If you like to get hands-on when something needs to be fixed, don’t think your ambitions stop short of cellphones. Most iPhone users cannot bear the thought of carrying out after-warranty repairs to their phones. Instead, they will run to the nearest Apple store and pay the price, or be talked into upgrading to a newer phone. There are some repairs that are quite feasible, given a bit of patience, time and the right tools.
It can be done yourself, even if Apple says no
Some repairs are not for the faint-hearted, but a battery or screen change could be easier than you thought. For example, most iPhone models do not allow a battery change, but that’s just in theory – there is a way to do it. Some of the other components that can be replaced (on the iPhone 5s) are the speaker, receiver, vibration motor, and the iSight camera module. Some of these replacements do not need any special tools.
The basic and the advanced tools
Some basic tools may come in handy, like a decent set of screwdrivers, a pair of magnifying eye glasses, (or even better, a pair of magnifying LED flashlight glasses) and an anti-static wrist strap. A magnetic screw mat is also useful, which will firmly hold all screws in place and provide a secure working surface for your job. Beyond the basic tools, Apple provides some special tools to help make repairs easy. Scratch around in the Apple store and you will find the tools for some of these tasks, e.g. a Universal Display Removal Fixture and an iPhone Battery Fixture. To re-install the battery, there is the iPhone Battery Fixture, which applies the perfect amount of pressure between the new battery and adhesive strips.
There are also complete toolkits (check out some on eBay) that include mounting panels, plastic film, screwdrivers and opening and prying tools that avoid damage to the phone’s components. Some kits even include a 5 Star Pentalobe screwdriver for tamper proof screws. (Did Apple really think they were going to keep everyone out of their iPhone?)
Now you have another option for that old iPhone lying in the drawer with a cracked screen or dead battery.