iPhone 1st Generation Communications Board Replacement

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Very difficult

The communications board is the "phone" part of the iPhone.

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Edit Step 1 SIM Card  ¶ 

  • Insert a SIM card eject tool or paper clip into the hole next to the headphone jack.

  • Press down on the paper clip until the SIM card tray pops out.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Grasp the SIM card tray and slide it out of the iPhone.

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Edit Step 3 Antenna Cover  ¶ 

  • This image shows the two tabs and two catches located on the underside of the antenna cover. The two tabs at the top of the image must be pushed towards the black cover to release them.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Be sure to slide the metal spudger between the dock connector and the antenna cover, and not into the dock connector itself.

  • Insert a metal spudger into the slot between the dock connector and the antenna cover. Gently pry up near the two tabs to create a small gap between the antenna cover and the silver front bezel.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Insert an iPod opening tool in the gap between the antenna cover and the front bezel. The wedge of the tool should be pointing towards the antenna cover. Slide the tool around the corner and up until you reach the metal backing.

  • Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the dock connector.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Grasp the antenna cover on either side and slide it up and away from the iPhone. This requires some force. If it does not come free, ensure that the antenna cover is lifted up enough to free the catches.

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Edit Step 7 Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the three Phillips #00 screws securing the rear panel to the iPhone.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Getting the iPhone open is a challenging feat, so don't get discouraged. Take a deep breath and make sure you have plenty of time to get the job done.

  • The small square hole is the location to insert the dental pick in the next step.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Start removing the rear panel on the side with the buttons.

  • Slide the dental pick completely into the square hole. You may need to wiggle the tool and apply a good amount of force to get it to go all the way.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Pry up the rear panel by pulling the dental pick counterclockwise in a quick motion. Apply force perpendicular to the plane of the display assembly. You may be afraid to go fast, but going slowly is more likely to bend the case.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to free the rear panel from the iPhone along the corner and top.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the iPhone. Slide the dental pick completely into the square hole. You may need to wiggle the tool and apply a good amount of force to get it to go all the way.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Pry up the rear panel by pulling the dental pick clockwise in a quick motion. Apply force perpendicular to the plane of the display assembly. You may be afraid to go fast, but going slowly is more likely to bend the case.

  • The rear panel is still attached to the iPhone by the headphone jack cable, so don't entirely remove the rear panel from the iPhone just yet.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Make sure the phone is off before disconnecting the headphone jack cable.

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the headphone jack cable from the logic board.

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Edit Step 15 Communications Board  ¶ 

  • Peel up the orange tape securing the white antenna cable to the side of the iPhone.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the headphone jack cable from the logic board.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the two antenna cables from the communications board. Apple used a small dab of glue on these connections, which may make removing the antenna connections harder.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 3 screws:

    • One Phillips #00 screw securing the logic board to the iPhone near the camera.

    • Two Phillips #00 screws, one on either corner of the logic board.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the camera connector.

  • Lift the camera out of the iPhone.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Working from the edge opposite the battery connectors, insert a spudger between the battery and the plastic frame and pry up on the battery. It is attached to the casing with an adhesive, but should slowly come free.

  • Leave the battery resting slightly out of its housing, but be sure not to put too much pressure on the battery wires as the solder joints break easily.

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Slide a spudger beneath the logic board on the side opposite the battery connector and pry up slightly. Don't lift up too far, because there are still four attached connectors on the bottom of the logic board.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • In a similar manner, slide a spudger beneath the logic board where the camera was. Again, don't lift up too far yet as there are still four attached connectors on the bottom of the logic board.

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Lift up the logic board slightly and slide a spudger beneath the logic board to disconnect the display ribbon cable.

  • After freeing the first connector, slide the spudger further towards the battery and the center of the iPhone to disconnect the speaker connector.

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Go to the other side of the logic board and use a spudger to disconnect the touch sensor cable on the under side of the logic board.

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Slide a spudger beneath the black locking bar and pry up to rotate the bar 90 degrees (the bar is already rotated in the picture).

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Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • Hold both the battery and the logic board assembly and slide both parts away from the orange antenna and out of the iPhone.

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Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • There are two stacked circuit boards on the iPhone. The communcations board is on the top, and the logic board is located on the bottom.

  • To separate the boards, insert a spudger into the gap in the metal shielding as shown. Carefully pry with the spudger to loosen the connector.

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Edit Step 28  ¶ 

  • Continue to separate the two boards. The silver metal shielding may not immediately separate. If necessary, work around the edge of the board to separate the metal shielding.

  • If you are replacing the communications board, you need to desolder it from the battery. The battery replacement guide can help you remove the battery.

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

For more information, check out the iPhone 1st Generation device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Metal Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Probe and Pick Set

$6.95 · 50+ In stock

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

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Popular Device Products

SIM Card Eject Tool

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

To remove the SIM, insert the end of a SIM eject tool or a small thin paper clip into the hole on the SIM tray. Press firmly and push the tool straight in until the tray pops out.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1438

duanekdunn, · Reply

YOU NEED TO PUT THE OPENER TOOL BETWEEN THE ANTENNA COVER AND THE DOCK CONNECTOR FIRST, THEN YOU WILL HAVE SPACE TO OPEN IT.. MY 2 CENTS

riversde, · Reply

Very hard to remove and the plastic is very fragile

Take care when removing

miguelvillela, · Reply

When you get stuck follow this guy guide

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYHnr89HM...

miguelb, · Reply

Great Guide.

My dad banged his iPhone in a table after arguing with someone and got the aluminum cover next to the volume control bent in such a way as it got the volume control stuck in the max position. I used this guide to remove all parts out of the way so I can get the shape of that region and corrected it the "Han Solo" Way. It was an excellent opportunity to get the phone cleaned up as well

The biggest problem I had was screwing some of the screws back. The screwdriver that I had was not magnetized, so I used a little bit of superglue to bind the screw and the screwdriver until I had it screwed tightly.

The second biggest problem I had was that I lost a screw twice, but was lucky enough to find it quickly on the floor next to me.

I am very happy as I waited more than a month to get the confidence to get this iPhone repaired.

lantinian, · Reply

how do i know what part is in my phone? There are 2...

Ivanfrost, · Reply

Quote from Ivanfrost:

how do i know what part is in my phone? There are 2...

Once you have the phone apart and have gently unplugged the power ribbon, read the part number on the ribbon. If it's in the 821- family, you can safely use corresponding 821 headphone assembly. If it is the other part number, use the newer replacement. Many sites list both parts and let you order the appropriately numbered part. Otherwise (if you order the wrong part) it won't work or you'll have to [unnecessarily] hack the part to get it to work.

Steve, · Reply

Quote from Steve:

Once you have the phone apart and have gently unplugged the power ribbon, read the part number on the ribbon. If it's in the 821- family, you can safely use corresponding 821 headphone assembly. If it is the other part number, use the newer replacement. Many sites list both parts and let you order the appropriately numbered part. Otherwise (if you order the wrong part) it won't work or you'll have to [unnecessarily] hack the part to get it to work.

I bought the wrong one.... how do I hack it?

Rune Smistad, · Reply

My iPhone is very first model. It doesn't have any of the four tabs shown.

gameplayer2, · Reply

The very first model does not have the four tabs. To open this version, use a plastic opener tool and push it into the middle of the tiny space between the rectangular dock connector and the antenna cover. Move the tool to the side and push it in a little deeper. A small gap should open up at the bottom of the antenna cover, where it meets the metal. Continue using the plastic opener tool in there, pushing it in and forcing it around the edge so that the antenna cover further separates. Then repeat this on the other side. To me it seems like a very brittle piece of plastic, so be careful. But now that it's loose at the bottom you can lift it with your fingers and work it off.

Alexander Ljungberg, · Reply

Take heed to the note about getting the spudger between the dock connector and the cover. The dock connector is black plastic, as is the antenna cover, so it's difficult to see any gap between them. Putting the spudger between the metal shielding of the connector and the plastic is incorrect.

Michael Lance, · Reply

It was released very hard on my iPhone 2G but the problem comes when i have to put it back.

It remains a little more space between the dock and the Antena cover and maybe that's because the two tabs between the mic and the speaker are not entered under the gold board?

If someone knows please tell me how to put it back.

Thanks

infomihai, · Reply

There is a very easy way to remove the cover by simply sticking duct tape on it and pulling the tape away of the phone.

It will leave no marks and it didn't damage my antenna cover as much(my "chinese" repair tools were to weak).

rens, · Reply

Thanks, using the tape was quick and easy, no damage at all.

Roeland,

Brilliant. Works perfectly. 20 seconds of work.

koenatclaes,

Be sure to use the square hole, more to the inside, not the one between the outer shell and the little piece of metal. The Outer shell is attached to the metal.

ordody, · Reply

You guys show this is vanilla dessert. And it's more difficult than building a DIY space shuttle. I wonder why Apple did the iPhone so problematic to disassemble. It's just the battery!

Sebastian Di Mateo, · Reply

I've seen some instructions recommending using a knife to open up a space between the back cover and trim. Using the dental pick as shown here, it is very easy to break off the screw attachment near the edge of the cover.

Bill Parquet, · Reply

Agree with Bill, I did break off one of the screw attachments. In retrospect, using a small putty knife between the cover and battery (which I'm replacing anyways) to apply force against the cover while prying at the hole would have helped.

Michael Lance,

ugh. i totally mangled my case. snapped off the 2 outer screw brackets... broke my dental pick, too. and my small screwdriver. thank goodness for craftsman tools! ;)

i was pretty disheartened by the whole thing, but i keep it in a hard shell anyway so it's not that noticeable.

umopapisdn, · Reply

Like others - this is where I am stuck. No dental pick, so I search for alternatives. Good the get reminded - if I mangle the case too, hey, my speck cover will hide the scars!

Spikey2, · Reply

What material is that dental pick made of? Adamantium?

Sebastian Di Mateo, · Reply

I could NOT get this method to work. I tried three different picks and all bent when I tried to lever them this way. I did break one of the frame screws off in the process as well. I ended up going back to my old standby... The Exacto Knife and a 1/8 inch flat head screw driver... I used the exacto to get the flat head started, then worked my way up one side toward the top of the phone slowly and carefully wiggling the screw driver until it popped open on that side. Then I did the same to the other. That worked well for me. These plastic openers and dental picks just bent and broke on me. GOOD LUCK. My Advice: Get a 3G or 3GS, I can break one down in under a minute!

Adam Susong, · Reply

I didn't have a dental pick. I used a narrow, flexible hobby putty knife. The button side edge popped right off. The blank side required me to slowly wiggle along, continually pushing the putty knife up to 2" to detach each of the clips.

dennishodge, · Reply

wich dental pick should I use? I´d bought some but they twist or didn´t fit on the scare... thx in advance and really good guide!!

Chad720, · Reply

I know this is old, but I've had some success. Rather than the dental pick, which I bent too, I ground down a very small "L" bend hex wrench. Worked like a champ. Also: If you have an iPhone 4 and are looking to use the microSIM in your 1st gen iPhone with the use of a microSIM adaptor... DO NOT put the empty adaptor in the SIM slot. That's what I did and had to dismantle the phone to get it repair the SIM contacts.

tthomashardie,

Actually, the "button" side released fairly easily and I was able to loosen the top end with a plastic spudger. However, the remaining side was a @#!@! and the process of popping it off caused the protruding screw lug to break off the internal guide, which itself came off seconds later. Oof! While the side guide was easily glued back in, the lug ultimately became a casualty since it was too small and unweildy to SuperGlue™ back on. But, as Meat Loaf wisely sings, "two out of three ain't bad." The 'phone can live w/o one screw and possibly two if the center lug remains.

turkeyneck, · Reply

I didn't have a dental pick so i used a very small high quality allen key which worked perfectly. The back cover is interference fit to the front bezel and i found with the correct lever action it separated easily.

Bigkarkus, · Reply

I've seen some guides that recommend a technique for prying up on the center of the case. if you do so, it is easy to accidentally damage the battery if you pry in the wrong direction.

Bill Parquet, · Reply

You need to stick the end in, and it detaches if you push it upwards.

ordody, · Reply

A picture of what the dental pick is poking at would be useful inside the back case. If you get on the wrong side of the frame rail you can break the ear where the screw goes pretty easily with that pick (yes it appears to be titanium). Guess that is why only the plastic pick was part of the toolset, but used a metal one as depicted and ran into this. As you say this is challenging, and more pictures are better.

edl, · Reply

This is the step where I accidentally pulled the connector off the logic board, killing bluetooth and wifi. Maybe some more guidance is needed about this. I am not really sure how it happened.

rosnow, · Reply

When reassembling, getting the display connector and the speaker connector reconnected is quite challenging. Anyone got any tips?

Alexander Ljungberg, · Reply

My iphone use to work fine except the communication board. I replaced the part but now the home buttom, speaker and mic are not working. What do you think that might happen?

Thanks

Rene Ortega

forumpt@hotmail.com

HRSLOSCABOS, · Reply

Quote from HRSLOSCABOS:

My iphone use to work fine except the communication board. I replaced the part but now the home buttom, speaker and mic are not working. What do you think that might happen?

Thanks

Rene Ortega

forumpt@hotmail.com

I always recommend checking the connectors involved. If a connection is not seated properly, it may cause this issue.

Brady Cabe, · Reply

In Step 24 it shows the wide ribbon from the display assy. Mine is not seated properly and I want to straighten it out. I do not quite understand how to release the connector. It looks like the locking bar should slide toward the ribbon cable to release, but it is very stubborn and I am afraid to get aggressive. Exactly where should the locking bar move to? How is it reset? Thanks. BTW This guide is just great...

hartisja, · Reply

The locking bar moves towards the ribbon cable. For me it didn't take all too much violence. Now how to get the ribbon back into place, that's a different question...

Alexander Ljungberg, · Reply

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