The latest news on the iPhone 6, apart from the fact it’s not going to launch in May, is that Apple is switching from Gorilla Glass to sapphire crystal in an effort to beat scratches. However, an issue that has plagued more than a few butter-fingered owners is the fact that the screen, like any other smartphone screen can actually crack.
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In many video tests, Apple’s smartphones actually fare better than many of the competitions’ devices, but I’ve still seen plenty of iPhones around with cracked screens or at the very least large chunks of glass missing from the edges following unfortunate encounters with concrete.
Thankfully, replacing your iPhone’s screen is actually very easy. It doesn’t cost a lot either if you do it yourself and is likely to save you a huge amount compared to getting it repaired via Apple or a dedicated repair shop. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1. You have two options in terms of screen replacement. A complete screen section will cost more (around $60) but includes all the attached components such as the Home Button, making your life a lot easier. In fact, once you’re inside, you just need to detach three cables, attach the new screen and your done. Alternatively, you can buy just the screen element, which might save you $30 but you’ll need to transfer over the Home Button and other bits. I’ve opted for the complete kit, which I obtained from eBay and this comes with all the tools you need too.
Step 2. To get inside your iPhone 5, you need to use the tiny star-shaped driver and undo the small screws either side of the Lightning port. Be sure to keep them safe as they’re easy to lose.
Step 3. Using the suction pad, lift the screen out of the case of the phone. this can be tough but if you use one hand to hold the case and the other to to pull the screen it usually comes out with a little effort. you can also use the plastic pics included to work the screen out once you’ve made a gap.
Step 4. Be careful not to lift the screen more than 90 degrees vertical as you may stretch the cables. Notice our replacement screen on the right and the fact there are three connector cables. These are hidden under the top metal plate inside our phone.
Step 5. The plate is held in place by three metal screws. Undo these with the standard cross-head screw driver and again, be very careful when you remove them as they’re very small indeed.
Step 6. The plate latches on the left hand side so nudge it to the left then lift it out using one of the plastic pics. Don’t force it out – it should come loose easily.
Step 7. With the plate removed you’ll now be able to see the three cables we need to attach. As you can see on our replacement screen, they are layered so deal with the top one first.
Step 8. To detach the connectors, use one of the plastic pics or the flat blade screw driver and gently pry them off. This needs very little force and be sure to do it right from the edge of the connector.
Step 9. Your old screen will come away once you release the third connector so put it to one side and grab your replacement screen. Line it up with the top of the case, lift it vertical to 90 degrees and reinsert the connector cables in the reverse order. Lining them up can be tricky but it needs very little force and shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
Step 10. Your iPhone 5 should now look like this with the long vertical connector on the top. Go ahead and replace the metal plate including the three small silver screws.
Step 11. Before we close the case and secure it, it’s worth powering on the iPhone 5 to make absolutely sure everything is working. Be aware, though, that unless you close the case completely, the Home Button won’t be working yet, but you should have full control of the screen.
Step 12. The final step is to close the case from the top first, test the home button is working, then reinsert the base screws.
You’re done. Pretty easy isn’t it? Now you can rest easy when your out in the knowledge that if you drop your iPhone and the screen cracks, it’s a fairly easy task to replace it. I can thoroughly recommend you use a good case that protects it well and to use a screen protector as these are much cheaper than buying a new screen. Here’s hoping that Apple’s new sapphire crystal screens are a little more hard-wearing too.