10 Most Common Causes of iPad Damage | ZUGU Case

The 10 Most Common Causes of iPad Damage

In this grand digital era, our gadgets have transcended their mundane roles to become quirky sidekicks in our daily adventures. Take the iPad, for instance — it's no longer just a slab of technology; it's a trusty, digital Swiss army knife for the modern soul. Millions across the globe cling to it, not just for its sleek design or its ability to summon cat videos at whim, but for the seamless magic it brings to our mundane tasks.

But oh, the drama that unfolds in our quest to keep these beloved companions unscathed! Each iPad, like a digital Don Quixote, bravely navigates a world filled with perilous coffee spills, unexpected falls, and the sly, ever-present rogues — our own clumsy fingers. Keeping them safe is akin to herding a flock of electronic sheep, constantly straying towards the cliffs of disaster.

So, let’s find out what the most common causes of iPad damage are and how to prevent these absolute disasters.

1. The Peril of Gravity: Drops and Falls

The Peril of Gravity: Drops and Falls

The undisputed champion of iPad disasters is the accidental drop. Whether it slips from a table, falls out of a bag, or escapes our grip, the result is often a heart-stopping thud. This is more than just a physical mishap; it's a moment where time seems to freeze, followed by the anxious inspection for cracks or dents. Screens are particularly vulnerable, and a severe drop can even jar internal components, leading to more insidious damage.

When an iPad falls, the impact can cause various types of damage:

  • Screen cracks: The most visible and common consequence. The glass may spiderweb at the point of impact, sometimes rendering the touchscreen unusable.
  • Corner dents and frame bends: The corners and frame of the iPad can dent or bend, which may affect the structural integrity of the device and potentially disrupt the internal components.
  • Internal damage: Though less visible, internal damage can be significant. Components can become dislodged or broken, which might affect the iPad's functionality.

Protective Measures

In recognizing this vulnerability, there is a significant market for protective accessories:

  • Cases and covers: These range from slim, basic covers to bulky, rugged iPad cases designed for high-impact protection. Then there are our ZUGU cases — both rugged and slim and not at all basic. Every model has a robust bumper and TPU + PC shell for major drop protection, so whichever iPad you have will be protected from bumps and scrapes.
  • Screen protectors: Our ZUGU screen protectors, made in Japan, are of the highest grade 0.25mm tempered glass on the market. They have diamond/10H hardness — the highest protection level against scratches and will absorb some of the shock of being dropped.
  • Using straps or grips: Some users adopt additional measures like hand straps or grips to prevent the device from slipping out of their hands. 

Related Reading: Is Getting a Cracked iPad Screen Repaired
at AppleCare Worth It?

2. iPads Can’t Swim: Liquid Damage

Liquid Damage

Our world is filled with liquids poised to wreak havoc on electronic devices. From the mundane cup of coffee to unexpected rain, iPads often fall victim to liquid damage. This type of mishap can be particularly insidious because the extent of the damage may not be immediately apparent. Corrosion can set in over time, leading to long-term issues that are challenging to repair.

Common Causes of Water Damage

  • Accidental spills: One of the most frequent scenarios involves beverage spills. Coffee, water, soda, or any liquid can cause immediate harm if it seeps into the device.
  • Bathroom mishaps: Many users take their iPads into the bathroom, leading to potential drops into sinks, bathtubs, or toilets.
  • Outdoor exposure: Using the iPad outdoors can expose it to unexpected rain or poolside accidents.

Water entering an iPad can lead to short-circuiting of the internal electronic components. This is particularly problematic because iPads, like most electronics, are powered by electricity, and water conducts electricity. The presence of moisture inside the device can create unintended electrical pathways, damaging sensitive components.

Response to Water Exposure

The response to water damage is critical:

  • Power off and dry: Immediately turn off the device and dry it as much as possible.
  • Avoid heat sources: Do not use a hairdryer or any direct heat source to dry the iPad, as this can cause additional damage.
  • Rice method: A common home remedy involves placing the iPad in a container of uncooked rice to absorb moisture. However, this method has limitations and does not guarantee a fix.
  • Professional repair: Seeking professional repair as soon as possible is advisable. Technicians can disassemble the device, dry out components, and assess damage more effectively.

The best way to prevent water damage to your iPad is to put it in a ZUGU protective case, or you could try never allowing your iPad near a liquid. That’s harder than you think, trust us.

3. Under Pressure: Screen Damage

Under Pressure: Screen Damage

The iPad's screen is not just an output device but a means of interaction. This dual role also makes it vulnerable to pressure and impact damage. Placing heavy objects on the iPad, accidentally stepping on it, or even aggressive typing can lead to cracks or complete screen failure. Unusual pressure, such as sitting on an iPad or bending it while storing it in a backpack, can cause the screen to crack or shatter. Keys, coins, or other sharp objects in bags or pockets can scratch the screen, especially if it's not protected by a screen protector.

Types of Screen Damage

  • Cracks and shatters: These range from minor cracks that don’t hinder functionality to major shatters that make the screen unusable.
  • Scratches: While less severe than cracks, scratches can accumulate over time, affecting the clarity and touch sensitivity of the screen.
  • Pixel damage: Sometimes, the impact can cause damage to the pixels, resulting in dead spots or color distortions.

The Technical Aspect

The iPad screen has several layers, including a glass panel, a touch-sensitive digitizer, and an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) layer. Damage can affect any of these layers with varying degrees of severity. For example, a crack might only affect the glass, but a severe impact can damage the underlying LCD or digitizer.

Repair and Replacement

  • Professional repair: For severe damage, professional repair is the best option. This usually involves replacing the entire screen assembly.
  • DIY kits: For minor cracks or scratches, DIY repair kits are available, but they require a certain level of technical skill and can risk further damage if not done correctly.
  • Cost considerations: The cost of screen repair can vary widely based on the iPad model and the extent of the damage. It's often a significant portion of the device's original price.

iPad screen protectors and premium iPad cases are once again the best way to prevent a cracked iPad screen.

4. Heat Wave: Overheating Issues

Overheating Issues

iPads are designed to operate within specific temperature ranges, and exceeding these limits can lead to overheating. This often occurs when an iPad is left in a car on a hot day or used for extended periods in direct sunlight. 

Overheating can cause battery swelling, reduced battery life, and, in extreme cases, internal damage. When an iPad gets too hot, it will throttle down its performance to reduce temperature, leading to slower processing and response times. Excessive heat can also affect the screen, potentially leading to discoloration or reduced touch sensitivity.

According to Apple, iPads should be operated in environments where the temperature is between 0º and 35º C (32º to 95º F). Prolonged exposure to higher temperatures can permanently diminish battery capacity.

Causes of Overheating

  • Environmental factors: Exposure to high temperatures, such as leaving an iPad in a hot car or using it in direct sunlight for prolonged periods, is a common cause.
  • Intensive use: Running high-performance apps for extended periods can overheat the iPad. This includes gaming, video streaming, or using complex editing software.
  • Charging issues: Using a non-standard charger or charging the iPad while using intensive applications can lead to overheating.
  • Covered vents: Blocking the iPad's vents by using it on a cushion or in a case that doesn't allow for adequate heat dissipation.

Preventive Measures

  • Environmental awareness: Avoid leaving the iPad in hot environments, like a parked car on a sunny day, and try to use it in well-ventilated areas.
  • Appropriate charging practices: Use only Apple-certified chargers and avoid using the iPad for high-performance tasks while it’s charging.
  • Regular breaks: Give your iPad a break during extended usage, especially when running resource-intensive apps.
  • Proper case selection: Choose cases that do not block vents and allow for adequate heat dissipation, like our ZUGU cases, which include air flow vents to keep your iPad cool.

Dealing with an Overheated iPad

If the iPad overheats, turn it off and let it cool down in a cooler environment. Do not put it in the fridge or freezer, as this can cause condensation inside the device.

Sometimes, overheating issues can be resolved with software updates that include performance improvements. If overheating is a recurrent issue, it may be worth getting the iPad checked by a professional to rule out hardware problems.

We cover one-time AppleCare+ repair fees if your iPad gets damaged while in a ZUGU case. Yes, really.


5. The Battery Life: Wear and Tear

Like all rechargeable batteries, those in iPads have a limited lifespan. Over time, they can lose their ability to hold a charge, swell, or, in rare cases, leak. Battery issues are not just inconvenient; they can also pose a risk to the device's functionality and user safety.

Causes of Battery Issues

  • Aging: The most natural cause of battery deterioration is aging. Lithium-ion batteries, which power iPads, have a limited lifespan and degrade over time and usage cycles.
  • Overcharging: Keeping the iPad plugged in constantly, even after it reaches 100%, can strain the battery over time.
  • Extreme temperatures: Both extreme heat and cold can negatively impact battery health. Heat can accelerate battery aging, while cold can temporarily reduce its effectiveness.
  • Intensive usage: Continual use of resource-heavy apps or features (like high-brightness settings and background app refresh) can drain the battery faster and may contribute to its faster degradation.

Maintenance and Extending Battery Life

  • Optimal charging practices: Avoid leaving the iPad plugged in all the time. It’s better to charge it to around 80% and not let it drop below 20% too often.
  • Software updates: Regularly updating the iPad’s software can ensure optimal battery performance, as updates often include battery management improvements.
  • Usage adjustments: Reducing screen brightness, turning off unnecessary notifications, and closing unused apps can help conserve battery life.
  • Battery replacement: If the iPad's battery health has significantly deteriorated, replacing it is a viable option to restore its original performance. This should be done by professionals to ensure the quality and safety of the repair.

Regularly check the iPad's battery health to get an idea of its condition.

6. Never Work with Children or Animals: The Unpredictable Factor

The Unpredictable Factor

Anyone with children or pets knows that accidents happen. iPads can become toys or teething objects in the blink of an eye. Screen protectors and heavy-duty, child-friendly cases that can absorb shock and withstand rough handling can offer a first line of defense, but the ultimate protection comes from keeping these devices out of reach when not in use.

7. Charging Conundrums: Power Problems

Charging Conundrums

Using non-standard or damaged chargers can lead to electrical issues with iPads. This can range from simple charging problems to more severe issues like short circuits or, in extreme cases, electrical fires. It's crucial to use the correct charger and to inspect cables regularly for signs of wear and tear.

Types of Power Problems

  • Charging issues: Difficulty in charging, the iPad not recognizing the charger, or very slow charging rates.
  • Battery draining rapidly: The iPad loses charge unusually fast, even when not in heavy use.
  • iPad not turning on: In some cases, power issues can prevent the iPad from turning on at all.
  • Overheating while charging: The device gets excessively hot during the charging process.

Causes of Power Problems

  • Faulty chargers and cables: Using non-genuine or damaged chargers and cables is a common culprit. These may not provide the correct voltage or current, leading to charging inefficiencies or damage.
  • Worn-out battery: Batteries degrade over time and with use, leading to reduced capacity and charging issues.
  • Software glitches: Sometimes, software problems can interfere with the charging process or power management.
  • Dust and debris in ports: Accumulation of dust or debris in the charging port can impede the connection, leading to charging issues.
  • Internal component failures: Failures within the iPad’s internal circuitry can lead to various power-related problems.

Solutions and Preventive Measures

  • Use genuine accessories: Always use Apple-certified chargers and cables to ensure compatibility and safety.
  • Regular battery checks: Monitor the iPad's battery health and replace it if it’s significantly degraded.
  • Keep software updated: Ensure the iPad’s operating system is up-to-date, as updates often include fixes for power management issues.
  • Clean charging ports: Regularly clean the charging port using a soft, dry brush to remove any dust or debris.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Don't charge the iPad in very hot or cold conditions, as extreme temperatures can affect battery health and charging efficiency.

8. Software Snags: Corrupted Code

While not a physical form of damage, software issues can render an iPad as unusable as a cracked screen. This includes problems arising from failed updates, malware, or system corruption. Regular backups and cautious downloading can prevent many of these issues.

Staying up-to-date with iOS updates and avoiding unofficial apps are key strategies in preventing software-related problems.

9. Dust and Debris: The Silent Assassins

Dust and Debris

The accumulation of dust, sand, or other fine particles, especially in ports and speaker grilles, can cause long-term damage to iPads. This type of damage is often overlooked because it accumulates slowly over time. Regular cleaning and the use of protective covers can mitigate these risks.

Cleaning Recommendations

Using a soft, lint-free cloth for cleaning and avoiding direct exposure to dusty or sandy environments can help preserve the iPad's functionality and appearance. Our screen wipes and microfiber cloth do away with dirt and dust instantly, keeping your iPad feeling fresh and clean. We even have tech-friendly wipes to keep your ZUGU case looking brand new and your iPad safe from grime.

10. General Wear and Tear: The Inevitable Decline

The Inevitable Decline

Like all things, including us humans, iPads are subject to the wear and tear of everyday use. This can manifest as fading screens, loose buttons, or deteriorating speakers. While some wear is inevitable, proper handling and storage can significantly extend an iPad's useful life. 

Regular check-ups, gentle handling, and protective accessories can help keep your iPad (and you) in good working condition for years. 

The Tragicomedy of iPad Misadventures

And so, we conclude our odyssey through the hazardous world of iPad ownership — a tale laced with drops, spills, and the occasional pet chew toy. We've seen screens shatter with the drama of a Greek tragedy and batteries swell with the suspense of a Hitchcock thriller. We've witnessed iPads braving the scorching sun like a character in a desert survival epic and succumbing to the siren call of a toddler's sticky fingers in a slapstick comedy.

So let us raise a glass (carefully, away from our iPads) to these brave little slabs of technology that have survived our clumsy hands and curious pets. May they continue to beep, swipe, and ding in the face of adversity, and may their screens glow ever bright — a beacon of resilience in our accident-prone lives. 

We cover one-time AppleCare+ repair fees if your iPad gets damaged while in a ZUGU case. If you do not have AppleCare+, we will still do our best to help! Please send an email to support@zugucase.com.

Find the right ZUGU case for your iPad and keep it safe from the perils of everyday life with ZUGU iPad screen protectors and accessories