Apple Watch Series 2, announced September 7th, 2016 and released September 16 2016.

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Apple Watch Series 3 screen replacement

Hello people from ifixit,

I need to know if the complete screen from Apple Watch Series 3 is the same as Series 2 and can be replace one for the other or need to remove some flex or IC from one to put in the other. Some people tell me that need to change the NFC IC.

Thank you

Update (10/30/2017)

Hello Dan, and thank you for you're quickly answer.

Really what I need is a technical opinion and not about warranty coverage because I have many Series 2 from many customers with crack screens that need to be replaced.

But no one has big quantity of Series 2 complete screen on the market to buy. For this reason I posted the question. My supplier in China who I did buy many Series 1 complete screens (hyper-trustable) tell me that the LCD & Touchscreen module is compatible.

But, need to replace a flat ribbon cable with some component that are glued on the back side of this module, they call it the NFC IC but I don't know really if is trueIy inclusive in the Series 3 teardown description the IFIXIT team wrote this info: "Spec-wise, the display is unchanged from the Series 2, with one key difference - it now functions as a multifrequency (LTE?) antenna. We'll be testing compatibility to see if the displays really are interchangeable."

Based in this info I believe that both are compatible.

Thanks

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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@quekilombo I would recommend you watch this YouTube Vid: Apple Watch Series 3 Teardown and Comparison! (GPS vs LTE) Alex goes over the screen a bit.

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I did watch but dont say nothing about compatibility

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An Apple Watch Series 1/2 screen is different than the Series 3 by part number. I don't believe you can substitute one for the other.

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An Apple Watch Series 1/2 screen is different than the Series 3 by part number. I don't believe you can substitute one for the other.

What are you basing this on ? Obviously apple part number is different cant see the local Apple authorised repairer transferring the NFC onto a series 2 lcd . This is the Aftermarket we do what is possible. Im also currently researching this also and about to trial it.

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I don't think anyone has even thought about doing this... The AW3's screen is brighter than the AW2's!

As the AW3 is so new you should try to get it covered under warranty (get AppleCare + if you don't already).

Update (01/31/2018)

@quekilombo - Diego - The NFC unit is missing on the Series 3 display so you would need to recover the chip from the broken Series 2 display if you could to then re-solder onto the new display to get this to work. Given the sensitivity of the LCD unit and the mass of the glass this will be very difficult to do without damaging the display. Here's the back side so you can see the difference:

Block Image

Series 2

Block Image

Series 3

The Blue outline is the NFC chip and the spot on the Series 3 is vacant. I think I understand why Apple did this as replacing a broken display would invalidate the information in the watch when people had ApplePay enabled. Having it as part of the main board makes sense.

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Just replaced a screen on a series 3 LTE. I used a donor screen from a locked Series 3 LTE. Everything went off without a hitch. However, I can confirm Apple pay does not work. I get an error when attempting to set it up. I have not yet attempted to swap the NFC chip. I will attempt to see if I can remove the NFC chip tomorrow from the cracked screen and install... If anyone has any further information about this I would be happy to hear it...

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Were you able to swap the NFC and restore Apple Pay?

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This is different than what Diego is trying to do.

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Yea I know Dan, but Jesse has done what I am trying to do for a customer. Haven’t taken on the repair yet, and want to have all the info before taking it on

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You mean Jessa Jones of iPad rehab?

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Can you seriously not read the post I responded to where Jesse replaced a cracked AW3 LTE screen with a good screen from a different AW3 LTE and had a problem with Apple Pay?

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Hi, I have the same problem, It looks that no one is selling digitizers for series 2 at the moment...

I have series 3 complete screen so I test it wit series 2 watch and see if it works.

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Have you tested the LCD? Does everything work?

Do you have an Apple Watch 3 LTE w/GPS? And put on the LCD form an Apple Watch 2?

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I have successfully swapped a S2 Display onto a S3 Watch.

I removed the Light Sensor / NFC Module from the damaged S3 Display and attached it to a working S2 Display. I used conductive ink to make electrical connection to the two antenna points under the module, and superglue to mechanically attach the Module. Next I reflashed the Watch firmware using a (non-Apple) hardware device similar to the one used at the Apple Genius Bar.

I verified NFC functionality by setting up Apple Pay on the Watch, double-tapping the Side Button to activate Apple Pay as though I were about to make a purchase, and reading the "tag" data with an app called "CardTest" on an Android phone.

The repair is a little bit fiddly but doable.

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Is there a video or walkthrough for this procedure?

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Was it necessary to reflash the Watch because it was a series 2 screen? Would you have to do this to a series 3 as well if you were changing the NFC?

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Hi

I have recently changed my broken lte series 3 watch with a series 3 gps watch. The force touch was not damaged. The Apple Pay won’t work, was it confirmed that the chip was on the old lcd? If not is there a way of getting it to work again?

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See my post above; it looks like you have to preserve the NFC/Light Sensor module from the original display. I think this is probably a similar situation to how the TouchID sensor is tied to a specific mainboard in iPhones.

I used a #17 xacto blade to remove the modules. If you're careful you can do this without damaging the display. You'll need a conductive adhesive to make the antenna connections between the module from the broken display and the new display. That way you don't have to worry about damaging the OLED with heat from soldering. Just use two tiny dots of conductive adhesive so they don't short out to each other. Then use superglue for strength.

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Cheers Gordon. This does not sound easy. Any idea if someone has put this on YouTube? I’m torn as to try and fix it and risk wasting a good screen or just keep it but don’t use Apple Pay. Thanks for your help.

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Also, does anyone have a good recommendation for the adhesive gasket as I used one for series 1 & 2 but when putting it in I found it to be slightly smaller than the touch force meaning the seal was not as strong as I would like.

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Unfortunately I can't make a video. But it's not too difficult, other than requiring precision placement. For sealing the watch back up I used a 1mm tape for mounting tablet displays. Put the tape on the display and overlap the corners very slightly. Where I work we have a wet pressure testing chamber; I took a watch case and attached just a bare glass (no OLED or digi) to it with 1mm tape -- this way I could look into the watch without disassembling it. I put it in the pressure chamber and ran it down to 100 feet depth. After an hour there was one drop of water inside.

We did try using precut adhesive for mounting displays. Most vendors selling the precut adhesive use 3M 300LSE adhesive. We had a lot of returns for displays coming off; this 3M adhesive is not strong enough. So we switched to the 1mm tape. You just have to be super careful at the corners. If you overlap too much the force touch gets weird because it doesn't like the lumps. If you don't overlap enough it will leak at the corners.

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Thanks again Gordon, your knowledge is appreciated. Can I trouble you for a little more info....

1. Have you got a brand recommendation for the 1mm tape? As I have found a few online but it would be great to have one that others use and recommend

2. Do you have any pictures or diagrams to assist with removing and preserving the ncf/light sensor? Only asking as I would not feel confident doing this without see what should be done.

Cheers

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No Watch 3 LTE in SA we did not get this function if it has LTE there is a red dot on the turning know

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Knob button I meant

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Only the LTE watch has the Red dot.

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Diego E. Rojkis will be eternally grateful.
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