As with many things in life the weather is unpredictable, and as we know water and technology aren’t always the best of friends! The other week my Dad was taking his dog for a walk, typical day really, dry with some clouds……until halfway round his usual journey, thats right, it rained, not a little rain but that rain that will make everything you are wearing wet no matter what protection you have!
You guessed it though, his iPhone 5 was in his pocket and it was drenched, the result, well it got very hot and powered off – it was then placed in a tub of rice and left until I could have a look at it.
I’d done some checking and found that chances were the battery was fried, but as the screen was cracked anyway it made sense to replace that too, so I did a little looking around and found various screens for various prices.
- Ebay – variety is the spice of life, but I have heard too many horror stories about nasty screens coming from ebay that are worse than poor.
- Amazon – a few screens all sitting around the same price, all with a mix of reviews, but again mainly in the ‘utter crap’ side of things.
- Numerous iPhone parts resellers.
After reading various reviews I settled on iphonefixuk.co.uk, their site is well laid out and things are easy to find, so mid afternoon on a Wednesday I ordered a screen and battery, first thing Thursday they were in my hand!
Well presentation is everything these days and it shows what to expect. A sturdy box was delivered and upon opening there were 2 very neat and tidy boxes (Apple upped the game on presentation and its nice to see others doing the same).
Box 1 had the battery, plastic protection, plastic bag and then in the box.
Box 2 had the screen, screen protector on and held in its own plastic holder in the box.
The battery looks OE, but the screen doesn’t – now the site does advertise OE or replacement parts so I wasn’t surprised about the screen, but it still had that Apple feel to it.
I’ve been dismantling things since I was a kid and its second nature to me, its not for the feint hearted but if you have the tools and can follow the numerous YouTube guides out there then it should be simple.
Took around 15 minutes to swap both parts over.
After fitting it was the moment of truth, power button and……..
Apple logo appears!
Tested everything and it appeared to work but there was a slight issue, the screen was flickering – a quick search and this was highlighted as a common issues that normally sorts itself within 15 minutes……or it was a sign of some impending doom.
45 minutes later and the screen was still doing this and then it happened, the screen shut off – but not entirely, the backlight was off.
Popped the screen off and tested the old one just in case and it was the same, no backlight. A quick check and yes, this is a common water damage issue that cause various levels of damage to the Backlight circuit from corroded connectors to filters etc needing replacement (none of these are for the average home user, you need to desolder and replace tiny parts on the main logic board depending on the nature of the fault, or you could try and reflow the solder).
I’ve looked at the board and there is loads of corrosion, mainly on the connector but also further down and even though I’ve cleaned it up the backlight, its dead Jim!
Now there is the chance that a reflow may fix this, but I’m not going to attempt this until we taken a backup and restored it to a new phone, that way its no big issue if it goes pop!
iPhonefixuk supplied decent parts very quickly, yes they aren’t the cheapest but with certain parts if you buy cheap, you buy twice!
I did email them asking explaining the issue and had a response back in a couple of hours – it didn’t really make sense as it said the water damage would pop the screen slightly and to make sure it was dry. I think they may have misunderstood me! The backlight circuit is dead Jim.