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

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by parestailor, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. parestailor macrumors member

    parestailor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    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...
     
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    The 6ix
    #2
    Almost definitely. You could do this with the 3GS.
     
  3. parestailor thread starter macrumors member

    parestailor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    I've googled but can't find anyone offering this service? Too early?
     
  4. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    The 6ix
    #4
  5. parestailor thread starter macrumors member

    parestailor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
  6. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    The 6ix
    #6
    I'd be willing to bet quit a lot they wouldn't.
     
  7. DanTSX macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    #7
    Isn't the structural sheet metal insert part of the backing?
     
  8. parestailor thread starter macrumors member

    parestailor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    apple will not replace this part (unibody / shell) in-store for you, even if you offer to pay hmm
     
  9. zipster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    #9
    The 3GS and 5c are manufactured in an entirely different way...
     
  10. LaynieGorilla macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Location:
    PA
    #10
    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.
     
  11. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #11
    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.
     
  12. RebornProphet Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    #12
    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.
     
  13. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #13
    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.
     
  14. chrisadams macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    #14
    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.
     
  15. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #15
    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.
     
  16. chrisadams macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    #16
    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.
     
  17. chrisadams macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    #17
    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.
     

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