Repair Tip of the Week: iPad Repair

Every Thursday, will be providing you with a Repair Tip of the Week, courtesy of our General Manager, Matt Haywood. Back in our repair shop days, Matt was our lead repair technician and comes with over 7 years of electronics repair experience.

First on the agenda: iPad Repair tips!

Proper testing of iPad digitizers can often save time and frustration during the repair process. The issues frequently seen include, but are not limited to:

  • Bluetooth in-operability
  • Power and volume button issues,
  • Dead spots on the screen.

The earlier you can identify these problems, the more quickly you can find the solution and return a newly repaired iPad to a happy customer.

  1. Bluetooth Antenna Inspection

iPad Repair Tips Blog Image - Bluetooth:Wifi AntennaWhen working around the Bluetooth antenna (located at the bottom of the iPad), techs must exercise caution. It isn’t too difficult to accidentally tear a portion of the Bluetooth antenna during the removal of the old screen. After the removal of the broken digitizer is completed, inspect the antenna for any nicks or tears. If there is visible damage around any of the grounding screws or on the antenna wire, odds are there will be connectivity loss. In the event you tear a Bluetooth antenna, don’t fret! We keep plenty in stock here at! 

  1. Power and Volume Button Inspection

iPad Repair Tips Blog Image -Power Button:Volume Flex

Similar to the Bluetooth antenna, care must be taken when working around the flex cables associated with the power button and volume controls. With the ability to fit into tight spaces, cleanly round corners, and lay flat on surfaces; flex cables are extremely convenient in the electronics world. In order to achieve this, they also give up some of their durability. This makes the threshold for tearing lower in comparison to a normal wire cable. After removal of the broken digitizer cables, inspect these flexes thoroughly for nicks or tears. If any are spotted, we will happily send you a replacement.

  1. Identifying Dead Spots.

We’ve all seen and dealt with the dreaded dead spots on a digitizer. The dead spots are bad, but even worse is when they aren’t identified until after the repair process has been completed. Let’s never let that happen again! Before bonding the adhesive on the digitizer to the iPad, run a quick dead spot test.

iPad Repair Tips Blog Image -Grabbing IconiPad Repair Tips Blog Image -Icon test for DeadspotsiPad Repair Tips Blog Image -Indiciation of Dead Spot

Not only is this test simple, quick, and effective, it doesn’t require you to download a drawing app to your customers’ iPad! Hold your finger on the digitizer above any icon on the main screen. When it has been ‘grabbed’, move the icon in a grid pattern throughout the entirety of the touch screen. If at any point the icon is dropped, pick it back up and perform the test in that particular area to confirm the symptom. If you have identified a dead spot while performing this test, the next step is to confirm whether the source is in the iPad or the digitizer.

  • First, confirm that the digitizer cable is seated completely and evenly within the ZIF connector. The white line on the ribbon cable will line up parallel with the edge of the connector itself.
  • Second, inspect the black ‘lock tabs’ on the ZIF connector. If these tabs were damaged during movement between the lock and unlock positions, the connection can become inadequate.
  • If both of those inspections show no signs of irregularity; perform the dead spot test on a new digitizer. If the symptoms previously seen are no longer present, you have done a good job of confirming the initial digitizer as defective.
  • If the same symptoms arise, you will want to perform deeper inspection within the iPad itself. It is unlikely that you would find two digitizers in a row with the same dead spot symptoms. (If you reach this point, performing the dead spot test in a different iPad can serve as further confirmation in one direction or the other.)

-By Matt Haywood, General Manager

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