According to an iPhone repair expert, Apple has placed restrictions on repairing iPads and the iPhone 12. Apple fuses separate iPad parts with strong adhesives, making it expensive and challenging to repair. Additionally, Apple has introduced a function in the newly released iPhone 12 that triggers bugs and glitches when replacing parts in the phone. Parts must be installed by an Apple technician and verified using their software, or else the phone may cease to function properly. The effect is that by design, the iPad and iPhone 12 are only repairable by Apple. Our lawyers are investigating an iPhone and iPad right to repair lawsuit.

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iPad design hinders or prevents repairs

According to the repair expert, iPad repairs are difficult for various reasons, including:

  • For all iPads, gobs of adhesive holds parts and cables in place.
  • For most iPads, the front display is glued to the rest of the device.
  • For the iPad 7, iPad Air 3, and iPad Minis (models 1-4), the lightning port is fused to the logic board.

By designing products that are difficult to repair, consumers are potentially paying a premium on repairs. This issue also impacts independent Apple repair shops and hobbyists who enjoy repairing their own products.

Expert investigation finds: 3rd party repair impossible for certain parts on iPhone 12

In testing, an iPhone expert found that replacing the logic boards or cameras on the iPhone 12 created glitches or freezing that removed functionality or rendered the phone unusable for certain functions, such as taking vertical pictures.

According to the iPhone expert, after switching the logic boards on two identical iPhone 12s the following issues occurred in both devices:

  • The power button did not turn the phone back on, and only by attaching the phone to a charger was it able to boot up
  • Face id could not be activated, even after resetting
  • Warning messages immediately indicated issues with the battery
  • No action was possible until clicking “learn more,” after which it said that it could verify neither the display nor whether the battery was genuine. This lead to a further message explaining how to get the phone repaired at Apple, and to not “attempt to replace the iPhone battery yourself”
  • Camera became unstable and glitchy

After replacing the logic boards to their original phones, everything returned to normal. However after swapping the cameras, similar issues occurred in both phones including the disabled power button and the unstable cameras.

This phenomenon is explained in part in an article by iClarified, stating:

Apple is taking another step towards preventing users from being able to repair their own iPhone…the company has paired the camera to the logic board, making it impossible to replace the component without running proprietary Apple software.

This issue is of particular consequence for third parties who make a living repairing iPhones, or for hobbyists who enjoy repairing their own phones. iClarified further summarized the situation, stating that

Apple, by design or neglect or both, is making it extremely hard to repair an iPhone without their blessing.


Learn about your right to repair

Companies shouldn’t prevent you from repairing your own device. Apple included.

Our Consumer Class Action Attorneys

Eric Gibbs

A founding partner at the firm, Eric has negotiated groundbreaking settlements that resulted in reforms to business practices, and have favorably shaped the laws impacting plaintiffs’ legal rights.

Linda Lam

Linda Lam focuses her practice on representing consumers, small businesses, and employees in complex litigation. Previously, she represented workers and retirees at a national employment law firm.

Amy Zeman

Amy has built a reputation in the plaintiffs’ bar for delivering results and justice to consumers and sexual assault survivors in class action and mass tort litigation. The Daily Journal named her a Top Woman Lawyer in California for 2021.

Steve Lopez

Steve Lopez represents consumers, employees, and whistleblowers harmed by corporate misconduct. He has prosecuted a variety of consumer protection and complex employment cases.

About Us

Gibbs Law Group is a California-based law firm committed to protecting the rights of clients nationwide who have been harmed by corporate misconduct. We represent individuals, whistleblowers, employees, and small businesses across the U.S. against the world’s largest corporations. Our award-winning lawyers have achieved landmark recoveries and over a billion dollars for our clients in high-stakes class action and individual cases involving consumer protection, data breach, digital privacy, and federal and California employment lawsuits. Our attorneys have received numerous honors for their work, including “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California,” “Top Class Action Attorneys Under 40,” “Consumer Protection MVP,” “Best Lawyers in America,” and “Top Cybersecurity/ Privacy Attorneys Under 40.”