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Opening your iPhone 4 to fix broken glass or replace battery

If you have following me for long, you know I have a bad habit of repairing my own hardware. This include replacing the touch screen, changing out batteries and in the case of my notebooks more ram and HD space. Apple doesn’t really like this and has taken steps to make it more difficult. This isn’t new, my old 2300 Apple Notebook was very challenging to update.

It isn’t that Apple is evil, it is because they need to control the hardware so they know what they are dealing with. Of course, there is the whole money making angle they have too, no doubt they would like to charge for repairs and upgrades. Also, they need to know what they are dealing with when someone brings in a hardware item for repair, are they repairing a owners mess up or they have a problem they need to be concerned about. As well, the whole call in support doesn’t work well if they don’t know if a person may have altered the hardware from the way it left the factory.

The reason for this post is due to a little change Apple has been making. In the previous version of the iPhone (3), you had to be a bit brave to take a warm hairdryer and plastic pry tool to open. Not too many owners where willing to take on the challenge to fix their broken screen even if the screen was $50 instead of a replacement refurb iPhone was $300.

In the case of the new iPhone 4, there is two small philips screws along the bottom, a ring and you can pretty quickly get the back cover off. Many folks have reported the same luck as me, they have chipped the back glass corner. The iPhone works fine but that is exactly where your finger lands when retriveing it from your pocket.

All was good till recently when people started reporting that the new iPhone 4 and units returned from Apple have a new type of screen head… it is called Pentalobe and it is very different from even the previous ‘security’ head screws used.

Once again, this is just ment to make things more difficult for those not up for the challenge. If you do want to fix your own hardware, you may find a screwdriver that works with the Pentalobe screws a bit difficult to find. Initially, they were only on iFixIt, but just today we found a company that is selling them through Amazon. I like that they say they check the driver with a real screw prior to shipping… this should avoid the problem with slight manufacture talerances effecting your ability to be successful.

If you just love to get your fingers into the fun of your iPhone inners, please know that it will void your warrenty. Take a look at iFitIt’s walk through of opening the iPhone 4 and location of the components within.

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