iPhone 3G LCD Screen Replacement

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I’m on a roll! I can’t remember the last time I’ve ordered so much stuff from eBay! This time, I got a LCD screen replacement for a cracked iPhone 3G. This replacement was CAKE! Mainly because I opted to get the right part and save me a ton of work. Details after the jump.

Yet another high tech DIY project to fix the kid’s equipment. This time my oldest had dropped her iPhone and was rewarded with a nice cracked screen. Fortunately, the phone was still functional and most of the screen was readable.

Since the subject of replacing the iPhone screen has been covered many times on the internet, I’m not going to through them here. I will, however, point out where I got my information, parts, and a quick recap of my experience.

First, there are two basic ways of replacing the iPhone screen. The Cheap Way ($25-$50), which involves a lot of time, patience, and fine motor skills, and then there is the slightly more expensive way ($85), which is basically: replace a part.

The Cheap Way is to buy a replacement glass and “simply” disassemble your iPhone. There are a TON of YouTube videos on this subject. The disassembly of the mechanical parts look to be fairly easy to do. The catch is when you need to separate the glass screen, which is in various large, jagged, artery-threatening pieces, from the bracket that it is attached to. The glass is attached to this bracket with some sort of glue/adhesive substance that you need to heat up in order to scrap off the glass. Of course, you have to worry about the home button and speakers being heated up past their tolerances and making the how repair just a moot point.

Far too much fine motor skills required here for me. I didn’t look forward to spending the time meticulously picking glass from a hot steel/plastic frame. Plus, I was hoping for something that would more “clean”.

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Fortunately, there are a few vendors on eBay that sell OEM parts for the iPhone. The vendor I ended up going with sold the LCD, digitizer, glass, buttons, etc all in one part. All for $85! The part ships from Hong Kong, so it took a little longer for the part to arrive here in the States (damn physics!) I waited just over 2 weeks for the part. Yes, if it was my iPhone, I don’t think I could have waited that long for the part either. But since it was my daughter’s….

What does this buy you? Basically all you need to do is open the iPhone up – which pulls apart like a clamshell. The all-in-one part allows you to replace the top part of the clamshell. Incredibly easy! The entire repair took 5 minutes. In short: remove two screws, gently pull open the clamshell, disconnect three cables, replace top of clamshell with new part by reattaching the cables, closing the clamshell and reattach the two screws.

In case you are researching this to do yourself, the YouTube video at the bottom of this post has a kid explain how to open the iPhone the correct way. I’m not sure if he was the one that came up with the method, but it was pretty damn smart method and I thought I would include it in the blog entry – even with the crude language.

Good Luck with your repair!

-JT

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