Today I successfully changed out the screen on my XS Max using a $100 part from iFixit. TrueTone may be broken (thanks, Apple), but my phone is functional again. Now, if only I had an easier way to replace the rear glass panel.

P.S.β€”Some sources say that a hot plate at 100C for 1-2 minutes is good at loosening up the back. And there are Chinese-origin handheld programmers for transferring TrueTone data to a new screen (if the screen has an embedded EEPROM chip).

Well, I was having a good run. I purchased my iPhone XS Max new in late 2018 and it has been with me to Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Australia, and across the United States. According to Battery Health, it still has 82% max capacity. Unfortunately when I dropped it the other day, the back shattered and the digitizer started acting up. So it’s time for some repair.

Humorously, Apple quoted me nearly $650 to “repair” the phone; that price almost certainly means I would receive a refurbished phone. Instead, I ordered parts and plan on replacing the screen, back panel, and battery myself. I am committed to running this phone until it no longer receives security updates.

Apple is ridiculously and notoriously terrible about owner repairs. Replacing the screen will mean losing TrueTone support; replacing the battery will mean losing Battery Health support. The “System Configuration tool” must be run to re-code your phone for the new parts. Only Apple-authorized repair shops, or self-service repairs, have access to this tool (the latter through Apple Support). And Apple’s Self-Service Repair program does not include parts for my model phone. Despite these inconveniences, I’m determined to press forward.

Item Price
Rear glass panel, unbranded $15
Battery $40
LCD screen (OLED costs double) $100

I will update this post with notes after I perform the repairs.