Crack the front panel on your iPhone and you have three
choices–live with it, buy a new one, or get it fixed.
If you have an AppleCare+ or other warranty that covers
accidental damage, the choice is easy. Get your phone fixed or replaced under
the warranty. If your iPhone isn’t under warranty, you don’t want to buy a new
one, and you’re ready to tackle a challenging, but satisfying do-it-yourself
fix, here’s a guide for replacing the entire display assembly.
Getting Replacement Parts & Tools
Once you decide to tackle this fix, you’ll need to get the
necessary replacement parts and tools. As the iPhone’s front panel and LCD are
fused together, I suggest buying both as a single unit. You’ll find them for
between $70 and $120 dollars online. Just be sure that you buy the right one
for your phone.
As for tools, you’ll need a few thin metal blades, a plastic
spudger or case opening tool, tweezers, Phillips #000 screwdriver, a tiny
flathead screwdriver, and a special pentalobe screwdriver, which you’ll use to
remove the phone’s tamper-resistant, outer case screws. Again, you can pick
these up online if you don’t have them.
Also, I’ll be replacing the panel on an AT&T iPhone 4,
but you can use same basic steps on iPhone 4s from other carriers and the
iPhone 4S. You may encounter differences however, such as the location and type
of vibration motor and the position of the motherboard screws.
1. Backup your data
The first step is to backup all the iPhone’s data using
iCloud or iTunes, just in case something goes wrong. You’ll also need to eject
the SIM card using the eject tool or a paperclip.
2. Remove the back cover
With those tasks complete, you can open the iPhone by
removing the two screws located along the bottom edge. As noted above, you’ll
need a special pentalobe screwdriver for this task.
Then, slide the back cover upwards and lift it off.