Looking to replace cracked iPhone 4 screen. Can I just buy a digitizer or ?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by leglez, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. leglez macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2009
    I dropped my iPhone 4 a while back shattering both the front and back glass. I was wanting to fix both before I give it to my brother. I have found replacement glass for the back here for $13.

    When looking at replacement screens though, there seems to be a lot of various options. So I am trying to find out what I need to buy to fix it. It looks like you can buy just a digitizer like This one for $13 or there are also complete LCD, Digitizer, and Glass like This one for $90

    Is there any way to tell what I will need? If it helps my screen still works, and I am still using it to this day. It just has spiderweb cracks all over it. I would assume I would just need the digitizer since its shattered, but I want to double check.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. leglez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2009
  3. Poob Bubes macrumors 6502a

    Poob Bubes

    Apr 16, 2007
    Just curious, was it in a case when you dropped it?
  4. freehandbanana macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2011
    I haven't done it on the 4, but on the 3GS, it's just a question of how much work you want to do.

    If you just buy the digitizer, then you have to take off the screen from the phone, and then remove the digitizer from the screen, which, depending on how bad you cracked, can vary in difficulty. Once you get it off the screen, you have to clean off the remaining adhesive, re-apply the new adhesive and put the digitizer back on the screen, re-connect the connections, and then re-attach the screen.

    If you buy the entire screen/digitizer, you just have to deal with removing the screen via the screws and then re-connecting the 3 connections to the motherboard (microphone, screen, proxy sensor, I believe).

    That said, it could be completely different on the 4. Also, the cheap digitizer replacements you get are generally not the special Gorilla glass that you get from Apple, but are basically, real glass. They look just as good, in my opinion, but are more prone to cracking. I have no idea if the screen replacement would be as good as Apple's retina display, so make sure you shop carefully. I know there a couple of places, iFixit maybe, that sell real OEM parts, but if you are shopping Amazon or eBay, they are probably knock-offs and the quality may not be there.

    I have always just purchased a new digitizer and have never had a problem, but again, all of this is based on my knowledge of the 3GS, not the 4.

    Hope that helps.

  5. imac9556 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2004
    You're right the iPhone 4 is different from the 3GS/3G. The iPhone 4 has the LCD + digitizer fused/glued together and it would be a huge pain to get it fixed properly. You unfortunately have to buy a whole new LCD + digitizer for the iPhone 4 (same case for the original iPhone)
  6. leglez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2009
    It was in the bumper case when dropped, but that added no protection whatsoever.

    Yeah I am betting it will be a pain to remove the digitizer from the LCD then cause it is shattered pretty good haha. I might just have to go with mission repair, ifixit offers the replacement screen for $150. Apple has offered to fix it for $200

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