Sixth iteration of Apple iPhone, announced on September 12, 2012. Repair of this device is similar to the previous models, requiring screwdrivers and prying tools. Available as GSM or CDMA / 16, 32, or 64 GB / Black or White.

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Just the Glass, Digitizer, or LCD?

Hi there!

So yesterday, I dropped my iPhone 5. Less than 2.5 feet from the ground, and it cracked the tiniest bit, just along the top right WITH a giant rubber protective case, AND a front protective glass cover on it. It now has one small crack, and the stupid thing will not work. It turns all the way on, and I can see it light up, but the screen remains black, and it gets one white line down the middle of it. I can tell it still works because it still remains at 100% battery when I plug it into my MacBook, and it also still plays my music when I plug it into my car, I can access my entire iTunes library and address book.

So, my question is, is there any way to tell before I go into the whole process if I need to replace the digitizer and/or LCD screen or if it might just need the front glass replaced or should I not even bother and just get the entire new front screen unit? I took off the entire front unit, digitizer and all yesterday to see if maybe something had just come loose and needed to be adjusted or something, but the screen still just stays black. Even after all of that, though, I could still plug into my car and listen to my full iTunes library (if that helps). Probably still would have to replace the LCD, though, I'm guessing?

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2 Answers

Chosen Solution

On the iPhone the glass is fused to the LCD. So in your case the glass and LCD will need to be replaced. The iPhone 5 is a pretty easy phone to repair, follow the Ifixit guides. Go slow and don't force anything.

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Technically it can be done. However, seperating the digitizer from the LCD, will more than likely result in damaging the LCD.

Here's parts

iPhone 5 LCD Screen and Digitizer

Here's labor

iPhone 5 Display Assembly Replacement

I realize you're trying to save money. Buying third party parts, will give you third party problems

iPhone 5 LCD Screen and Digitizer Image


iPhone 5 LCD Screen and Digitizer


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No desire to fix an LCD. And I'm pretty good with fixing things. I have the very nice tool kit that I purchased this summer from when I dropped the same phone in the water and got water damage. It wouldn't even turn on at all, and I restored it to full working condition. My only question is that I keep reading that if you don't properly reconnect the ribbons, you can get the white lines and flickering like I'm getting right now. I'm fairly certain that I reconnected them properly, I heard them snap back into place. I just don't want to buy an $80 screen and digitizer if I'm going to end up having to buy a whole new phone anyways (if the ribbon connections are damaged), especially if I can't return it.

Thank you for your assistance!


If you're getting white lines on your LCD, one of two things is likely happening. Either you've purchased poor quality parts. Like from eBay. Or, they're not connected properly. If they're not connected properly, you can try removing the socket cables, disconnecting the battery, reconnecting the battery, then reconnecting the socket cables for the display assembly. It's called cycling the battery


I actually just took it apart again, just to be sure, and while I was following the guide you posted, I noticed that my phone is missing the front panel assembly cable bracket. (This is a replacement device from good old AT&T since my warranty is through them, but I don't want an iPhone 6...too big!)

I'm going to try cycling the battery right now and seeing if that helps...should I try also ordering a replacement front panel assembly cable bracket? Might that be the issue, do you think?


I actually went through about 4 replacement phones that I kept sending back to AT&T before I got an acceptable one. I live about 20 miles from Juarez, Mexico, and I would place money that AT&T has a refurbishment factory there. If you heard the stories about what has happened to me with this would make your skin crawl. I should own 10% of AT&T by now. :o/


Which cables are the socket cables? Are they connected to the battery?


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