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iPhone 4s Disassembly Guide

How to disassemble an iPhone 4s and (not) put it back together

iPhone 4s


This is a terrible guide for fixing your phone. If you are here to learn how to take apart your phone and put it back together then you will find yourself at a very unfortunate place by the end of this guide. Not only will you have an iPhone in many number of parts, but you may find yourself gluing your phone to your wall ensuring that you will never have a complete iPhone again. That is unless you purchase another since as previously mentioned this is not a guide for how to put your phone back together.

If you did recently purchase the iPhone unfabricate kit for your iPhone 4s, then you are in luck. This guide will teach you how to take apart your iPhone, glue it to your poster template, and hang it on your wall.

Step 1.

The first step in taking apart any iPhone is the 2 pentalobe screws at the bottom of the iPhone.

Unscrew these using the Phillips screwdriver included in the kit. You may need to squint to see the shape but it’s there. Don’t place them on the template as they will roll around too much. Put them in a cap or somewhere secure. We will glue everything at the end. Slide the backplate out and place it onto the template.

Tip: Read each step in its entirety before beginning the step.

Step 2.

Next, we will remove the metal cover.

Grab the Phillips screwdriver and unscrew the 6 Phillips screws from 2 metal covers. Remove the cover from top to bottom as it is hinged on the bottom side. You may need to shimmy it a little to get it loose.

Once the cover is removed disconnect the connectors from the logic board with your fingernail or one of the blue pry tools (long blue thing). Try to identify what each connector goes to.

Tip: the Phillips screwdriver tip is brittle so don’t press too hard unless you need to.

Step 3.

One connector between us and the rear-facing camera

Simply unlatch the connector with your fingernail or one of the blue pry tools and slide the camera out. Once removed, place the camera on its outline.

Step 4.

This is the fun part! Let’s take care of the logic board!

Grab the Phillips screwdriver and flat head screwdriver. Look around the phone and unscrew all 11 screws (2 flatheads and 9 Phillips). Disconnect the cables holding down the logic board. The board should come out pretty easily so if you think you have removed all of them and it’s stuck then check again. Make sure to remove the sim tray using the sim tool before removing the logic board.

After removing the logic board and loudspeaker, separate the loudspeaker from the logic board (1 connector) and place them on their respective outlines labeled logic board and loudspeaker.

Tip: one Phillips screw is hidden behind the black tape

Step 5.

The iPhone should start to look pretty empty at this point.

First, pull the tab to remove the battery. If the tab breaks, simply wiggle it out using the metal pry tool.

Now, let’s tackle the charging port which is held down by 2 Phillips screws and a small switch.

Once they are removed, firmly (but not too firmly) remove the assembly starting from the flex cable at the top then moving down to the lightning connector. This is held down with some adhesive so you will feel a sort of “peeling” as you remove it. Slide the metal pry tool under the vibrator and place both pieces on the template.

Step 6.

Nearly there!

To prepare the screen for removal we have 7 Phillips screws that need to be removed. 4 of them are on the corners and 3 of them are on each side of the iPhone. One of them on the corner is hidden behind the black tape

We don’t need to completely remove the side screws since these are just pinning down the clips of the screen. However, since we are removing the screen completely and not reassembling the iPhone, completely removing them is no problem.

Step 7.

This step is the trickiest part of taking apart the iPhone 4. Put on some good vibes and relax.

First, grab the metal pry tool. Place one of the pointed edges of the metal pry tool between the glass and the housing of the iPhone and push inward to get it slightly under the screen.

Once you feel the tool underneath the screen, you should twist the tool to create a gap between the screen and the frame. You might hear a pop when it fully disconnects.

You might want to try it in a few different spots along the bottom edge until you get it wedged between the screen and the casing. It’s okay if you scratch up the metal a bit or if you hear some metal scraping noises.

You may also need to stick the pry tool on the left and right sides to unclip the screen from the body. Once the screen is freed from the frame, slowly lift it upwards and wiggle it free from the casing.

Step 8.

Let’s turn our attention back to the casing and remove the power/volume flex cable and front-facing camera.

Remove the front-facing camera by popping the metal cover off using the metal or plastic pry tool. Once that is removed, simply take the front-facing camera out and place it on the template.

Nearly there! To remove the flex cable and earpiece speaker we need to take out a couple of screws.

Remove the 4 screws behind the volume and ringer switch. 3 of the screws are hidden behind the black strip. Take out the physical volume button and ringer switch. Set them aside.

Take out the last 2 Phillips screws and peel both the power flex cable and volume flex cable away from the phone. Pull lightly on the flex cable being cautious not to rip it and once you get to the headphone jack, remove it by using the pry tool to wiggle it free.

Place both on their respective outlines.

Step 9.

Finally, place the phone casing underneath the volume/power flex cable and the screen underneath the front camera. You should now have all the outlines covered besides the Pentalobe Screws from step 1!

Step 10.

Five gluing tips before gluing commences:

  1. Place all of the parts on their outlines without glue and plan out how to glue them using the dotted grid lines as references.
  2. Note which surface area of the iPhone part is touching the paper since not all parts lay completely flat.
  3. When possible, place the glue on the paper first and then put the iPhone piece on the glue. The iPhone part and paper bond nearly instantaneously so it’s important that you are confident in the placement.
  4. Be very conservative with the glue and place it in the thicker parts of each piece. You should only need a dot of glue (smear > dab > dot > nothing).
  5. After you get the majority of an individual piece glued down, you can dot a little bit of glue on the extremities that may be sticking up.

Let the gluing begin! Take the superglue and start with a larger/easier piece. I would recommend the logic board or the home button. Move from easier piece to easier piece in order to gain confidence in your gluing skills then advance onto some of the smaller/thinner pieces. Do this until all the pieces are glued. Let it rest for about 20 minutes before placing it in the frame.

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