iPhone

Do you dare fix a cracked Apple iPhone 3G?

When TechRepublic Cracked Open the Apple iPhone 3G we accidently put a small crack in the glass face. After awhile, the small crack became a big one bisecting the entire screen. The staff looked upon that crack as mark of dishonor and we decided fix it. Was it worth it?

One of the most popular Cracking Open Photo Galleries we published in 2008 was the Apple iPhone 3G. At the time, it was a big production involving the "boys" of TechRepublic: Jason Hiner, Bill Detwiler, John Sheesley, and yours truly. In our rush to get our gallery on the Web site we accidently cracked the glass faceplate of the display.

That small little crack grew into a full-fledged crevice across the entire width of the phone and it was just something we could no longer tolerate. So I ordered a replacement screen from iFixit ($99) and proceeded to re-Crack Open the iPhone and make the repair. You can see the results in this follow-up TechRepublic Photo Gallery.

Worth the trouble

In the spirit of one gadget-geek sharing his experience with other gadget-geeks, l would like to offer a bit of advice to anyone contemplating the self-repair of an iPhone. DON'T!

The effort and time put into this repair was ridiculous when you consider that another brand new iPhone is merely $199. And that doesn't even take into account cell phone replacement insurance and other protections you can obtain to defer or reduce the cost of repairing or replacing your iPhone.

In addition, to the time and effort, one has to consider the potential for additional damage to the iPhone beyond the glass faceplate. There are delicate parts involved practically every step of the way. The whole procedure requires a tremendous amount of patience and perseverance and should be considered an expert repair not to be undertaken lightly. If I were not paid to take these risks, I would not be cracking my precious Apple iPhone open for any reason.

The only reasonable alternative besides purchasing a replacement iPhone is to have professionals like those at iFixit do the repairs. They have tools, temperaments, and experience at these repairs and can perform the required procedures much more efficiently than you or I.

So, while I am quite pleased that I was able to successfully repair the cracked glass faceplate of the TechRepublic Apple iPhone 3G, I would not like to have to do it again ever. If it were my personal phone, I'd be buying a replacement phone or living with a cracked display. Repairing it myself is out of the question.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

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