Use this guide to separate and replace the front panel and digitizer on the iPhone 3GS.

Video Overview

  1. If your display glass is cracked, keep further breakage contained and prevent bodily harm during your repair by taping the glass.
    • If your display glass is cracked, keep further breakage contained and prevent bodily harm during your repair by taping the glass.

    • Lay overlapping strips of clear packing tape over the iPhone's display until the whole face is covered.

      • This will keep glass shards contained and provide structural integrity when prying and lifting the display.

    • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from any glass shaken free during the repair.

  2. Remove the two Phillips #00 screws from the dock-connector end of the iPhone.
    • Remove the two Phillips #00 screws from the dock-connector end of the iPhone.

    • Make sure to keep all the screws organized as you are taking the phone apart. They are different sizes.

    • Remove the metal handle from the suction cup. It's easier and safer to grip the suction cup's base instead of the metal handle.

    • Be very careful when opening the iPhone so that the cables under the display are not severed.

    • There is a rubber gasket between the silver front bezel and black display assembly. A bit of force is required in this step to separate the iPhone's display assembly.

    • Use a small suction cup near the Home button to gently pull up the lower portion of the iPhone's display assembly.

    • If the display assembly is too damaged to allow the suction cup to adhere, tape with a strong adhesive such as duct tape may be used.

    • The display assembly is still connected to the iPhone by several cables, so don't try to remove it entirely just yet.

    • Rotate the display assembly up until it is at an angle of approximately 45 degrees.

    • Continue to hold the display assembly with one hand, and use your other hand and a spudger to disconnect the black ribbon cable labeled "1."

    • Ribbon cable "1" is connected with a plug style connector. The block at the end of the cable is the plug which is simply pushed into a socket on the circuit board. No other locking mechanism is used.

    • Rotate the display assembly up until it is roughly vertical. This will allow easier access for disconnecting the remaining cables.

    • Use a spudger to disconnect the black ribbon cable labeled "2."

    • Ribbon cable "3" is held in place by a FPC style connector. You must unlock this connector before sliding the ribbon cable out. The locking mechanism is on the opposite side of where the cable is inserted - it swivels upwards 90 degrees. Use a plastic spudger to lift the locking mechanism.

    • The FPC locking latch is very delicate and is typically a different color than the body of the connector. (see the detail image of FPC connector open and closed)

    • Slide the ribbon cable out of the connector, and remove the display assembly from the iPhone.

    • It's impossible to properly reinsert a ribbon into an FPC connector unless the lock is disengaged. Make sure the locking latch is open when attaching/detaching the cable.

    • Remove the single Phillips #00 screw from the corner of the display assembly.

    • Remove the two Phillips #00 screws from the right side of the display assembly.

    • Turn the display around, and if there is a thin strip of black tape on the edge of the display assembly, carefully peel it up.

    • Keeping the tape from sticking to itself can be tricky. We recommend placing the tape on a wax-coated piece of paper (any sticker backing will do).

    • Remove the three Phillips #00 screws from the left side of the display assembly.

    • Turn the display assembly over and again carefully insert a metal spudger between the two metal rails along the edge of the display assembly. Gently rotate the spudger to lift the LCD up from the glass.

    • Separate the LCD and glass by sliding the LCD panel away from the ribbon cables on the glass.

    • This is what should be left after removing the LCD.

    • Be careful when using a heat gun in the forthcoming steps. Use it at a very low heat setting, and make sure not to melt the touch screen plastics or Home button. The metal frame tends to conduct heat very well so try to avoid touching these hot areas.

    • If the glass has shattered at the top or bottom be especially patient and gentle when removing fragments. In extreme cases you may have to pick off any glass shards that remain glued to the plastics.

    • Using a heat gun or hairdryer, heat the top left area of the touch screen.

    • Use your fingernails to slowly lift up the left corner. The touch screen plastics are held to the touch screen with adhesive. It may take some work to free the corners.

      • If it seems like too much force is being applied to lift the touch screen plastics, try using the heat gun again.

    • Heat and repeat for the right side.

    • Once the top is free, use the heat gun to heat the sides of the touch screen.

    • Use a spudger to free the sides of the touch screen plastics.

    • Heat the bottom corners with the heat gun.

    • Again, use your fingernails to free the corners.

    • Remove the touch screen plastics from the touch screen.

    • In order to adhere the new panel, peel as much of the existing adhesive off of the front panel frame as you can.

      • This will ensure a better fit and ensure good attachment of the new adhesive.

    • Place custom fit adhesive strips or double stick tape on the upper area of the front panel plastics.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to press the adhesive strips to the plastic frame.

      • This will clear out bubbles and ensure good adhesion.

    • Place the second adhesive strip or double stick tape on the home button end of the front panel frame.

    • Run the flat end of a spudger over the strip to stick it down and push bubbles out from under the sticker.

    • Using the tip of a spudger to start, peel the adhesive backings off of the strips on the front panel plastic.

    • The adhesive backing is fairly thin, be sure you are only peeling up the backing and not the adhesive itself.

    • Peel the protective plastic off of the inside of the front panel glass.

    • There are three separate pieces: be sure to peel up the home button piece, center glass piece and the piece under the cables. Failure to peel these up could mean poor adhesion and a murky screen.

    • Try not to touch the inside of the glass to avoid putting fingerprints between the display glass layers.

    • Fold the front panel cables down toward the home button recess to get them out of the way.

    • The cable labeled as "#2" should lay as shown when you merge the two pieces of the front panel.

    • Ensuring that the upper cables are folded clear, align the top of the front glass with the front panel frame.

    • Press the front panel and front panel frame together, ensuring the the home button ends are aligned.

    • Firmly press both ends of the phone to ensure the attachment of the adhesive.


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

537 участников успешно повторили данное руководство.

Комментариев: 8

Step 15:

the screen sort of sits in the plastic because of the band of material running around the perimeter of the assembly being more firmly attached to the plastic than the screen. I found this step much easier to complete the second time around because i knew to dig my nail in between the screen and the material running around the perimeter of the assembly in a front to back motion. Then i pivoted my nail up 90 degrees so it was between the plastic and the screen and was able to gently pry them apart while heating.

tdbrennan - Ответить

i second that, it should really be another bulletpoint because its really hard to see if you are not looking for it. Something like:

Push gently on the thin plastic bezel surrounding the frontpanel, do not try to push into the side of the assembly. It can look like there is a seam but there is not!

Its really the only way to get it done without ripping off any parts of the plastic bezel... it does not show when reassembled but its creating a wide portal for dust particles.

Jygga fey -

NOTE: Just completed the installation and was supremely frustrated when the screen didn't turn back on. My first inclination was that the 3rd connector wasn't seated properly...so I opened up and re-attached 3 times. With girlfriend peering over my 'soon to be a failure of a bf' shoulder, I asked her to google up a 'hard reset'. Eureka. Hold down the black nav button and the top power button at the same time until the silver apple reappears. Crisis averted, great tutorial otherwise!

adam - Ответить

When removing the broken glass, be sure to remove adhesive from the side rails of the iPhone front panel assembly, otherwise your front panel won't fit as snugly as it should.

When reassembling, take care to properly insert ribbon cable 3, as it is much easier to remove it than it is to install it. Having an extra set of hands was invaluable for this repair.

thomasreznick - Ответить

I wish the instructions warned me to make sure a sim card is in the socket before reassembling, and/or they gave detailed reassembly instructions, and/or had higher quality pictures (I zoomed in on the pictures multiple times while reassembling, and could not see exactly how things were supposed to fit back together). My replacement went well, and all was working perfectly, but a piece of the cable was apparently sticking down into the sim card socket, and when my 21 yr old son forced the sim card it, it destroyed the cable that is attached to the plastic speaker assembly. Now I get to buy the more expensive repair kit that includes that part, and try again. D amn, I'm frustrated. -Bill

wkirke - Ответить

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