iPhone

Repair the cracked glass face of an Apple iPhone 3G

All that remains

With the LCD screen removed we are left with the faceplate and the underlying electronic connections that go with its plastic frame.

Images compiled or created by Mark Kaelin for © TechRepublic.

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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.

17 comments
donnydo77
donnydo77

very good presentation with some humor. The process applies to many other devices too. I always use latex gloves, unpowdered, when handling the innards of gizmos and especially clear materials. The tape may not hold after the effects of time, temperature variations, and general deterioration. Also, checking on iFixIt, the parts list doesn't specifically indicate front glass face plate but "iPhone 3G Front Panel, Includes touchscreen glass and integrated digitizer. Does not include adhesive strips. This item does not work in the iPhone 3GS." Product code: IF137-000-1

johnnyallen
johnnyallen

That was very funny. Thank you for sharing it. Please repair some more stuff and post how you do it.

ohbeej
ohbeej

I think the tape you used was too cheezy, like it was from the 97 cent store... Use 'carpet tape' that you buy from the hardware store. Costs about 5 bucks and is made of thin fabric with really sticky stuff on both sides. P.S. Does this set of instructions apply to 1st gen iPhones too? Thanks!

ochouraki
ochouraki

Hello, Please, how did you manage to get the backlight working again? And where is the small orange ribbon connector marked 3 supposed to enter? Thanks a lot! Olivier

PCtechAtlanta
PCtechAtlanta

FYI that was no ordinary hair dryer. It is a Heat Gun. That's why the US electric grid dimmed when you used it - the thing is designed to put out a lot of heat. And it will melt hair!! Terry Thomas President PC Tech Atlanta, Georgia USA

falcon7204
falcon7204

...you can't get it through AT&T or Apple. You'd have to get it through a third party, and it might be a bit more expensive than your typical cellphone insurance (which runs about $5 a month).

blue_smirnoff
blue_smirnoff

Can you not buy a replacement plastic frame aswell ?

caspianhiro
caspianhiro

using carpet tape would have probably worked a lot better. The thickness might be a problem, but it's very strong. Gorilla Glue/Polyurethane Glue - but it expands. "CA" or SuperGlue - woodworking stores carry multiple thicknesses. Medium or Thick would work very well for this. The Thin doesn't seem to hold as well. If you guys are going to keep tearing stuff up, each of these are available in small quantities, for well under $5.

drew.mcbee
drew.mcbee

That was fun. More repair blurbs might be a good addition to the crackit series. Some nice quick-set 2part epoxy might have been a good choice for an adhesive here, though once done, there won't be any getting it apart with a hair dryer...

kevin.jones
kevin.jones

I won't be buying one! I break every phone I have within a week and insurance usually only pays out once! Good article.

ibmtech
ibmtech

Wouldn't it have been easier and better to purchase the glass and frame already assembled. If not available assembled, your experience indicates that purchasing the frame as well as the glass is also necessary for a good repair. Good article!

coachgeorge
coachgeorge

As you correctly stated, neither ATT or Apple has the insurance. Where can it get obtained? Thanks

Al_nyc
Al_nyc

those parts don't come cheap

cmollenhau
cmollenhau

So, Other suggestions: 2. Use contact cement instead of double sided sticky tape. Will work better. 3. After clamping, heat the components again, so the plastic will conform to the glass again, thus eliminating the warping and tension. 1. Clean the glass on both sides before re-assembling. (notice the numerical order! :) Happy New Year! -Charlie

michael.cutler
michael.cutler

The other method of attachment you might have tried is the "tape of the gods" - Scotch brand #4010 double-sided tape. I've seen this used for computer windows and those folks have reportedly not had to re-attach. Regular 3/4" width, but can be cut down to very thin widths. I've used it to attach vent screening and not had trouble with it. Carpet tape - feh! much too likely to fail, especially for the small area you have there. Epoxies are much harder to recover from, and I'm 'way to messy to do a clean job.