Taking apart a broken display unit :)

Hi there,

out of curiosity I was taking apart a broken display unit and just wanted to share what I’ve found :smile:

As fairphone states at the website the unit is glued together, which makes it - I think at least - impossible to change only the broken glass…

So, here we go:


nice treatment with a hair drier

find a slit and gently move forward …

… with some more hair drier treatment

till the unit can be cracked open

  1. conductor path for both display and capacitive buttons

From there on the display can be easily taken apart layer by layer.

  1. back light

  1. some rasterized plastic layer, colour filter? polarizer? wild guessing…
  2. digitizer? still guessing…
  3. front glas still tightly glued to the foil with the icons und another layer of plastic (polarizer?)

So, thats it.


This is great to see! Thanks a lot for sharing it! :smiley:

Thanks for sharing! Very interesting.

I believe 3 might be the ITO pattern. (Source)

Very nice :smile:
I’ve seen the technique of using a blow dryer to separate the glass from the display unit with other phones as well. Do you think it would be possible to replace just the glass with this technique? The capacitive button icons might be a problem I guess. Maybe FairPhone can consider selling just the glass with the foil has the icons in their webshop.

Very interesting! Thank you very much for trying and sharing with us :smile:

That’s what I thought, too. But I dont think it’s possible.
Even with quite a time of hair drier treatment the front glass was almost impossible to remove… I got only small pieces. But maybe someone else has a little more patience than me :wink:

Hm, I don’t think so. The ITO layer should be spaced much wider. I would think it’s a polarising layer, as Anika suspected. You can check this with another polarising filter, e.g. from a camera, polarising sunglasses, or a polarizing foil out of a cheap LCD unit.

While I don’t understand what you say about the “icons in their webshop”, I doubt FP can sell the glass separately. It would mean getting the glass from the supplier which sold it to the manufacturer of the display unit (which not necessarily was the production partner, A’Hong.) That’s quite an effort, and it’s not even sure the procedure would work. It would also create additional cost for FP, as they would have to keep a number of these glass thingies in stock, even if no-one would ever try to replace the thing.

FYI, they did not even have the buffer cell battery which is soldered on the motherboard of our FP, so they had to replace the whole board in my case.

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Very impressive, great job here. Thank you for sharing this!