Apple is a recognized leader in the smartphone space, and the demand for their mobile phones is enormous. Given their popularity and cutting-edge technology, it comes as no surprise that iPhones are also fairly pricey. Therefore, if an iPhone is broken, it's often preferable to fix it rather than scrapping it.
The market for used iPhones is big. Resellers can generally make good money on second-hand phones — assuming the repairs are done well. This guide discusses some of the most common repairs that can increase a phone's resale value and provides a roundup of the best iPhone repair kits.
Can you repair a broken iPhone?
iPhones are pretty sturdy but can still experience technical glitches and structural damage (especially if you're prone to dropping your phone). iPhone repair kits are created with the most common iPhone fixes in mind.
Here are some of the more common iPhone issues that need to be addressed:
- Damaged display. Cracked or shattered screens can be difficult to read or even downright impossible to use. For smartphones that require touch screen technology to do everything from type on Whatsapp to swipe on Tinder, a damaged screen can be a huge nuisance. The good news is that replacing the screen is usually possible.
- Camera. A broken camera lens can generate poor iPhone picture quality. Since most people rely on their phones for taking pictures, poor photo quality can be a pain. While it's possible to replace camera lenses, it's important to ensure that the replacement lenses are high-quality and up to the original manufacturer's standard.
- Water damage. It's a tale as old as time — someone drops their phone into the bathtub or swimming pool. Water damage can often be fixed — but it depends on the extent of the damage and the type of phone. For example, the iPhone X and iPhone Pro Max are designed to be water-resistant, while the iPhone 4 is not.
- Battery issues. An old iPhone may not use the battery efficiently. In rare instances, a new phone may have a faulty battery that doesn't charge properly. Battery replacement is the answer.
- Home button. The home button is one of the most used buttons on the iPhone, allowing you to close apps and easily return to the home screen. Modern iPhones also have fingerprint sensor technology on the home button, which can become useless if the button is damaged. A replacement button can help.
- Charging port. A defective charging port can be a real nuisance, making it difficult or impossible to charge your phone properly. While modern phones may have wireless charging options, older phones still lack this technology. The good news is that repairing a charging port is usually pretty cost-efficient.
- Speaker and microphone issues. Like most people, you probably use your iPhone for phone calls, voice messages, listening to music via iTunes, and watching videos (or even recording them yourself). Audio functionality issues due to speaker and mic damage can be a hassle. Depending on the damage, these components can be repaired.
While it's possible to address many of these issues with the right tools and technical expertise, not all iPhone repairs are foolproof. There are certain issues to beware of before trying to fix any phone. For example, third-party unauthorized repairs that aren't provided by an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP), will void any available manufacturer warranty. So if an unauthorized provider damages the phone further when trying to fix it, Apple won't cover the damages.
Other things that can void a warranty range from jailbreaking an iOS device to removing or altering the serial number. Beyond warranty concerns, you also want to take care that any repairs made to the phone don't endanger it further. For example, using non-genuine parts can result in damage to the phone. These replacement parts may be cheap but are often prone to issues like overheating.
What tools do you need to repair an iPhone?
When repairing iPhones, you can't just reach for your traditional toolbox and pull out a hammer and screwdriver. Any repairs listed above require professional tools made specifically for phone repair. They're smaller and more delicate, providing the necessary control needed for this work.
Here are some of the most common iPhone repair tools and what they do:
- Pentalobe screwdriver: This is a unique five-pointed screw system that's used specifically for Apple's proprietary pentalobe screws. Pentalobe screws and screwdrivers come in various sizes depending on the device (e.g., a Macbook versus an iPhone). They're needed to get into the devices.
- Screwdrivers: Different types of Apple products may require different types of screwdrivers to gain access to the device's interior. Screwdrivers for specific iPhone models (e.g., iPhone 7, iPhone 11, iPhone 5, iPhone 8) fit their screws while also being slim enough for the detail-oriented handling needed for small-scale repairs.
- Loca glue gun: This miniature glue gun is small enough for precise mobile phone screen repairs. It emits an adhesive that can help seal screens safely without damaging the electrical and technical components of the phone.
- Suction cup tool: This tool is used to gently open iPhone screens and can be used to repair many Apple devices, from the iPod Touch to the iPhone 7 and iPads. It's used when you need to replace or disassemble the LCD screen. It can also be used to access the battery and other interior components of the phone.
- Spudger tool: A spudger is a type of pry opening tool. The slim stick has an end like a flat-head screwdriver and is used for gently prying apart pressure-fit plastic parts without damaging them. The flat end of the tool can also be used to release or loosen other components inside of iPhones — for example, to replace the battery.
- Battery pry tool: This is a type of pry tool uniquely suited to removing the battery from the phone. It's a must if you're doing a battery replacement or repair. The tool allows you to remove the battery without touching it with your hands, which can cause damage due to the natural oils on your fingers.
- Tweezers: Tweezers can also be used as pry opening tools, gently pulling apart iPhone components to allow a technician to access parts that need replacing or fixing. Tweezers can also be used to gently manage parts without touching them with your fingers, helping to protect them against destructive finger oils.
- Plastic cards: If you've ever used a credit card or ID card to try to pry something open, you already get the concept behind this tool. These ultra-thin plastic cards are ideal for sliding between iPhone parts to pry them apart gently. They can also be used for scraping tasks, such as applying adhesive from a glue gun to a screen to fix it.
- Anti-Static Mat: Static can interfere with iPhone repairs, causing parts to "stick" together and increasing the likelihood that they'll fall or get lost. It can also damage electrical components. Most iPhone repair professionals do their work on an anti-static mat. You simply lay it out on the table and it serves as a static-free workspace.
Best iPhone repair kits in 2022
As you can see from the list above, many unique tools are needed to address iPhone repairs. The good news is that you can get all the goods you need for phone fixes in a single iPhone repair kit. These kits combine all the essentials in one portable and easy-to-track case, so you don't lose the various pieces and have them all at your fingertips. Here are some of the best-selling iPhone repair kits worth checking out.
Apple self-service repair kit
The Apple self-service repair kit includes tools, parts, and how-to guides for fixing the iPhone 12 and 13. In the past, these kits were only available to Apple Authorized Service Providers, but now customers can get them too. Customers must first review the repair manual and then order the Apple genuine parts and tools needed to do the job.
As a bonus, customers who return old parts to be recycled will get a store credit.The repair kit will reportedly offer more than 200 tools and parts needed for the most common iPhone 12 and 13 repairs.
The program is anticipated to launch in 2022, with the kits directly available via Apple. You can check the dedicated Apple Repair portal for updates.
- Access Apple authorized products
- Get an Apple store credit for returning used parts
- Comprehensive inventory promised (200+ parts and tools)
- Limited specifically to iPhone 12 and iPhone 13
- Hasn't yet launched
Kaisi 16-piece repair tool kit
The Kiais 16-piece repair tool kit includes an eight-piece precision screwdriver set, two triangle paddles, two mount bars, one graver, one scraper, and two different-sized tweezers. This phone repair kit is high-quality and comprehensive enough to meet various repair needs. The tools have an anti-static coating to help prevent damage to electronic components, and the screwdrivers have magnetic tips to easily "stick" to screws and avoid losses. The graver and scraper have durable stainless steel tips for clean scraping.
You can get this electronics repair tool kit on Amazon.
- Anti-static coating on tools
- Easy-grip handles
- Magnetic-tip screwdrivers
- Tools aren't as durable and may last for just one fix
- Tweezers lack grip
iFixit pro tech tool kit with 64-bit driver kit DIY
This complete toolkit includes picks, prying spudgers, screen removal suction cup, a jimmy, opening tools, tweezers, anti-static wristband, and a bit driver set. All the tools are safely contained in a sturdy case with a foam interior to prevent damage and loss. It has a magnetic closure. iFixit offers a lifetime warranty on their goods. The large kit can be used not only for fixing Android cell phones and Apple iPhones but also tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.
This tool kit is also easy to find on Amazon.
- Lifetime warranty
- Compact storage
- Overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon (92% five-star out of 12,962 global reviews)
- Some screwdriver bits are a bit short
- Uses S2 steel, which isn't the best quality
XOOL 80 in 1 precision set with magnetic driver kit
This professional repair kit is designed with a broad application in mind and can be used for phones, Macs, Apple watches, and more. It includes a screwdriver kit with 56 different bits to accommodate all kinds of screws. The tips on the tools are magnetic and anti-static, and the tools come with easy-grip handles. It also gives you a good bang for your buck, coming in at less than $25.
This tool kit can also be found on Amazon.
- Steel components made with CR-V steel (high hardness rating)
- Portable pack with an easy-to-use storage bag
- Anti-static and magnetic properties
- Focuses primarily on screwdriver bits and lacks other parts you might need for phone repair
- Low-quality manufactured tools
Get a device certification report with Phonecheck
Repairing and reselling iPhones can be a lucrative business if you've got the tools and know-how to make quality fixes. Sellers can command higher sale prices and maximize your profits by testing and certifying devices before resale.
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