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Released September 21, 2018. Models A1920, A2097, A2098, A2100. Available as GSM or CDMA / eSIM or nano-SIM / 64, 256, or 512 GB / Silver, Gold, or Space Gray. (Pronounced "iPhone 10 S.")

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Dead screen --> data recovery possible?

Seeking expert iphone troubleshooter advice! My knowledge stops at iPhone 6… The main question: IN YOUR OPINION, would replacing the display assembly, while transferring the face ID / sensors from the old phone to the new display, allow us to recover this iPhone XS?

Issue history: the screen to my wife’s iPhone XS has crapped out, and she can no longer boot the phone. There’s just an Apple icon, then a colored flash, and then the boot sequence restarts (over and over again). I was able to get it out of this endless boot a couple times, but now it is totally unrecoverable. There’s a couple photos with massive sentimental value on here, so we just want to recover the phone, at least enough to pull that data off of it.

According to an Apple geek the FaceID “software went bad” (which sounds incredibly unscientific); the issue that started this whole slew of technical problems. They said the cheaper iPhone models, i.e. XS, are subject to this type of bulls*** hardware failure, which seems unacceptable for a $1200 phone (definitely not “cheap”). But enough about that… First, her face ID wouldn’t work, and then parts of the touchscreen became unresponsive and quirky. Typing worked to some extent, but was impaired. The phone continued to decline, and started to have these episodes of perpetual boot syndrome. Because of the boot issue, if you try to update software from iTunes, it will get interrupted and fail. A restore would delete the data, so we don’t want to do that, but it probably wouldn’t work anyway.

So the hard part to tease out is:

  1. Is the face ID chip somehow damaged or corrupted? The way I understand how the hardware-based login works, is that the face ID chip is inextricably mated to the phone, so it would seem that if your face ID chip is messed, there would be no means of logging in. Side-note: I don’t think that my wife encrypted the phone, if that changes anything (probably not). I do know that there is a normal 4 or 6-digit passcode she can use to open it.
  2. Is it an issue with the display assembly itself, or the face ID chip? The fact that face ID stopped working, and that the Apple people said there was something wrong with Face ID (however vague), suggests it is related to the face id device. But if all our trouble is isolated to the display, it would be great to just swap the display, keeping the various face id module and sensors, and hopefully it would boot up normally.

So, after all I have described, do you believe that swapping the face ID / sensors to a fresh display assembly, then reassembling the phone might allow us to recover the iPhone? Would it be worth the $150 gamble to buy the display assembly to try it out (photo > $150 in terms of happiness to my wife, I expect)?

Very sincere thanks for any suggestions or support you may offer. Thank you! Dave

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It doesn't sound like a screen issue if you are getting the apple logo. I would call jessa at ipad rehab and ask her about it and see if she can recover your data. She is one of the best in the business.

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