iPhone 4S replacement screen?
December 2, 2012 8:32 PM   Subscribe

Where to get a replacement screen assembly for iPhone 4S?

We have an iPhone 4S with a cracked screen. Apple wants $199 to swap out the phone. I've decided to replace the screen myself.

I've found parts at ifixit for $100, directfix wants $70, and gadgetfix on ebay wants $37 (recommended in a previous askme). What vendor or vendors are reputable? Who do I trust as far as DIY screen replacement? Who here has done it and who would you recommend?
posted by brokeaspoke to Shopping (6 answers total)
I haven't tried the other two vendors but iFixit really stands behind their product: I replaced the battery on a 3GS with one of their batteries and about 6 months of use later, the phone started abruptly shutting off. I send an email to iFixit support wondering if the problem could be battery-related as part of trying to troubleshoot the possible causes and they immediately offered to overnight a new battery free of charge even though it hadn't even occurred to me to ask for a replacement. So, in my mind the higher price was well worth the excellent customer service.
posted by jamaro at 8:41 PM on December 2, 2012

I've replaced a couple that I bought from random sellers on eBay - the parts all seem to come from the same place and the only difference is price, as far as I can see. Of course, being eBay, the other difference is reliability, but the usual checks should ensure you get what you paid for. Read the item description very carefully to make sure you are getting what you want.
posted by dg at 10:20 PM on December 2, 2012

i ordered one from iphone4parts.com. i chose them because the price was about midrange at $45. ifixit at the time was asking $129, and the ones going for $30 something on amazon seemed to have bad reviews.

anyway, installation was a failure, resulting in a vertically streaked rainbow screen. this very likely was my fault - it said in BIG LETTERS on the instructions to make sure the cables are completely through the slot before you try reassembly. mine weren't, and had crimped, so they wouldn't reach the logic board socket when i got to that stage. i had to disassemble and start again.

i've yet to see if they'll replace it. it is made quite clear in their warranty that they won't if the cables are damaged. mine aren't ripped or torn out, which is what they're explicit about, so i may have a chance.

that being said, the relative i was doing this for went ahead and bought an iphone 5. so screenless or not, the phone is going on ebay.
posted by camdan at 3:13 AM on December 3, 2012

as far as replacing your own stuff, this job was trickier than my prior work. i have done small replacement/fixes to my computers and ipods before this, with the iphone 4s you basically have to dissemble the entire thing to get to the screen. it's not hard to follow the instructions on ifixit, really, just time consuming, and there is always a risk of damaging something. just do it slow and be careful.

you'll need the right tools. a precision screwdriver set, of course. you'll also have to get a 5 point pentalobe screwdriver to open the case.

you'll want some way to organize the screws, as they are TINY, easy to lose, and difficult to distinguish. the magnetic mat ifixit sells works like a dream. a set of calipers also comes in handy, in case you get some screws mixed up, or need to double check a screw size before reassembly.
posted by camdan at 5:01 AM on December 3, 2012

As a guy who has replaced glass on all kinds of iPods Touch, iPad, and iPhone.... I made a policy to not work on the 4 and 4s, instead redirecting people to iResq.com. They make it really easy to mail it away and have it fixed properly the first time.

Another alternative that I recently learned about is iCracked.com. They may have a representative in your area.
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:04 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I ended up ordering an iFixit kit for about $70.00 on Amazon. The install was easy, even if tedious and time consuming. My wife's phone is looking and acting good as new.

Thanks for your help.
posted by brokeaspoke at 6:17 AM on January 21, 2013

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