Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bottom Line: You don’t have to pay Apple hundreds of dollars to fix your broken iOS device screen…you can do it yourself. [You can also replace your battery, vibrator, etc. this way]

I dropped my iPhone and totaled the front screen (check out the pictures at the bottom). My upgrade is still months away, and my Apple Care had lapsed, so I had two options:
  1. Take it to the Apple store and have it fixed (Cost: at least $170, but most likely it would have been more…some have said its $299 for an out-of-warranty replacement!)
  2. Buy the part and do it myself (Cost: $15-70)

I’m poor and living on loans, so I went with option #2. So, the goal of the post is to:
  • Assure you that if I can do the replacement, you can too
  • Give you the pros and cons of replacing it yourself
  • Make you aware of the little hang-up areas

So, first off, you need a new screen and 3 different screwdrivers (pentalobular, Phillips, flathead) to get the job done. Things that make it easier include magnetized screwdrivers and the Screw Mat (magnetized blown-up version of the inside of the iPhone with spots marked to place the 29 screws).

I bought my replacement screen package through I would HIGHLY recommend them. They provide you with everything I listed in both what you need and what makes it easier for $70. You can also find cheaper packages that just provide the replacement screen on Amazon (you’ll just need to provide the different screwdrivers and keep track of the screws on your own).

Before you go buying a replacement package, however, there are two things you need to consider. First, Apple will not help you with your phone after you’ve done this, so if it’s early on and you still have AppleCare, this might not be your best option. Also, if you’re someone who seems to need Apple’s help with your devices often, reconsider. Second, this project will take you some time. My first try took an hour and twenty minutes, and the second run-through took thirty minutes.

So, if you’ve still decided this is the way you want to go, I have a few tips from my personal experience:
  • Back up your phone first (just in case)
  • Be patient and gentle. If you break any pieces, you’ll defeat the purpose
  • Follow PhoneDoctors’ video (! I can’t stress this enough. Use their video as a guide, pausing when necessary
  • Apply slow, even pressure when taking the battery out the first time. If yours is anything like mine, the adhesive is pretty strong. Use the plastic wedge if necessary
  • Make sure your battery and all its connections are tight (but not forced). I didn’t have the connections exactly right after my first time, leaving me with a phone that wouldn’t charge until I opened it up and tightened everything
  • Do not over-tighten the screws
  • At the end, when you need to re-attach the back case, align the long sides exactly and set the piece a few centimeters above the bottom. SLOWLY apply downward pressure to slide the case into position…mine took a little while to move
  • DON'T FREAK OUT if it doesn't work immediately. You may need to open the phone back up and re-check your work, even if it means going through parts of the video again. Make sure pieces are facing the correct way and all connections have been firmly pressed down

If you want more information or need some help, feel free to contact me. If you want more information about changing out individual parts inside the phone, just send us an email as other SMRT members have some experience with that. Good luck!


The Screw Mat...super helpful
The package from Phone Doctors

A look at the inside of an iPhone
What the front of an iPhone looks like without a screen
Before and after!

It worked after everything :)

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