Swap MacBook Pro Retina panel with another brand panel?
2012 through 2015 MacBook Pro 13” Retina Displays are incredibly expensive. A cracked one can render an otherwise perfect MacBook Pro worthless. It is often more economical to upgrade to a new machine than replacing the screen.
I’ve been giving some thought on whether it is possible to swap out the Retina panel for ones found on higher end laptops such as Dell or Lenovo. Such bare UHD panels can often be had for well under $200. Even newer generation MacBook Pro panels are good candidates. While still expensive, they cost significantly less than older generation Retina panels.
From my research, the MacBook Pro uses the eDP protocol standard to communicate with the controller board which is responsible for rendering the graphics on the panel. To the MacBook Pro, the panel is no different than any other display attached to it. Theoretically, it should be possible to swap out the panel for a different one provided it includes an eDP controller board.
Of course, it won’t be easy. The LVDS cables may be different along with its pinouts. In order for the MacBook Pro to recognize the display at startup, the display’s firmware may need its EDID changed to a MacBook Pro recognizable one. Finally, assuming the dimension are the same, the panel may need small modifications for proper mounting on the MacBook cover.
I don’t see why this can’t be done. There are a handful of panel manufacturers and their products have minor differences. Both LG and Samsung, for instance, made A1502 panels for the same MacBook Pro models. Moreover, while Apple is known to deviate industry standards, it would be foolish for them leave something as important as their displays at the mercy of a single vendor.
So, I want to throw it back to all of you, is this possible or am I dreaming here? I would love to hear your thoughts.