How to tackle a stuck SIMTRAY on the I-phone 4

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Sankar Krishnan, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. Sankar Krishnan macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2017
    Bangalore India

    The following process refers specifically to the I-phone 4, but the solution is almost certainly applicable to later I-phones as well since the SIMTRAYS in these phones are almost identical, except that they are a little smaller on the later phones.

    The problem with the stuck SIMTRAY in the I-phone 4 is basically one of having to apply a small force on the tray in the right direction, that is a straight pull without any side-ways or up-down component that would make it stick all the more tenaciously. To add to the problem, the SIMCARD could foul the path of the tray. The tray, when it is just a millimeter or two out cannot be held by the fingers since the edges are rather sharp and any effort at a straight pull only hurts the fingers.

    There are in fact two issues. One is that the SIMCARD inside may actually be slightly raised in the tray and block the passage. The second one is the difficulty in applying a steady force required in the correct direction. After the local Apple technicians threw up their hands, I decided to try out on my own with some tools made just to tackle these two issues. With these I have been able to make the most refractory SIMTRAY come out easily.

    The tools can be made in a half hour or less with easily available material. Tool 1 to hold the SIMCARD down is no more than a stiff plastic sheet some 20 mm wide and 50 mm long [3/4” x 2” say], reduced at one end to a width of 5 mm. [Fig.1]. The material has to be stiff and not easily folded or crushed. The moulded transparent covers on the packing of many small items like an ink cartridge for example will be suitable. The strip is typically 0.4 mm thick and this may not enter the gap. The narrow end of the strip will therefore have to be filed to a taper ending in a sharp edge, a knife edge really. The taper should ideally extend over 5 mms or so at the end, and this portion should be bent at right angles to the sheet. If you do not have a file, use sandpaper. Pull the plastic end over the sandpaper and not the other way, since the strip is very small and it would be difficult to work a sandpaper on it. If you can introduce the tapered end some 3 mm into the gap on top of the SIMTRAY, you have crossed the first hurdle.

    The second tool is made from a thin metal strip, say 1 cm wide and 10cm long. Again, almost any metal strip from a metallic can or closure would do. Make sure the ends of the strip are square and reasonably smooth. Use a file or sandpaper as necessary. Bend the strip in the shape of a tweezer as in the following pictures [Figs. 1 &2]. First make the 90 degree bends at the two ends, some 5mm from each end. Then bend the middle of the strip into a smooth semicircle. Use a thick pencil or tube to shape the bend so that the strip does not break at a sharp bend. Some manipulation will be required at the curved portion in the middle to make the two ends of the tool register against each other properly. That is all there is to making this tool. In the photograph [Fig.2] I have covered the body of the tool with heat-shrinking sleeve. This is only cosmetic and not absolutely necessary, especially if you are making the tool for a single use. I did it only because my strip was rusty and dirty to handle. The photograph below [Fig. 3] shows the use of the tool. It is extremely easy to apply the needed force to pull out the tray. A gentle but firm pull is both safe and effective. There is not the slightest danger of damaging the tray or the body of the phone. Just be careful to do it on the table top gently; else you can have the contents of the tray spill and disappear on the floor. That would mean a longish search to locate the small components. The procedure should be clear from the above. To state it briefly,

    1. Use a bent paper clip [or the manufacturer;s tool] to push into the hole on the side of the phone provided to release the SIMTRAY.

    2. Carefully insert tool 1 [plastic sheet] in the tiny gap on top of the slightly open SIMTRAY to push the SIMCARD to the bottom of the tray.

    3. With the tool 1 in position, use tool 2 to pull out the tray using a uniform pulling force. If necessary shake slightly sideways or up and down to release the tray. A gentle firm pull is all that is needed to get the tray out.

    [​IMG] upload_2017-1-18_22-15-22.jpeg

    Fig. 1

    [​IMG] upload_2017-1-18_22-15-58.jpeg

    Fig. 2

    [​IMG] upload_2017-1-18_22-16-32.jpeg

    Fig. 3
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    For an iPhone 4 I'd slip the back cover off and pop the card out from the inside. Easy enough to do.

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