iPhone Mishap & Repair

If you “like” Money Crush on Facebook, you may have seen that I had a little mishap with my iPhone recently.

Basically, I went to put it in my pocket, missed, and it hit the tile floor instead. Now I’ve dropped my phone many times before (on tile, on concrete, on asphalt, on carpet) and it’s always been fine. But I guess it had had enough, because this time it looked like this:

Not so good. My phone is long out of warranty, so the first thing I did was call American Express to see if accidents like that were covered under the extended warranty. “No,” they said. “Only things covered by the original warranty.”

Apple wanted $99 to replace the screen, so we thought we’d see if we could replace the screen ourselves. We watched a few videos on YouTube of people doing it, and it seemed like a possibility. I figured worse case, I’d see what the phone looked like inside and buy a new one if it failed. So I ordered a replacement screen & tool kit from Amazon for $7.84, which looked like this:

We had no problem unscrewing the teeny-tiny screws:

But we couldn’t get the screen itself off at first. I don’t know if it was because my screen was cracked so badly that the little suction cup that came in the kit couldn’t a grip, or if it just wasn’t very good, but I ended up going to Home Depot to buy a better suction cup. Then we got the screen off and carefully removed the part you aren’t supposed to touch, leaving us with this:

That’s when we got to the hard part. The kit we bought required aiming a heat gun/hair dryer at it to loosen the glue that held the actual glass to little metal frame so that it could be removed. I gave up, and my husband took over. Eventually he got it off.

After that, it was a matter of putting things back together in reverse order. (If you’re going to try this yourself, be aware that it voids the warranty — which was expired anyway in my case — and watch a bunch of videos first to get all the steps.)

All went well until the very last step of putting the new glass into place. As far as I know, you have to press it down a little at the end. In our case, the new glass cracked a tiny bit too. Not nearly as bad as my horribly cracked version, but still. So would I do this again? No way, although my husband might. It took us about 1 1/2 hours.

I took the phone down to the Apple store and paid my $99. I know there are places you can send it to that will do it for less, but I didn’t feel like waiting or taking another chance. So after about 5 minutes in the Apple store, it was all better and I was $99 lighter. It works great now though, and nothing else is wrong with it.

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8 comments

  • Awesome post! The satisfaction of doing it yourself and the money saved is priceless!

  • Somethings are not worth doing on your own!

    • This would be one of them, as far as I’m concerned. Although I did like seeing how the phone was put together — that was pretty neat :)

  • oh man I hate those fake iPhone screens they sell on eBay and whatnot. There’s this flyer hanging up on my campus where some guy is offering $25 to replace screens.

    So much easier to just get it done at the Apple store. It’s $100 because it’s not just the glass, it’s the entire display (the sensor and everything underneath) — they don’t use a heat gun to remove the glass from the metal, it stays as one part.

    • If I understood the guy at the Apple store correctly, it’s just the screen and the metal frame that it’s attached to that they replaced — not the sensor part. But, they presumably get those both as one piece, instead of having to separate out the glass!

  • Kim

    I appreciate you trying to do it yourself. I always try to do things like this myself and sometimes it is not worth it. One of my clients gave us a Sony 59 inch big screen TV. Kind of a waste as we don’t watch much TV. But the projector lamp went bad immediately. I found a bulb replacement kit for $129.00 on the internet. Four screws later the TV works great! (when we use it, that is).

    • I’m pretty big on DIY in general anyway, so I figured it was worth a shot. That’s cool about the TV being so easily repairable.