Fixing the iPhone Button

After year of war against the Apple fan-boy fetish of certain people, a dark page has been turned, this guy (as in ME) has succumbed to the brilliant stuff Apple makes.. So after the laptop, I bought a second-hand iPhone 4 from a greatly appreciated ex-colleague of mine (thanks again, J.M !), As I’m quite the music enthusiast and got a free Spotify deal, I wanted to make more usage of Apple’s Airplay.

As I already used the nice Shairport program https://github.com/albertz/shairport (looks who’s in the contributors list :P), I wanted to use Spotify on a mobile device, as my old iPod Touch was no longer supported :(, I had valid reasons to give up my Apple policy, so therefore I got the iPhone.

As with many iPhones still alive today, the home button starts to deteriorate after some time,  If i’m not mistaken this is also true for most newer 4S’es and iPad’s as well (so very not Apple :p) .

So as a true Dutchmen behoves, you fix it yourself, in order to save your precious money. So I started of buying the necessary parts of the usual places: Deal-Extreme.

So I ordered the following parts:

A new home-button (link):

 

 

A new battery (link)

 

 

The iPod/iPhone opening tool(s)(link)

Before you start doing this stuff, I recommend to let it do someone else, it takes quite a lot of time (couple of hours). It requires a great deal of patience as well as no fear for really TINY parts.
I used this tutorial which is actually quite good!

You can also order the parts at the iFixedIt site, however I always go for the lowest *kuch* consistent quality ones can expect from bulk-resellers from China, like DealExtreme.

 

So we started of with remove the two screws in the bottom, and sliding the back up to reveal the inside if my iPhone:

 

 

 

 

Here we removed the two screws which restrain the battery connector the iPhone:

 

 

 

 

After working through the manual by iFixtit, we had to remove the camera module, which is actually quite big, compared to the main-board for example, probably due to the auto-focus lens assembly, (as it doesn’t use a fixed focal point lens (luckily)

 

 

In order to keep track of all parts and screws, we stick-ed to white printer sheets to the table, and wrote the steps and screw sized onto it, than we secured the parts out of the iPhone with sticky tape to it, in order to screw everything back in the same place. I don’t know what kind of tools you have at home, but for me measuring the difference between a 1.4 en ad 1.6 mm screw is not possible using my protractor.

 

After some hard work, it was time for a break

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After detaching a lot more cables, and making sure we didn’t break the copper thingy on the end (careful it is very very fragile!), we succeeded in removing the main-board out of the phone. this thing is the part that does the heavy lifting, it holds the CPU, WiFi, Blue-tooth, GSM and 3G modems, the rest of the iPhone is just battery and screen 🙂

 

After even more cannibalising the phone, we have removed the camera, main-board, battery, wifi antenna and speaker unit. Now it is time to remove the vibrator motor in order to remove the screen.

 

 

After removal of the screen (which involved a good sense of brute force, and even more screws, we where finally ready to remove/replace the part which all this work was done fore, the home button:

this little thing was where all the trouble started

 

so after installing the new button, we had to reverse the whole excersie.

During the re-assembly we almost killed the digitizer cable, as it was folded when we reinstalled the screen, oops.. to be careful to not make the same mistake!

The result:

A proper working home button, and fresh battery, total cost: 2,50 + 4,99 + 2,31 = $9.80 and (3 hours of hard labour)