A whimsical look at life growing up in the small town of Waldron, Arkansas in the 1960s and 1970s, plus occasional observations from the present. Want to start at the very beginning? Click HERE.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Quick and Easy Way to Replace an iPhone Battery

This really has nothing to do with Growing Up In Waldron, but occasionally, as a public service, I feel the need to share an experience from my already grown-up life.  This is one of those moments.

I love my iPhone.  I've never really been a gadget person, but from the moment I first got an iPhone a couple of years ago, I found it indispensable.  And it was not just the Whoopie Cushion app that I downloaded; I used every feature on the phone, especially the GPS map feature with driving directions.

So, about 6 months ago, I noticed that my battery was running down in the afternoons.  I checked into having the battery replaced, but it would require that my phone be shipped to Apple (no Apple stores nearby), so I would be without a phone for a few weeks, plus it would cost $79.00 to have it done.  Searching for an acceptable alternative, I found that you could buy a replacement battery on eBay for $5.60.  This was more to my liking.  A quick check of the Internet revealed instructions on how to replace the battery yourself, so I bought the $5.60 battery on eBay and was ready to do the job myself.

 The battery came complete with two tools; a little screwdriver and a plastic prying device for splitting the phone open.  And that's what you have to do; find the seam between the front cover and the rest of the phone and pry it apart.  Some people recommend using a suction cup to lift up the front cover, but the preferred method is brute force.  So, after reviewing videos on YouTube at least a half-dozen times, I got out my little plastic crow bar and screwdriver and went to work. 

The first step was to take out the SIM card, which was easily accomplished with the help of a paper clip.  Then, two little screws have to be removed from the base of the phone.  All that went pretty well.  Then, it was time to split the case into two sections.

This took a while.  I finally worked the little plastic edge into place, but it was too flimsy to force the cover off.  Finally, I resorted to my Exacto knife, which successfully lifted the cover up.

A very frightening scene.
Once you have the phone in two pieces, there are three little "ribbons" that have to be disconnected.  They are actually numbered, so once I got brave enough to put enough pressure on them, they easily came up.  They are actually electrical connections with many, many tiny prongs.

At this point, you're in the Belly of the Beast.  There are three more "ribbons" to release, also conveniently numbered.  Then, seven microscopic screws to remove.  The first one is hidden behind a sticker that says, "Do Not Remove."  They don't really mean it, so you scrape away the Do Not Remove sticker and have at the little screw that lies beneath.  Then, work your way up one side of the iPhone carcass and down  the other, removing the screws as you go.

Then, once the seven screws are removed, it's time to lift the "logic board" away from the frame.  This requires you to pry on it with your little plastic crow bar until it works its way loose.  However, lest you think this is easy, there is yet another "ribbon" connected to the underside of the logic board, which happens to be connected to the camera.  You have to release this ribbon while you are still holding on to the logic board, and if you twist the logic board over so you can see the ribbon, you pull the camera out of the iPhone, and you don't really want to do that, so you just wing it. 

Finally, you're down to the battery.  It is stuck to the frame with very sticky tape, so more prying is required at this step.  So, you pry and pry and tug and pull until finally the battery comes loose.  Then, it's simply a matter of putting in your new battery and doing all the above steps in reverse order.

But, I quickly found that it was much easier to release a ribbon than it was to reattach one, particularly the one on the underside of the logic board.  But, through painstaking effort, it can be done, so I carefully went through the process in reverse, reassembling my precious iPhone.  All that remained now was to plug it in and charge up my new battery, which actually was a better battery than the one that came with the phone, at least according to the Internet which, we all know, doesn't lie.

And, the final step in this process is to go to the AT&T store and buy a new iPhone to replace the one that is now deader than a doorknob.  Because, after completing this arduous process, when you go into the bathroom and plug in your iPhone to charge the new battery, you will notice that nothing happens.  Fortunately, my iPhone was the one that AT&T now sells for $49, and since my contract was up that's all I had to pay for.

So, I've temporarily lost all my picture, apps, and contacts, but the twelve year-old girl who was working at the AT&T store assured me that when I sync my phone with my computer, all that will be restored.  I hope she's right.  I don't want to lose my Whoopie Cushion.

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