As my iPhone 3GS slipped out of my hands on Sunday and hit the gravel, I was prepared to shell out whatever necessary to replace it. It seemed like the perfect justification to get an iPhone 4S. However, as I am currently on parental leave, I cannot really afford it. In addition, I have my doubts about the 4S and prefer to hold out for iPhone 5, if possible. Thirdly, iPhone 4S will not be available to me until October 28 anyway. Therefore I looked into repairing the screen. After giving it some thought, I decided to try the repair myself (and save even more money). I followed the guide on howcast and it was excellent.
- As the image shows, the screen was severely cracked. The suction cup method did not work for me. I found another video where a guy failed to open the phone using the suction cup method while stating that “that’s a first”. Apparently, this is not very common. He did not show how he managed to open the phone. I used two small slotted screwdrivers to pry it open, close to the home button. Later I learned that this may have damaged the frame a bit (which you will need intact), but it wasn’t so bad that the repair failed.
- Getting the LCD off by pulling the circle corner did not work for me. To get the screen off the frame, I had to separate the metal parts (which are kept together by the six screws) somewhat using a small slotted screwdriver and then pull out. This did not appear to damage my LCD, but I wasn’t anywhere near the surface of the screen either.
- Getting the glass off the frame proved to be tedious work. It took over an hour because I had to heat it several times in order to get it all off. Note that there are components under the glass that you probably can damage if you hack away too hard.
- Before attaching the new glass, check for splinters of glass under the home button. It does not appear to be possible to remove this later.
- Assembling was easy and fun. The only problem was that the digitizer cable did not stay in place. This forced me to re-open the phone several times (using the suction cup method) and re-attach the cable, but it still would not stay in place. Finally, I put a piece of folded paper on top of the digitizer cable to hold it in place.
After completing my repair, I ran a couple of tests to verify that all sensors were working and, to my amazement, everything worked flawlessly. My iPhone is as good as new! No point in showing a picture of it, because it looks exactly like any other iPhone 3GS.