Wednesday, June 03, 2009


About 10 days ago, I forgot my iPhone was on my leg when I stood up in the dining room, dropping it onto the tile floor. I've dropped it on the tile before once or twice and escaped unscathed, but this time it struck Just Right and shattered the glass touch panel. Other than that, it still worked. I put scotch tape over the broken area to prevent getting glass shards in my fingers and continued to use it.

The glass panel is a $40 part but Apple charges $200 to do the repair. I decided to gamble and do it myself. When the part arrived, I had a brief moment of sanity: "Rachel, could you fix my phone for me?" She replied that I knew as much as she did, but if I insisted, she would give it a try.

I should have insisted.

The place that sold the glass panel has an instruction video on youtube showing how to do the repair. It was the "pry open the case" part that tripped me up. There are two places you can pry open an ipod. The obvious one, to my eye, is the slight groove between the chrome band and the black plastic base. This is the wrong one. The right one is actually the border between the glass panel and the chrome border. If you force the wrong one open stubbornly enough, you will break your iphone permanently.

I was stubborn enough.

My mother in law and my dad agree where I went wrong: "You should have let your wife fix it."

Aftermath: the rumor sites all agree that Apple is on the verge of releasing the next-gen iphone, so I didn't get a replacement 3G model. I tried to get a used 1G, actually, since it was cheaper and I'm mostly around wifi anyway, but it didn't work with my sim card and I didn't feel like gambling anymore. So for now I am using a $20 gophone from wal-mart with my iphone sim. It is pretty low-end, lacking even dedicated volume controls, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it actually does have a usable speakerphone.

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