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Are the 2017 iPad & iPad Air Compatible?

Apple's March release of their new iPad had people doing a double-take. By just looking at it, the physical similarities between the 2017 iPad and the all-too-familiar iPad Air, had techs opening the frame to see how they resembled each other.

The hot ticket question rolling in was: is there part compatibility between the two models?

After a thorough tear down and inspection of the hardware within by our master tech, the answer is positive! There are interchangeable parts and we have the breakdown:

2017 iPad Part 2017 iPad Air 1 Compatibility
Digitizer Yes
Home Button No
Headphone Jack Yes
Front Camera No
Rear Camera Yes
Battery Yes
Microphone Assembly Yes
Volume & Power Buttons No

When someone brings in an iPad, the most common repair is the front glass and digitizer. Lucky for you, Apple has created these parts identical to the iPad Air. Repair parts for new devices tend to cost a pretty penny, but when they are compatible to previous models, shops can buy them at a cheaper price and make a healthier profit.

The LCD compatibility is a little more complicated. The 2017 iPad LCD can be used in an iPad Air and it even increases the brightness. On the other hand, when installing an iPad Air LCD into the 2017 iPad, it's about 50 percent dimmer than with it's original. Although technically the LCD is cross-compatible, we do not recommend it due to it's brightness decrease.

The headphone jack and microphone assembly are a perfect fit within each model, leaving two more replacement parts compatible. As for camera specs, they both capture 1080p HD video, but differ in photo. The iPad Air takes 5 megapixel images, while the new iPad takes 8 megapixel pictures for a more detailed image. Although many parts functioned in both the 2017 iPad and iPad Air, a few were not compatible. The front camera was a no-go, as well as the volume, home, and power buttons.

What do these compatibilities mean for your repair shop? The iPad Air expertise you already have will be utilized for the newest generation iPad. In addition, when it comes to obtaining a part and at a reasonable price, six of them are easily acquired due to their compatibility with the iPad Air!