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  • HOW TO: Take Apart an iPhone 4 (GSM)
    Alright guys this guide teaches you how to take apart an iPhone 4 GSM. The CDMA version of the iPhone 4 is a little different, but still following the same basic guidelines. I will get a guide on that up soon.

    Ok first thing- the supplies you will need:
    • Small Phillips screwdriver
    • Case opener tool
    • Pentalobe screwdriver (this is a 5 pointed star - newer iPhones have this instead of the standard Phillips)

    I also recommend having a nice clean and clear work space, and to lay the screws and parts out as you pull them to keep them in order and to make sure you don't forget or lose anything when putting the phone back together.

    Please remember before doing any work on the phone to power it off and pop the SIM tray out of the phone!

    Now to start work on the phone itself. First thing you will need to do is take out the two small screws at the bottom of the phone. They are on both sides of the dock connector. (If you have a newer iPhone 4 this is where you will need to use the pentalobe screwdriver)

    Once you have taken out the screws flip the phone onto its back side and push the back plate up and pull up to release the back plate from the phone.

    Next, to pull the battery out, you will need to unscrew one screw that is holding the battery connector in place. Once done, pull the connector up to release it.

    Now that the connector is out pull the clear tab on the phone. It takes a little bit of force but the battery should come right out. If you are still having problems, use a case opener tool and gently pry up to release the battery.

    Next is to release the dock ribbon. There are 2 screws holding it in place. Unscrew them and lift the dock ribbon up.

    We now need to remove the dock - unscrew the bottom screw on the logic board and pop off the lower antenna. I recommend just using you fingers and gently work to pop off the antenna.

    You will now see one other screw on the other side of the dock unscrew and gently pull the dock.

    Alright, now move to the top of the phone. You will see 5 screws that need to be taken out! That will allow you to pop off the ribbon container clip.

    Once the clip is removed pull the camera.

    You will now remove the one screw hidden under the water sensor (removing this will void the warranty) and another screw on the top right of the logic board. Once removed, lift all 5 cables from the top of the logic board.

    Now gently lift from the bottom and pull the logic board out of the housing.

    There are two more screws on the top right of the phone holding the vibrate motor in place - remove them and pull the motor.

    We are getting close! Now to remove 10 final screws. 4 screws will be on each corner of the phone and 6 with washers down each side (these are holding the LCD frame to the bezel).

    Once taken out use your case opener tool and glide it around the frame and the bezel. Once you get it popped up lift the screen out - BUT be careful of the ribbons on the LCD, there is a crack they must go to and you don't want to get them caught and damaged!

    You have now completely disassembled your iPhone 4! Now you can fix, replace the screen, or even do a cool color swap.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: HOW TO: Take Apart an iPhone 4 (GSM) started by Cowboy View original post
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. iKillYou's Avatar
      iKillYou -
      Could have saved yourself a LOT of time and just went to iFixIt's website who has the most in-depth tear down guides out there.

      iPhone 4 AT&T Repair Manual - iFixit
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Quote Originally Posted by iKillYou View Post
      Could have saved yourself a LOT of time and just went to iFixIt's website who has the most in-depth tear down guides out there.

      iPhone 4 AT&T Repair Manual - iFixit
      You are missing the point. This was to help people on this site. This has nothing to do with ifixit. They have their guide which is great. This guide is for this site.
    1. GaN-MaN's Avatar
      GaN-MaN -
      Haters be hatin... We'll get some vids up too.
      Pictures are good but you can understand a vid much better. Im not hating on Cowboy here at all. He's done an awesome job.
      We're just trying to help out THIS community of people here.
      Having two posts here referring to the iFixIt Guide...
    1. unklbyl's Avatar
      unklbyl -
      Hey Bro!
      First, nice take down. If i may inject a few pointers, and explain why, i would like to help too!

      First and foremost goto Techrestore.com and download the screw organizer PDF. This gives you a flat surface AND a small dedicated area for setting each screw, and the order they can come out. i have fixed about 300 iphone 4's and the first few times is sort of scary.

      If you do NOT have a pentalobe screwdriver, do what i did at the beginning, and take a flat tip screw driver, and file it down to a blunt point. I opened about 20 phones with this until my pentalobe screwdriver arrived.

      On your instructions, you remove the camera a little early for my taste.
      understand, this is just my way.
      After you open up the ribbon container clip, remove the ribbon clips from the right to left except the last 2 in reverse order. THEN the small tab on the camera is exposed, facilitating easy removal.
      When replacing the screws, PLEASE do NOT tighten them too much. There are parts that are sensitive, and WILL BREAK if too tight.

      Thank you for taking all the pictures and posting them here. This is NOT an operation for the faint of heart!

      I hope this helps a little.
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Brilliant Post! Thanks for taking the time for this guide!
    1. Evoss's Avatar
      Evoss -
      maan this was loong time agooo look
      ‪iPhone 4 Disassembly by TechRestore‬‏ - YouTube
    1. Phoneluv4's Avatar
      Phoneluv4 -
      Here is a link to a very useful repair guide vid for the iPhone4. They make a lot of videos and I have found them very helpful in the past. If you ever decide to make a video version of your repair guides I think you could learn a thing or two from these. iPhone 4 Teardown & Screen Replacement Video Directions by DirectFix.com - YouTube
    1. moveandstore's Avatar
      moveandstore -
      This is a great guide. I still have the original screws instead of the new pentalobe. This is great just in case I would have to replace the glass back.