Friday, March 8, 2013

Successful iPhone 4 screen replacement

One of the kids in our FRC Robotics group broke his iPhone 4 screen but good:
I bought a $30 replacement screen off eBay which came with tools.  Unfortunately on the first go I screwed up one of the cables on the digitizer so I had to order another.  Even though I'm doing this as a favor (and to learn a new thing, which I try to do whenever possible), it was my fault so I'll pay for the broken screen.

This is an iPhone 4 and the screen replacement is a bit of a pain in the neck.  Other models are easier.

FWIW you really should print out a disassembly guide such as the one you see taped to my desk there - it has a place to put every screw and part that is removed.  I taped down every screw to the picture of it on the paper as I disassembled it.  There are about 30 screws and many pieces to disconnect.

I recommend the iCracked screen replacement guide on YouTube.  Had I used that one the first time I would not have damaged the connector as they are quite thorough and tell you exactly what you have to be careful of at every step.

Anyway, after the 2nd screen arrived today it went together without incident.  It was, all told, about a 2 hour job for me.  Even though I saw some bad reviews for some screens, this one seems to look just fine to me, the digitizer seems accurate when I was typing on the virtual keyboard, etc.  I think I have everything working - the wifi, phone signal, vibrator, microphone, speaker, home button, volume and power buttons and both cameras are working.  And I don't have any leftover parts.

I'd say if you think you have a shot at this and are willing to take the time to be meticulous, it's probably achievable.  The other iPhone models are apparently easier, the iPhone 5 FAR easier (IE it's a 5 minute, 2 screw job).  The biggest problem was getting all the crushed glass out of the thing.

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