Apple ‘Punishing’ iPad Pro Buyers With New Pencil Software Lockdown

The Apple Pencil on your iPad Pro may not work properly if the display is replaced with a non-genuine Apple part, or even a screen from another iPad. This, a repair expert has claimed, is part of an increasing effort by Apple to add software locks to hardware components, which makes simple repairs harder and more expensive.

The practice, known as “serialization”, makes it difficult for third parties to properly replace parts in broken Apple devices because they are paired to the logic board. If, for example, I wanted to replace my iPhone 14 battery, I would need to use a genuine part from Apple with a corresponding unique serial number and the parts have to be synced-up using proprietary Apple software.

If I use a third party battery (also known as an “aftermarket” part), or even a genuine Apple battery, the battery health meter may be disabled. For other repairs that have not gone through the process of pairing the component to the logic board using Apple’s software, a warning may flash up.

This has now been extended to the displays of fifth and sixth generations of the iPad Pro 12.9-inch and third and fourth generation 11-inch tablets, repair expert Ricky Panesar, founder of, told me. While repairing a customer’s device, Panesar found that the Apple Pencil wasn’t delivering straight lines when the iPad display was replaced with a screen from another Apple iPad.

“We found with the newer versions of the iPad that when you put a new screen on, even if it’s taken from another iPad, the pencil strokes don’t work perfectly.” Panesar explained to me.

“They have a memory chip that sits on the screen that’s programmed to only allow the Pencil functionality to work if the screen is connected to the original logic board.” He continued. This means third party repair shops that use other Apple devices for parts now have to order replacements directly from Apple for them to work properly, which is more expensive for the consumer and less…