iPhone 5c: Can I replace the unibody plastic case / shell?

parestailor

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
110
1
London, UK
I have the white iPhone 5c but I was wondering if I ever wanted to changed the physical case / shell due to scratches etc in the future... Could I? Not the screen but the unibody plastic shell? I'm from the UK...
 

Mr_Brightside_@

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2005
3,091
1,134
Toronto
I have the white iPhone 5c but I was wondering if I ever wanted to changed the physical case / shell due to scratches etc in the future... Could I? Not the screen but the unibody plastic shell? I'm from the UK...
Almost definitely. You could do this with the 3GS.
 

LaynieGorilla

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2011
473
27
PA
I don't think it's possible. according to some videos, it looks like they made the 5C so you can pop the screen off, not the back.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,230
1,512
192.168.1.1
I believe the phone's comments are mounted to the metallic frame glued to the plastic case. Replacing the plastic back would require disassembly of the entire phone and remounting the components. I suspect that, while technically possible, it's going to be so difficult as to be impossible as a routine procedure.
 

RebornProphet

Suspended
Nov 3, 2013
988
484
I doubt it would be possible due to the way the 5c is manufactured.

The metal frame which the 5c has it's internals attached to is part of the back shell, it's a single part. In effect, to replace the back of the 5c you would need to basically "gut" the phone and rebuilt it into it's new frame which is attached to the inside of a new plastic back piece.
 

AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,888
900
Too bad it isn't just a "plate' like the old metal-backed iPods were. You could pretty much snap off the back and replace it with a new one.
 

chrisadams

macrumors newbie
Feb 2, 2015
23
3
Just did this turning a pink 5c into a white one. My only issue is the mute button isn't working and I'm pretty sure it's because I don't have the notch lined up. Anyone do a replacement and how did you get the mute button to line up?

Overall though, it wasn't too difficult, pretty much like taking a tiny computer a part.
 

BrettApple

macrumors 65816
Apr 3, 2010
1,098
375
Heart of the midwest
Yes, it's possible. You do have to remove all the internals though.

See here. They have conversion kits, different color chassis and more. Not cheap though. Especially the preassembled ones. You basically drop your logic board, battery and screen in them and are good to go.

You can use iFixit's guides to get it apart and put it back together.
 

chrisadams

macrumors newbie
Feb 2, 2015
23
3
Looks like the camera needs installed too but that's easy. Thanks for the link, will probably just make due for now and get a black debadged preassembled Chasis.
 

chrisadams

macrumors newbie
Feb 2, 2015
23
3
I ended up sending them my phone to make sure everything went well and just got it back today. Outstanding work. I really wonder why Apple never released a black 5c, it looks great.