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Smaller version of the original iPad Pro. Released March 31, 2016. Features a 9.7" display, A9X processor, and 32/128/256 GB storage options. Available in Silver, Space Grey, Gold, and Rose Gold.

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Battery management system with new battery?

As the battery replacement of this particular model is pretty much a nightmare I had mine replaced by a professional repair shop with a very good reputation.

This turned out to be a complete failure. There are a lot of reports of this model having charging, charge indication and battery performance issues after a battery replacement and my iPad was also affected.

Charging itself worked without issues and it also charged to 100% every time. But performance was a complete disaster. The iPad occasionally lost up to 50% charge through a single hour of moderately taxing usage and also turned off randomly below 30%. It didn’t restart itself and remained off but could be turned on manually again.

Before returning the iPad to the repair company I did some limited analysis using the Mac program coconutBattery and had rather interesting results. The cycle counter had been reset to 0 and the actual capacity was ominously enough showing exactly the design value, while the battery temperature indication was permanently frozen at 26.1°C.

But all battery information (SN, DMF, manufacturer) as well as the lifecycle data were clearly still from the original battery. Charge and discharge power ratings were also not indicated correctly, both always fluctuated only slightly around 1 watts. And last but not least, there were sometimes huge discrepancies between the charge level indication of cB and the iPad itself (10-15%).

After my own analysis I returned the iPad to the shop for fixing it; they acknowledged the faulty condition, tried a battery from a different supplier but couldn’t get it to work properly. Eventually they gave me a full refund and also mentioned that they might drop this repair from their portfolio due to “ongoing quality issues with batteries from all their suppliers”.

A lot of problems like this seem to be related to a battery connector that has been damaged during a battery replacement, so there might still be a possibility that the shop has experienced such a mishap during the first repair attempt as this connector seems to be extremely prone to damage (great engineering Apple…). I may have a look at it when I get the brick back, should be a bit easier to open now.

However, the readings from coconutBattery are still more than a bit disconcerting. They clearly indicate that the BMS isn’t a part of the battery itself and that there’s also a disturbance in the communication between the BMS and the battery. This looks a lot like a hardware lock to obstruct third-party repairs. Thus my question: has anyone ever seen the BMS fully working with a replacement battery, including completely updated lifecycle data?

To me it seems as if this iPad has almost intentionally been designed as disposable and poorly repairable by anyone other than a fully equipped OEM facility. The required disassembly for a battery replacement is ludicrous and the almost deliberate frailty of the battery connector is a bad joke on top of that.

BTW, Apple themselves have already listed the iPad Pro 9.7 (A1673 & A1674) as “vintage” and don’t offer repairs any longer as they have no more refurbished units available; many people may know that Apple usually replace the entire device rather than physically repairing the actual one, even for a “battery replacement”.

I always liked this particular iPad, and apart from the dying battery it was still going strong for all my usages. But seeing Apple’s obstructive design choices in regards to simple servicing tasks like replacing the battery of a battery-powered device as well as their completely ceased tech support after just five years gives me second thoughts about even buying another iPad at all.

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You'll have to remove the motherboard and check to see if any pins have been bent or broken off the battery connector. It's a risk with any ipad when replacing parts, not just pros. If one of the pins is damaged the ipad won't be receiving the correct data from the battery. If you are confident soldering then the replacement process is simple.

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I would have expected the “Apple certified” repair shop to fix that if they should have made such a mistake at their first go. They went for the requested refund and I’m fine with that.

I already have the money back but they haven’t sent the bricked iPad back yet. As I’m not totally inept when it comes to soldering I’ll definitely have a look at the battery connector. If I can eventually fix it for little money/effort good—if not it goes up for parts only on eBay.


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