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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > iPhone 4 back glass replacement

iPhone 4 back glass replacement
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sdilley14
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: La Crosse, WI
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Oct 16, 2012, 06:42 AM
 
Well, after about 20 months, I finally dropped my iPhone 4 this past weekend and shattered the back glass. :/ I've done some research and it seems like replacing it is pretty cheap and easy, but there are a seemingly endless number of options for purchasing replacement glass. Ideally I would just like another black cover. As close to OEM as possible (though I know Apple doesn't sell OEM parts like that directly). The closest Apple store to me is about 2.5 hours away, so I would like to try and get the parts and do it myself if possible.

Has anyone here ever done this? Any suggestions for places to get a quality replacement cover? With the number of places selling these I'm pretty skepitcal as to which ones are quality and which are junk. Some look legit, some look generic, some look like plastic covers with black Apple stickers covering the back. :/ Any help would be much appreciated!

Thank you!
2.3 GHz Intel i5 MacBook Pro
iPhone 4 - 16 GB - Black
8gb iPod Nano
     
bob.A
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Oct 16, 2012, 12:42 PM
 
The process to replace it is ridiculously easy. Simply remove the two screws (phillips or pentalobular depending on when it was purchased, or serviced by Apple), and simply push in lightly, and slide the back cover towards the top of the phone.

Just be sure you get the correct one for your exact phone. The 4 and 4S are different parts altogether, as are GSM and CDMA models.

Just do the opposite to put the new back on. Total time to replace should be about 5 minutes if your taking your time. Be sure to keep track of the screws, they are very tiny and easy to lose.

As for where to find them, I cannot recommend any place in particular. I purchased the Steve Jobs tribute back for mine from a relatively unknown Chinese website and it was very good quality. Looked to be about and exact OEM replacement part. Even came with the correct screwdriver.

Best I can suggest is to find one that you like cosmetically, then do some research on the place selling it. There are many places that specialize in them, so finding a reputable one shouldn't be that hard really. Places like ifixit.com etc. are well known.
     
aaanorton
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Oct 16, 2012, 01:44 PM
 
Since you mentioned 20 months, you may want to know that replacing the back yourself will void your warranty, if you bought AppleCare. And you can be denied any type of future Apple service with 3rd party parts installed.
Some backs put or allow pressure on the battery causing failure / puncture / explosion / whatever.

Apple will replace your back for 29 bucks.
     
sdilley14  (op)
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Oct 17, 2012, 12:24 PM
 
Well, from everything I've read, actually replacing the back is pretty easy.

I went out on a limb and bought a $10 replacement off of ebay. It looked to be as close to OEM as possible, it comes with the screwdriver, and the seller had 900+ positive feedback, 350+ in the last month, most all appeared to be for the same part. $10 shipped, should arrive today or tomorrow. We'll see how she goes!
2.3 GHz Intel i5 MacBook Pro
iPhone 4 - 16 GB - Black
8gb iPod Nano
     
sdilley14  (op)
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Oct 17, 2012, 12:27 PM
 
Wow...just checking ifixit.com. $80 for the replacement panel and an extra $13 for the screwdriver!
2.3 GHz Intel i5 MacBook Pro
iPhone 4 - 16 GB - Black
8gb iPod Nano
     
aaanorton
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Oct 17, 2012, 12:52 PM
 
It's very easy to do. It just voids your warranty and can preclude you from any warranty or paid service in the future.
Any Apple Store will charge you 29 bucks to replace one.
     
sdilley14  (op)
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Location: La Crosse, WI
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Oct 17, 2012, 01:04 PM
 
I would definitely just take it to an Apple store and have it done, but the closest store to me is 2.5 hours away. And I'm not sure when I'll be in that neck of the woods again. And it wouldn't really pay to take half a day and spend all that money in gas to go get it done. I have a local Apple Authorized reseller/repair shop, but they don't repair iPhones on site...they send them to a 3rd party to be repaired, $70 charge, 1.5-2 week turn time. :/

I should have noted that I've had an iPhone 4 for about 20 months, but this isn't the original phone I bought 20 months ago. I actually lost that phone several months back and bought my current phone off a different message board (for like $200 or so if I remember correctly...not bad for buying off contract). I haven't purchased any warranty for it and only plan on having it for another 2 months or so, until I'm eligible to upgrade to the iPhone 5. Replacing the back panel now is really just a measure to keep the phone "resell-able" for when I want to sell it in a couple months to offset the cost of the new phone.
2.3 GHz Intel i5 MacBook Pro
iPhone 4 - 16 GB - Black
8gb iPod Nano
     
sdilley14  (op)
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Oct 22, 2012, 02:05 PM
 
So I ordered the $10 replacement off of eBay. Looks identical, although it feels a hair thicker...virtually unnoticeable though. Otherwise it looks like a perfect match, design wise and material wise. However...I was able to get the broken cover off and the new cover on, but upon putting the screws back in to secure the new cover, I fear I may have stripped them or something. They are both about 75% in and refuse to go in any further/come back out.
2.3 GHz Intel i5 MacBook Pro
iPhone 4 - 16 GB - Black
8gb iPod Nano
     
Nergol
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Oct 22, 2012, 04:47 PM
 
I kinda like the Asian-themed ones from Luna Commerce:
http://www.lunacommerce.com/240-high-tech-ceramic-back-cover
     
Waragainstsleep
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Oct 23, 2012, 04:05 PM
 
Yeah, chances are Apple won't even notice if you ever do need warranty repair.

I've done several of these without incident, its very easy. Two screws and under a minute.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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