Sep 21

iFixIt iPhone 5 Teardown - Final Result

Bad things happen to good gadgets, so it always comes as good news when you find out something is relatively easy to repair. And that’s exactly what iFixIt has said about the iPhone 5 following it’s latest teardown.

According to the site’s gurus, iPhone 5 is easier to repair than the 4 or 4S, particularly the screen which is easy to remove and/or replace as it’s the entry point into the smartphone’s guts.  In fact, iFixIt says the newest iPhone’s screen is “easier than ever” to replace.

To replace the touchscreen, all you need is a 5-Point Pentalobe Screwdriver and a suction cup to pull the screen from its housing.  Then you’ll need to remove the tiny Philips screws holding the display connector to the logic board and a spudger to decouple the connector.  Take a look at this iPhone repair kit to get all the goodies you’ll need to get inside your iPhone.

Once replacement screens are available from third-party suppliers, it looks like replacing a broken, cracked or otherwise faulty screen will be as simple as an unscrew, pry and snap.

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Sep 21

iPhone 5

So, the wait hasn’t exactly been long, but the iPhone 5 is now available for purchase in the United States. Those who were fortunate enough to pre-order in the first hour or so of availability last Friday morning should see their phones arrive sometime today; later pre-orderers will have to wait a few days or weeks.  If you order now may have to wait up to a month.

If you didn’t pre-order and want a chance at nabbing an iPhone 5 today, you can try your luck at Apple, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint retail stores, or check out third-party retailers like WalMart or Best Buy.

Let the games begin…

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Sep 19

Broken iPhone 4 Battery Cover

Few things are more cringe-inducing than an iPhone 4 or 4S user finding his phone’s back glass panel shattered.  And though a broken battery cover can be hidden by a well-chosen case, if you’re selling your phone on eBay or to a friend, you’ll want to tidy up the device as much as possible beforehand.

Luckily, the back glass panel on an iPhone 4 or 4S is the easiest thing on the phone to replace.  All you need is a replacement panel and the correct screwdriver.

iPhone 4/4S panels are cheap, too.  eBay has them for around $8, an entire kits with the appropriate screwdrivers are $15.  Amazon has them, too.


Getting Started

Your road to recovery begins by answering a few simple things:

1) iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S?

2) If  iPhone 4, is it a GSM (AT&T) model, or CDMA (Verizon)?

3) If iPhone 4, is the battery cover held in place by Phillips or Pentalobe screws?

Continue reading »

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Sep 17

Apple's Dock Connector to Lightning AdapterWell, that was fast. 

Several sellers on eBay have posted 30-pin Dock Connector to Lightning adapters that are far cheaper than Apple’s adapter. Both the small dongle-type adapter (which Apple sells for a shockingly-expensive $29 ) and the adapter with attached cable (Apple = $39) are up for sale, and most are priced between $10 and $15

Check shipping information for delivery dates.  Some are not expected to arrive until early-to-mid October.

Lightning is the name given by Apple to its new reversible Dock Connector, which replaced the traditional Dock Connector found on Apple products since the early days of the iPod.  Lightning connectors are found on the new iPhone 5, 5th Gen iPod touch and new iPod nano.  New iPads will also certainly be “upgraded” to this new connection type.

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Sep 13

30-pin to Lightning Adapter

When Apple announced it was updating the magnetic charging connection on its 2012 MacBooks, the company released an adapter that allowed users to charge new MagSafe 2 notebooks with older MagSafe chargers. That adapter is available for $10.  But when Apple unveiled the long-rumored change to its 30-pin Dock Connector yesterday, those with older Dock Connector cables, speakers, chargers, docks, batteries, etc., didn’t get off quite so cheaply.

The new Dock Connector, which Apple calls Lightning, won’t fit any existing iPhone, iPod, or iPad accessories.  So if you want to use those accessories you’ve likely been accumulating for the past few years, you’ll need a 30-Pin Dock Connector to Lightning Adapter.

And Apple will gladly sell you one… for $30.

I’m glad Apple changed its aging Dock Connector, and I very much like the design and improved usability of Lightning. But charging $30 (or $40 or the adapter with a built-in cable) is outrageously and unjustifiably pricey; you can buy an entire MP3 player with a screen, 8GB of storage, a processor, controls, etc., for less than $30.  Charging $10 – which would have still allowed a hefty profit margin – would be much more reasonable.

I will be getting the iPhone 5, and I have many accessories that use the standard Dock Connector.  But I won’t be giving Apple $30 a pop for their adapters.  I’ll wait for eBay or Amazon to sell third-party or OEM models for $3, even if I have to wait a few months. 

And if you’re smart, you’ll do the same.

M. Nichols, Products Editor

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