Why not to purchase device components online to attempt self-repair

We recently wrote an iBreak story that detailed how one iPhone owner from Champaign, Illinois attempted a self-repair by using online tutorials and purchasing components from an online source. If you read that article you know that this customer ran into a number of problems and caused significant extra damage to his phone with his attempt. When he turned to iResQ for help, he also sent us the iPhone 4S digitizer component that he had purchased online to use for his at-home repair.

After taking a good look at the component, we could clearly see that the part was not of good quality, observing the following problems with it:

  • Malfunctioning proximity sensor: This means the screen would stay on during all phone calls, unnecessarily draining the device's battery and causing additional problems.
  • Yellowish tint: This means that the replacement part was not a good match to the home button on the original device, which can give it a cheap appearance.
  • Lack of oleophobic coating: This coating helps to keep fingerprints and scratches off the screen, so its absence could also contribute to a cheapened appearance.
  • Missing mesh screen: This part is supposed to cover the earpiece and is responsible for keeping out dirt and moisture to protect the phone.

We thought this situation was a good demonstration of how components purchased online will not always be an ideal fit for your device. While it is generally wise to let qualified professionals like iResQ's technicians handle all device repairs, it is important even for those with the proper repair skills to make sure to purchase parts from a reliable source to ensure they are of the best quality. The Apple manufacturer is typically the safest option.

In addition, the sources of online tutorials may not be as educated or valid as they first appear. In the case of our iBreak customer story, we were able to perform an iPhone repair and replaced the digitizer with one of iResQ's top-quality parts, getting the device back to working order and to the owner in no time. The customer also told us that he will be attempting to return the poor-quality part purchased online to try to make up some of the money that he wasted in his self-repair attempt.

Marcelina Hardy

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