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Apple's third-generation smartwatch, with optional cellular connectivity, released September 22, 2017.

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Screen Broke - Can you get replacements yet?

We recently bought my son an apple 3 series watch (GPS only). Unfortunately, he fell off his scooter and bumped the watch resulting in the screen breaking. The display still works, but just need screen replaced. Is it possible to order screen and repair oneself?

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People from Ifixit, the complete screen from serie 3 is same as serie 2? Need to replace any ic or flex from the cracked lcd to the new one? thanks


The Series 2 Display will work on Series 3. However there is a sensor (ambient light I think?) that gets very hot. I think if you transplant the sensor from the broken Series 3 Display onto the replacement Series 2 that should do it.

I've seen some references to there being an antenna integrated into the Series 3 Displays? But I haven't seen anything that looks like an RF connection to the Series 3 Displays so I think that's probably incorrect.


Gordon, do you have any information on how to replace that ambient light sensor? I recently tried to replace a series 3 screen with the series 2 and I am noticing that overheating problem. The watch essentially turns itself off after a little while and the screen needs to be detached and reattached to work again. I can’t find any good information on how to transplant that sensor.


This is just theory; I haven't tried it yet. But I don't think there's any electrical connection between the light sensor and the rest of the Display assembly. There are a couple of solder connections to ground, but I think they're more mechanical than electrical.

If you stick a blade under the sensor on the broken S3 Display, you can just chisel it off and then use some mounting tape to stick it onto the S2, in place of that sensor. Should work, but like I say I haven't tried it yet. They've got me pretty swamped with Series 1 and 2 right now at work.

I've also found that most S3 Watches won't pair ("Unable to pair" or "Activation error") when they have a S2 Display installed. If the broken Display is good enough you can pair using that (you don't need a working digi to pair) and then switch in the S2. Pretty sure this problem is fixed by updating the WatchOS with the new Display installed. A lot of our S2 repairs need this after a Display replacement.


Andrew, did you ever get the Series 2 screen to work in a Series 3? I have a 38mm Series 3, and can't find a replacement screen anywhere. I can find 42mm... just not 38. My wife shattered her watch face, and I'd like to replace it so she doesn't have to buy a whole new watch.


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The answer is yes, it is possible. The catch is that iFixit doesn't have parts on the shelf or guides up just yet, but I'd be willing to bet that there's an empty box on the shelf waiting to be filled. Keep checking back at this page for updates:

The confirmation is in the teardown:

"Screen replacements are difficult but do-able—it's the first thing to come off, and detaches via simple ZIF connectors."

If you just can't wait to have a shiny new screen, here's the Apple page.

You got this!

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They are not compatible, you can search for this on the web. The parts will connect and fit, but the display will overheat and shut off.

Search for this on youtube to see what happens when you try this.

"Apple Watch iwatch series 3 how to screen replacement and repair compatibility with series 2"

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A Series 2 display can be modified to work on a Series 3 watch. I've done it successfully, including Apple Pay. You need to swap a part from the original S3 display onto the S2; see my post above.


I should clarify that they are not compatible unless you modify the display. You are using a part for which it was not intended, so does this really mean its compatible?


Do you have any photos of how you made the series 2 screen work with the series 3 watch?


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Wesley Hurrell will be eternally grateful.
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