel, or you may cause damage to internal components. Don't insert the opening pick too far underneath the front panel, or you may cause damage to internal components.
    • Slide the opening pick around the bottom right corner and along the right edge of the iPhone, slicing through the adhesive holding the display in place.

    • Don't insert the opening pick too far underneath the front panel, or you may cause damage to internal components.

  8. Re-insert your pick at the bottom left corner of the iPhone. Slide the opening pick around the bottom left corner and along the left edge of the iPhone, slicing through the adhesive holding the display in place. Don't insert the pick very far, or you may damage the display cables along this side of the iPhone. Insert it only a few millimeters, or about the width of the display bezel.
    • Re-insert your pick at the bottom left corner of the iPhone.

    • Slide the opening pick around the bottom left corner and along the left edge of the iPhone, slicing through the adhesive holding the display in place.

    • Don't insert the pick very far, or you may damage the display cables along this side of the iPhone. Insert it only a few millimeters, or about the width of the display bezel.

  9. The top edge of the display is secured with both glue and clips. Again, don't insert the pick more than a few millimeters—about the width of the display bezel—or you may damage the front panel sensor array. Insert your pick underneath the top-right corner of the display panel.
    • The top edge of the display is secured with both glue and clips.

    • Again, don't insert the pick more than a few millimeters—about the width of the display bezel—or you may damage the front panel sensor array.

    • Insert your pick underneath the top-right corner of the display panel.

    • Slide the pick around the top right corner. Because of the clips you might encounter some resistance.

    • Gently pulling the front panel assembly towards the bottom edge of the phone simplifies this step a little.

    • Slide the pick along the top edge and cut any remaining adhesive securing the display.

  10. Pull on the small nub on the suction cup to remove it from the front panel.
    • Pull on the small nub on the suction cup to remove it from the front panel.

    • If you used an iSclack and it's still affixed to the iPhone, remove it now.

  11. Open the iPhone by swinging the display up from the right side, like the front cover of a book. Don't try to fully separate the display yet, as several fragile ribbon cables still connect it to the iPhone's logic board. Lean the display against something to keep it propped up while you're working on the phone.
    • Open the iPhone by swinging the display up from the right side, like the front cover of a book.

    • Don't try to fully separate the display yet, as several fragile ribbon cables still connect it to the iPhone's logic board.

    • Lean the display against something to keep it propped up while you're working on the phone.

    • During reassembly, lay the display in position, align the clips along the top edge, and carefully press the top edge into place before snapping the rest of the display down. If it doesn't click easily into place, check the condition of the clips around the perimeter of the display and make sure they aren't bent.

    • Remove the 1.25 mm-long Y000 screw securing the battery & display connector cover bracket.

    • Throughout this repair, keep track of each screw and make sure it goes back exactly where it came from to avoid damaging your iPhone.

    • During reassembly, this is a good point to power on your iPhone and test all functions before you seal the display in place. Be sure to power your iPhone back down completely before you continue working.

  12. Use a pair of tweezers to remove the battery & display connector bracket. There are two little hinges on the right edge of the connector bracket. Make sure to align them with their counterparts during reassembly.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to remove the battery & display connector bracket.

    • There are two little hinges on the right edge of the connector bracket. Make sure to align them with their counterparts during reassembly.

  13. Use a spudger or a clean fingernail to pry the battery connector up from its socket on the logic board. Try not to damage the black silicone seal surrounding this and other board connections. These seals provide extra protection against water and dust intrusion.
    • Use a spudger or a clean fingernail to pry the battery connector up from its socket on the logic board.

    • Try not to damage the black silicone seal surrounding this and other board connections. These seals provide extra protection against water and dust intrusion.

    • Bend the connector slightly away from the logic board to prevent it from accidentally making contact with the socket and providing power to the phone during your repair.

  14. Use a spudger or a clean fingernail to pry the OLED panel cable connector up from its socket on the logic board. To re-attach press connectors like this one, carefully align and press down on one side until it clicks into place, then repeat on the other side. Do not press down on the middle. If the connector is misaligned, the pins can bend, causing permanent damage.
    • Use a spudger or a clean fingernail to pry the OLED panel cable connector up from its socket on the logic board.

    • To re-attach press connectors like this one, carefully align and press down on one side until it clicks into place, then repeat on the other side. Do not press down on the middle. If the connector is misaligned, the pins can bend, causing permanent damage.

  15. Remove the five 1 mm-long Y000 screws securing the front sensor assembly cover bracket. Remove the five 1 mm-long Y000 screws securing the front sensor assembly cover bracket.
    • Remove the five 1 mm-long Y000 screws securing the front sensor assembly cover bracket.

  16. Use a pair of tweezers to remove the front sensor assembly bracket. Use a pair of tweezers to remove the front sensor assembly bracket.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to remove the front sensor assembly bracket.

  17. Use a spudger or a clean fingernail to disconnect the front sensor assembly cable connector. Use a spudger or a clean fingernail to disconnect the front sensor assembly cable connector.
    • Use a spudger or a clean fingernail to disconnect the front sensor assembly cable connector.

  18. Remove the display assembly.
  19. You can make the front camera assembly removal a bit easier by disconnecting the flex cable of the ultra wide rear facing camera. However it is possible to remove the assembly without doing so but it is more difficult to reinstall the front camera that way. In case you decide not to do so, jump straight to step 23. Remove the two 1.6 mm-long Phillips #000 screws.
    • You can make the front camera assembly removal a bit easier by disconnecting the flex cable of the ultra wide rear facing camera. However it is possible to remove the assembly without doing so but it is more difficult to reinstall the front camera that way. In case you decide not to do so, jump straight to step 23.

    • Remove the two 1.6 mm-long Phillips #000 screws.

  20. Use a pair of tweezers to remove the camera module cover bracket. On the right side of the bracket are two little nibs which are tucked into the iPhone frame. Grab the bracket on its left edge and pull it in the direction of the volume buttons in order to remove it safely.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to remove the camera module cover bracket.

    • On the right side of the bracket are two little nibs which are tucked into the iPhone frame. Grab the bracket on its left edge and pull it in the direction of the volume buttons in order to remove it safely.

    • During reassembly make sure to align the two metal nibs with their appropriate counterparts in the iPhone frame.

  21. Use a spudger to disconnect the ultra wide angle camera flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket. Use a spudger to disconnect the ultra wide angle camera flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket.
    • Use a spudger to disconnect the ultra wide angle camera flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket.

  22. Use a spudger to disconnect the dot projector flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket. Use a spudger to disconnect the dot projector flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket.
    • Use a spudger to disconnect the dot projector flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket.

  23. Use a spudger to disconnect the selfie camera flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket. Use a spudger to disconnect the selfie camera flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket.
    • Use a spudger to disconnect the selfie camera flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket.

  24. Use a spudger to disconnect the infrared camera flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket. Use a spudger to disconnect the infrared camera flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket.
    • Use a spudger to disconnect the infrared camera flex cable by prying it straight up from its socket.

  25. There's a small nib on the left edge of the camera module which needs to be unhinged before removing the full assembly. Use a spudger to push the front camera assembly a bit to the right until you can see the metal nib on its left edge.
    • There's a small nib on the left edge of the camera module which needs to be unhinged before removing the full assembly.

    • Use a spudger to push the front camera assembly a bit to the right until you can see the metal nib on its left edge.

  26. Use a spudger to pry up the front facing camera assembly. Use a spudger to pry up the front facing camera assembly.
    • Use a spudger to pry up the front facing camera assembly.

  27. Use a pair of tweezers to pull the front facing camera assembly to the left and remove it. The flash flex cable runs underneath the flex cable of the rear facing camera cable. Make sure to layer it underneath the rear camera cable during reassembly. The flash flex cable runs underneath the flex cable of the rear facing camera cable. Make sure to layer it underneath the rear camera cable during reassembly.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to pull the front facing camera assembly to the left and remove it.

    • The flash flex cable runs underneath the flex cable of the rear facing camera cable. Make sure to layer it underneath the rear camera cable during reassembly.

Conclusion

Compare your new replacement part to the original part—you may need to transfer remaining components or remove adhesive backings from the new part before installing.

To reassemble your device, follow the above steps in reverse order. Apply new adhesive where necessary after cleaning the relevant areas with isopropyl alcohol (>90%).

Take your e-waste to an R2 or e-Stewards certified recycler.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Try some basic troubleshooting, or ask our iPhone 12 mini Answers community for help.

Dominik Schnabelrauch

Membre depuis le 23/11/2016

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