MacBook Repair of an M1 MacBook Air with a broken screen

M1 MacBook Screen Repair – Bypassing Apple Serialization

  • Post published:December 30, 2023
MacBook Screen Repair required for this cracked M1 MacBook Air.
A cracked M1 MacBook Air awaits repair.

MacBook Screen Repair

On M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, display assemblies can no longer be swapped in screen repairs without caveats. Since the ambient light sensor contains calibration data, replacing this component results in True Tone being disabled. Vancouver Mac Service Centre gets around this issue by performing an LCD-only replacement. LCD only replacements require practice and skill since there are many pitfalls that may cause quality issues following the repair. This technique has been refined on 100s of MacBook screen repairs over the years and allows for original quality and finish following the repair.

True Tone option present in System Preferences.

True Tone

True Tone is a feature released for MacBook Models in 2018 with the introduction of the T2 Security Chip. It allows for the display colour temperature to be dynamically adjusted in accordance with the ambient light temperature. To facilitate this, the ambient light sensor (ALS) was equipped with a trichromatic filter that allows for colour temperature to be measured, in contrast to the older generation of ALS that only measured luminance. This information is fed to the MacBook’s processor through an I2C data line, and it in turn adjusts the display parameters to try and match the ambient lighting conditions.

On M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, calibration data is held by the M1 SoC which is paired to the serialized ALS inside the display assembly. Thus, the logic board and display assembly are now linked, and replacing either part will result in the True Tone functionality being disabled. In MacBooks with a replacement display assembly, the option to set True Tone in System Preferences will vanish. If diagnostics is run, the test results will show that there is an issue with the display and camera module (Reference Code ALS001).

Below is the ambient light sensor, located to the right of the FaceTime camera inside the display assembly under the glass:

LCD-Only Repairs

LCD only repaired are the preferred option for MacBook screen repairs at Vancouver Mac Service Centre because it allows for more cost-effective and high-quality repairs. It is impossible to obtain new, original display assemblies for most MacBook models, and when they are available, it is cost-prohibitive. Aftermarket replacement display assemblies are an acceptable option, but are also expensive, and often have small defects present, such as uneven display backlight, incorrect firmware programming or poor quality camera performance. By performing an LCD-only repair, original, OEM parts can be used, and not every colour of MacBook chassis needs to be stocked. This allows for much cheaper and faster repairs to be performed for customers.

Every MacBook screen repair begins with disassembly.

Repair Technique

The video below created by Vancouver Mac Service Centre demonstrates the screen repair procedure on an M1 MacBook Air 2020:

This MacBook screen repair can take hours, but the labour cost is offset by the reduction in replacement part costs. The caveat is that the replacement procedure is complicated and requires practice to match factory standards. Original parts are used in this MacBook screen repair, with the LCD panel being the LP133WQ4-SJA1 part from Apple OEM vendor LG Display.

The video shows the process by which the broken LCD panel is safely extracted without damaging the backlight diffuser or the camera module. Then, new adhesive is applied to the bonding surfaces and the new LCD is installed with perfect alignment and without dust entering behind the screen. Halfway through the repair, it was revealed that this particular display had liquid damage, and required replacement of part of the backlight diffuser layers beneath the LCD panel. Vancouver Mac Service Centre always stocks the small parts that may require replacement in the screen repair process, which prevent delays, since these small parts required for a MacBook screen repair are not available domestically.

Get your MacBook Repaired

To start a repair at Vancouver Mac Service Centre, please contact us or visit the storefront location. For pricing for model A2337, click here to view more details.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Andreas

    Thanks for the great article and video. I have a used original screen from an MacBookPro18,1 and I want to replace it with the broken screen. Is there any other possibility to pair the LCD and the mainboard?

    Replacing the whole screen is an easy exercise. The shown LCD replacement only would require experts “skills” and experience to neither break something or get bad effects because accidentally creating “dirt touches” etc.
    I learned that purchasing the orginal part w/ Apple you will be guided to a new pairing process after replacement of the new screen. Is this something that can be done by used screens as well?

    Any feedback appreciated!

    1. Sam

      Hi Andreas, unfortunately Apple only allows for pairing to be done on the specific part purchased from them. It is possible to remove the LCD panel from the new one and swap chips but it is tedious and risky.

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