Help me iMacguyver my broken iPhone!
April 22, 2014 2:24 PM   Subscribe

My iPhone 5 speaker randomly stopped working 18 months after I bought it. I have to use speakerphone or headphones to talk on the phone. I can make it work temporarily if I press on the top right corner where the speaker is (as described here). I found that theres a point about halfway between the speaker and the right edge where, if I clip a binder clip, then the phone works! See here and here The "genius bar" genius solution was that, since I didn't get Apple care, that I dish out another 500$ for a new phone. Help me figure out a better way?

The only problem with the binder clip is that it covers the camera (not a huge deal) and the power-off button (deal-breaker).

Does anyone else have any other ideas? Some other form of clip? A way to custom cut a piece of plastic? Maybe a specific case? Duct tape?

It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to work! Thanks!
posted by cacofonie to Technology (8 answers total)
Someone with a pair of shears made for cutting metal cutting a hole in your current binder clip for the power button?
posted by Night_owl at 2:27 PM on April 22, 2014

Why not replace the earpiece speaker, or have a third party phone repair shop do it?
posted by dobi at 2:31 PM on April 22, 2014

There are loads of third-party phone repair shops out there. I'd definitely look into that before jury-rigging a custom contraption as a long-term solution.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:12 PM on April 22, 2014

It sounds like a cracked solder joint. If so, touching the tip of a soldering iron to that spot for a couple of seconds will permanently fix the phone in literally two seconds... if you can get the tip to the joint. There are battery replacement kits that come with tools and instructions for how to open up the phone and put it back together. Since you know the spot to push, you know where to look for a broken connection. With luck, it'll be in the open. (If it's not in the open, but a surface-mount connection on the underside of a component, you'll want to give it to someone with some surface-mount soldering experience, those can be tricky.)

You might not be comfortable giving that a try, but you probably know someone who is. Or a repair shop.
posted by anonymisc at 4:48 PM on April 22, 2014

Yep, go to a phone-repair shop.
posted by limeonaire at 7:13 PM on April 22, 2014

Third-party repair is your best option but the Apple Store should be able to do an out-of-warranty repair/replacement for $270 (USD).
posted by tsh at 5:41 AM on April 23, 2014

Given a similar issue with my wife's phone (dying battery, high repair cost from Apple Store, too much money for an out-of-contract replacement) I went the iFixit route, and did the repair myself. The earpiece speaker is $10, the loudspeaker is $20. You'll need a pentalobe screwdriver, a Phillips #0 driver, probably a plastic spudger, and definitely a suction cup to pop the screen off. iFixit sells all of the above, often in dedicated repair kits (which will cost less than buying all independently). It should not be too difficult if you are at all handy. I recommend keeping some Scotch tape on hand as a place to stick the tiny, tiny screws so they don't get lost in the process. My repair attempt went really smoothly, and they have teardown guides for pretty much any replacement you can think of to help you along...
posted by caution live frogs at 9:10 AM on April 23, 2014

Went to a third party repair store as suggested and.... 80$ later my phone works again!

Thanks everyone!
posted by cacofonie at 5:02 PM on August 2, 2014

« Older The phantom joint pain strikes again...   |   This isn't my music Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.