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?

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Nov 21

iPhone 4SLast month when the iPhone 4S was about to go up for pre-order, I discovered that – for the first time in my three-plus years as an AT&T iPhone user – I wouldn’t be eligible for a subsidized upgrade at launch; I’d have to wait until late November to get a 4S at the discounted $199 price.  Frankly, I was aggravated, but set about waiting for AT&T to let me renew my contract and get the latest and greatest.

Dreams of Siri danced in my head.

Then last week I had the opportunity to review an iPhone 4S (the Verizon 16GB Black model), and after spending several days with the handset, I’ve decided that my iPhone 4 will suit me just fine until the iPhone 5 is released, probably in the summer of 2012.  And if you’re an iPhone 4 owner waiting for your own subsidized upgrade, read on – the same may be true for you.

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Nov 08

Consumer ReportsLast year, Consumer Reports declined to recommend the iPhone 4 because of the phone’s external antenna design, which sometimes caused severe signal loss when two of the antennas were bridged by the user’s skin.  Discovery of this flaw – popularly known as Death Grip – and Apple’s initially lousy response to it, became known as Antennagate.

But Consumer Reports has been testing the new iPhone 4S and says the phone suffers none of its predecessor’s antenna ills:

[The iPhone 4S] doesn’t suffer the reception problem we found in its predecessor in special tests in our labs… a loss of signal strength when you touch a spot on the phone’s lower left side while you’re in an area with a weak signal.”

The publication does go on to say, however, that the iPhone 4 – even the newer versions of it – continue to experience the same antenna attenuation issues as the first batch that shipped in 2010.

Oh, and though they’re taken with the 4S, Consumer Reports recommends a few Android phones even more, the Motorola Droid Bionic and Samsung Galaxy S II among them.

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Oct 07

Valued my ass...When I upgraded from the iPhone 3G to the 3GS, I’d had the handset for less than a year (September 2008 – June 2009), and AT&T allowed the upgrade at the subsidized price: $199 for the 16GB version.  Same story a year later when the iPhone 4 went up for pre-order; $199 with another 12 months left on my contract.  Bravo, AT&T.

So, when Apple announced the iPhone 4S this week, I didn’t even consider this time might be different.  Nothing had changed with my service and, rather than being 9 months or 12, it had been 15 months since the iPhone 4 upgrade.  I thoughtlessly expected smooth sailing.  That ain’t what I got.

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Oct 05

To-Do: Pre-order iPhone 4S

There’s fun to be had waiting in line on Day One for the latest iPhone, but for most it’s much more appealing to have a friendly FedEx guy or gal drop off a new iPhone right at your home or office.  Problem is, in order to get a iPhone 4S on the date of release – which is Friday, October 14th – you’ll need to place your pre-order as quickly as possible.

And it looks like that will be shortly after midnight Pacific time, on Friday, October 7th.

Apple will reportedly begin taking orders at 12:01AM on that day, but that’ll be 12:01 California time.  Meaning that, if you live on the east coast, you’ll need to start your manic browser refreshes at 3:00AM.

No word on AT&T, Verizon or Sprint pre-order times, but we’ll let you know.

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