Buzzfile – Smashed iPhone 12 Pro Max repair

Mike fixes an iPhone 12 Pro Max that got crushed by a truck! Get an inside look into the steps he takes to bring this baby back from the dead.
Buzztime Electronics holding a smashed iPhone 12 Pro Max

It’s probably on most people’s list of top 3 nightmares. Losing their phone. Either misplacing it, getting stolen or broken. Folks get cheesed off if there’s even a slight drop in audio performance! Imagine a situation where you dropped your phone on the road and it got run over by a truck. For a moment, put aside the question of how you it got to that point and think of what it would look like. Yeah, you figured right, it’s the image above this text. Bri* came to us with this beauty last week and asked to get it fixed. We suggested it’s easier to transfer data across to another device, but there was sentimental value involved, so Mike, our gallant tech-knight took on this monstrous iPhone 12 Pro Max repair. 

We’ll take a look at all the things he did to resuscitate this zombie phone and trust me, the end result will blow you away. 


Mike takes a look at the iPhone 12 Pro Max repair. It’s pretty busted up as you can see. Our standard process for all our iPhone repairs involves a thorough assessment to ensure we’ve identified everything that is working as intended and which parts need fixing. We then provide you with a quote before moving ahead. This gives you the flexibility to confirm what you need fixed and what can be skipped so that you stay within budget. With this unit, he’s earmarked the following components for fixing:

  1. Screen
  2. Rear Frame
  3. Back Glass
  4. Battery
Mike passes on the info and quote to Bri who confirms they’re ok to go ahead. After selecting the parts needed, he’s ready to start the procedure.

Tools and Parts the iPhone 12 Pro Max repair job

Before Mike starts, he makes sure he has the necessary tools and replacement parts. At Buzztime Electronics, we use trusted third-party suppliers for our parts to ensure that we’re able to provide good quality at an affordable price.

Important: If you try to repair your own phone, it will void your warranty if it’s still in effect. Proceed with caution, and if you’re unsure about any step, seek professional help.

Tools used:

  1. Mini-hammer
  2. Heat gun
  3. Picks
  4. Plastic prying tool
  5. Plastic spudger
  6. Screwdrivers – Pentalobe PL1; Phillips PH00; Y-type Y000 
  7. Spatula
  8. Suction tool
  9. Tweezers

Parts used:

  1. A2412 LCD Screen
  2. A1687 Back Housing Chassis
  3. 12 Pro Max Back Glass
  4. A2466 Battery

Workspace preparation

At Buzztime Electronics, we ensure that we have a clean, well-lit area with plenty of space to work. We place delicate parts on a section protected by felt covering to minimise damage. Separate trays with magnetic pads are used to store screws of different sizes to ensure none of them gets mixed up. We maintain our equipment well and place them in easily accessible areas for the convenience of our technicians. 

Turning off your iPhone 12 Pro Max

Phones can hold a latent charge which can result in a shock or short-circuit. Before starting the iPhone 12 Pro Max repair, Mike makes sure to follow these steps to turn the phone off completely:

  1. Press and hold the power and volume key simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Wipe the displayed slider from left to right to “Switch off”.
  3. The phone will shut down completely within a few seconds.

Remove screws

Use a Pentalobe screwdriver (usually 6.8mm) to remove the screws on either side of the lightning connector of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Keep track of these screws by placing them on one section of a magnetic pad, as they are different sizes and must go back in their original positions. With Bri’s phone, this was a little difficult as the pressure from the vehicle that ran over the phone, compressed the frame and caused some chassis warping. 

Opening the iPhone 12 Pro Max

The LCD on this phone was badly cracked and had even shattered in some places, leaving sharp edges around. Mike put on a pair of gloves and used the heat gun on the edges to help loosen the glue holding the screen in place. After this, he quickly used the suction tool to help lift one end of the screen and slipped in a pair of plastic picks to wiggle into the gap and make them bigger. Once he had some space, he pulled the plastic picks around the edge, taking care around the sharp bits. One tricky bit is to make sure that while he’s prying open the screen, he doesn’t open it fully, otherwise the small connecting cables to various components can snap.

Disconnect the phone battery

With the screen open, he now has access to remove the screws of the cover plates that protect the different connectors using a Y-type screw driver. The cover plates are quite small, so it’s best to remove them using a pair of tweezers. If you feel any resistance with the larger cover plate, remember that there’s a hook there that has to slide out as well. Once the plates are off, Mike removes the battery connector first to ensure that there is no latent charge remaining and to prevent short-circuits. Take out the battery and place it on the side.

Detach the screen

When detaching the other connectors, our technicians always start from the side where there are no small components on the logicboard to avoid potential damage. Use the plastic spudger to slide under the remaining three connectors and safely detach them from the board. 

Since Face ID sensors are integrated on the earpiece and sensor cable, you have to take over the entire module from the old display if you do not want to lose the function.

We suggest removing the earpiece to avoid creating audio problems, and sensor cable before pulling the screen off. To do this, remove the two Phillips and two Y-type screws from the earpiece. Then, pull aside the detached earpiece. Heat the sensor cable with the heat gun to soften the glue and loosen the sensor cable from inside the display by using a flat pry tool. 

Once this is done, Mike is able to remove the damaged LCD screen. 

Removing the iPhone 12 Pro Max back glass

The iPhone 12 Pro Max was one of the first models to get the Mag Safe charging coils installed inside the phone. Needless to say, this made back glass repairs even more difficult than they already were. Thankfully, the technicians at Buzztime Electronics are fantastic at what they do and Mike is one of our best. Most of the back glass was gone around the edges as you can see from the cover picture. Mike had to take these steps to complete the removal process:

  1. Remove the remaining back glass
  2. Extract the wireless charging coil.
  3. Remove the magnet array and shield
  4. Remove the glass around the camera
  5. Remove any residual adhesive

Replacing parts of the iPhone 12 Pro Max

Phew! With all the broken bits now removed, Mike can replace the chassis and reattach the new parts in reverse order. He needs to concentrate and make sure all pieces fit together, the connections are correctly re-established and the screws are put back in place correctly. Constant testing at every stage helps him identify any issues at different points in time so that he can retrace his steps if needed. As you can see from the end result below, he’s done an amazing job!

Buzztime Electronics iPhone 12 Pro Max repaired


Hope you enjoyed a quick look at this iPhone 12 Pro Max repair job. One of the more difficult ones we’ve done this month. It took Mike a total of four hours and change to do all the work. Bri was extremely happy to have the phone fixed and in working order. Kudos to them for staying loyal to their tech. We can always do with more device repairing for the planet.