Wonky iPad Pro Apple Pencil lines blamed on anti-repair ploy

Silver 12.9-inch iPad Pro on top of records with Apple Pencil
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Getting your iPad Pro’s display replaced might mean drawing wonky lines with your Apple Pencil, according to new reports. Unless you have Apple install it.

It’s claimed that 5th and 6th-generation iPad Pro tablets are aware when they have had a genuine Apple display installed and refuse to work correctly if not. What’s more, those displays have to be brand new and coded by Apple — installing a genuine display from a donor iPad Pro won’t work either.

At least one repair expert says that this is an example of making replacements more expensive for customers and worse for the environment.

An on-screen memory chip

Ricky Panesar of UK-based repair shop iCorrect.co.uk tells Forbes that he “found with the newer versions of the iPad that when you put a new screen on, even if it's taken from another iPad, the pencil strokes don't work perfectly.” It’s all down to the inclusion of a new memory chip that is programmed “to only allow the Pencil functionality to work if the screen is connected to the original logic board.”


The result? Any display other than the original, or one coded by Apple’s support engineers, simply won’t work correctly.

This isn’t the first time that something like this has happened. The iPhone 13 suffered from Face ID issues when its display was replaced, for example.

The repair expert says that Apple is “creating a monopoly where it means in the future, you have to go to Apple to have your device repaired.” That’s bad news for people who can’t pay the prices Apple charges, or simply don’t live near an Apple Store. Buyers of Apple’s best iPads can’t get their displays replaced easily thanks to this chip, and that’s bad for customers everywhere. 

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.