I suck at handling tech toys. Phones, MP3 players, laptops – I break them all. It’s almost a talent, what I do to all things tech.
So when I got the iPhone 3GS almost two years ago, everyone said it was just a matter of time before it had to be replaced. They were right, of course. Thankfully, it wasn’t my fault. The phone had issues since I got it, and eventually it became too much for me to deal with. So I took it to the Apple store and they replaced it.
About six months later, however, there was a small accident. I was texting away while on a ghost tour, and I didn’t pay attention when I tried to put it back in my pocket. And so it fell and hit the floor. Now, this had happened before and the phone had been okay, but this time, it fell directly onto the screen and landed on a few pebbles.
Not only did we watch it fall, we heard the glass shatter.
As you can see from the picture, the phone was completely smashed. Surprisingly, it still worked fine. I had no problems with the touch-screen, and aside from the fact that a few spots were hard to read, there was no real problem.
But it was incredibly annoying to walk around with the screen like this. Not to mention how tiring it is to hear the same thing all the time: “Oh, my God, what happened?? How did you do that??”. And even worse, the look that most people give you when they say that, like they can’t believe that not only are you that careless, but they can’t believe you haven’t fixed it yet.
So I started looking into how much it would cost to fix, and I’m not gonna lie, the prices were just crazy. I was looking at anywhere from $80-$200, depending on where I got it done and how long it took them to do. And then I found tutorials for how to do it myself and where to get the needed part on Amazon. I did figure out, however, that the part I bought only works if your screen is cracked, but still works. If your touchscreen doesn’t work at all, you’re looking for a different, more expensive part.
And I figured, “I’m awesome at tech stuff!! Clearly this is the best plan!!”. And so I bought the screen and waited for it to come.
Once it came in, I set out to replace it myself. The best tutorial I found (that wasn’t a video) was on iFixit. They had detailed enough pictures for me to follow and do it.
It was actually pretty easy to do. If you follow the instructions properly, all you have to do is a few steps. I figured that since I’m not tech-awesome enough to write a how-to, I’d give you a few helpful pieces of advice.
If you buy the Amazon kit, it come with everything you need: small, magnetic screwdrivers, a suction cup, and the little thingies (yes, I’m awesome at tech-speak) that helps you unplug the wires and the one that helps you separate the glass. It also comes with the adhesive.
So first, the screws. They’re TINY!! They must be like 2 mm long. Tiny. I was terrified that they’d roll off the desk, so I put the on a piece of cloth. That helped a bit.The first two you take out are small, but the ones you take out after the wires come out are the itty-bitty tiny ones.
After the first screws come out, you have to unplug the wires. They’re not hard. Two are simple enough: pull them out to unplug. The third one is a little tricky, as it has a lock on it. You have to lift the piece holding it in place (much easier than it sounds) and then pull it out. If you follow the pictures on the guide, you’ll be okay.
Once everything is separated and you have the front piece, it becomes a little tricky. You have to melt the glue off so you can remove the glass. I don’t have a heat gun, so I had to use a hair dryer. It took FOREVER. I think the problem with mine was also that because it was totally shattered, the glass came off piece by freaking piece as I melted the glue. If your screen isn’t as bad, it should be easier, as it should come off in one piece. This part took me the longest, and I seriously considered giving up half-way through.
Once you finally get it all off, and you’ve scraped off any glue remnants, you apply the new adhesive stickers and put on the new screen. You hold it so it sticks, and then you put it back together. Just follow the instructions backwards.
Happily, I now have a a shatter-free screen on my phone. I figure if I can change the screen, then honestly, anyone can. It doesn’t require any kind of tech-savvy or knowledge. And this way, I saved myself anywhere from $70-$190. And I really do like saving money!!
- 42% of iPhones are used with broken screens (newslite.tv)
- iPhone Repair Business Opportunities (business-opportunities.biz)
- How To: Replacing That Broken iPhone 4 Screen (insydetech.info)
- Milliamp: Repairing iPhones Generates Over $1M In Sales?! – with Anthony Magnabosco (mixergy.com)
- Show Off Your iPhone’s Guts With iFixit’s Cyber Monday Deal – TechCrunch (techcrunch.com)