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How do I replace the glass cover, digitizer and display (LCD screen) on the original iPad and the iPad 2?
Unfortunately, dropping an iPad and shattering the screen is not covered by the warranty. Apple can replace the display for a price around the cost of a new iPad. Specifically, in the US, the out-of-warranty service fee costs between US$269-US$419 (plus US$6.95 shipping and tax).
Thankfully, however, more affordable third-party repair options are available and self-replacement also is possible for the highly technically inclined.
If you are not certain whether you have an original iPad or an iPad 2, these can be roughly identified by whether or not they have a camera (the iPad 2 models have both front and rear-facing cameras whereas the original iPad models do not have a camera at all).
These iPad models can be more precisely identified externally by a unique model number listed on the back of the tablet toward the bottom. Specifically, the original iPad (Wi-Fi) is model number A1219 and the original iPad (Wi-Fi/3G/A-GPS) is model number A1337, whereas the iPad 2 (Wi-Fi), iPad 2 (Wi-Fi/GSM/A-GPS), and iPad 2 (Wi-Fi/CDMA/A-GPS) have model numbers A1395, A1396, and A1397, respectively.
The iPad models also can be differentiated by the last three characters or four characters of the serial number with EveryiPad.com's Ultimate iLookup (the last three characters if it has an eleven character serial number and the last four characters if it has a twelve character serial number). Like the model number, the serial number is listed externally on the back of the tablet toward the bottom.
In addition to the last three or four characters of its serial number, EveryiPad.com's Ultimate iLookup feature can identify the iPad models by EMC number and order number (referred to as "Model" from within the iOS), as well.
iPad Display Replacement Videos
Based on hands-on experience, if you have replaced the LCD on a notebook computer successfully, you likely can replace the LCD on an iPad as well, but it definitely is not an easy fix. Please note that replacing the iPad glass cover, digitizer or display -- or any combination thereof -- is difficult and hiring a professional is strongly recommended.
However, for those not discouraged from the challenge, the below videos from RepairsUniverse document the repair procedure for both the original iPad and the iPad 2:
Ultimately, from watching these videos, you should be able to determine whether or not you would feel comfortable replacing the display yourself or would instead prefer to hire a professional.