Apple may be known for making easy-to-use products, but when it comes to the iPhone, it doesn’t make products that are easy to repair.
As iPhone owners learn, when their phone’s battery dies, it can be replaced; but unlike with a BlackBerry, it’s not a simple task. Apple will do it for $86 and a three-day turnaround. But there are less-expensive third-party providers as well.
Can devoted tinkerers do the replacement themselves? It depends on whom you ask. While researching Thursday’s article about ways to improve the battery life of portable devices, I got two different answers from two companies I interviewed that sell iPhone replacement parts and services.
According to ifixit.com, a company that provides parts for Mac computers, iPods and iPhones, the answer is yes. For about $32, it will sell you a new battery, plus the tools you need to crack the case and separate the various screws and connectors to get at the dead battery. The battery is guaranteed for six months.
One of the best things about the company is its detailed instructions on how to perform the task. Its Web site has step-by-step clear photographs, and comments on each task from customers who have already done the work, offering tips and pitfalls one could encounter.
While I haven’t tried it, I did use its instructions to replace a keyboard on an old Mac laptop and a battery in an iPod, and in both instances the instructions were perfect and simple to follow.
But iPhone battery replacement is a job you shouldn’t even try, according to Milliamp LTD, a competing iPhone replacement company. While Milliamp does offer tools and instructions for do-it-yourself battery replacement for an iPod, the company says that replacing the battery in an iPhone is simply too difficult to try at home.It will sell you an iPhone battery for $20 if you want to do it yourself, but it won’t tell you how to do the job. Their solution: send the iPhone back to them at your expense and for $39, they’ll install it and return it to you, postpaid. Or you can pay $49 total, and it will send you a shipping label to send it to the company as well. The battery is guaranteed for 10 years, considerably longer than you’re likely to keep your iPhone.
from New York Times