Skip to main content

Apple's top-of-the-line smartphone for 2020. Announced on October 13th and released November 13th, the iPhone 12 Pro Max sports a 6.7" OLED display, a triple rear camera system with LiDAR, and 5G connectivity. Successor to the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

106 Questions View all

Can the back of the phone be replaced if its cracked?

Back of my phone is badly damaged and i believe the only thing broken inside is the ear peace speaker which i already ordered and am about to arefully attempt to repair now

Answer this question I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 0
Add a comment

1 Answer

Most Helpful Answer

Hi E-J,

I'm guessing you're going for the glass-only repair, is that right? Boy, I don't envy you, as that's a difficult job to do right. Here are a few of my thoughts on the subject.

First off, you are aware that by replacing the earpiece speaker assembly you will lose Face ID, right? The flood illuminator, which is part of that assembly, is paired to the logic board and only a paired part will allow you to use Face ID; otherwise the phone will disable it, and Apple is the only one who can do that pairing. There's only one way around that, and that's to either pay Apple for a screen replacement or use the self repair program to do the screen replacement yourself. Apple screens come with the earpiece speaker assembly and one of the last steps in the replacement process is to run a "calibration procedure" that will pair the new earpiece speaker assembly to the logic board.

That being said, the speaker itself, if that's the problem, can be replaced but it takes a tiny bit of soldering to do.

Okay, moving on to the rear glass, there are a lot of considerations to take into account here. First of all, you have to consider the condition of the frame itself that the glass is mounted in. Is it intact? If not, you should be looking at a housing replacement rather than just the glass. A bent frame may not allow the new glass to be mounted correctly and could cause future problems with bending the motherboard and causing problems, so if there's any damage to it at all, you need to do a full housing replacement.

Next consideration is exposing your phone's internal parts to the heat that's going to be needed to get that glass off. Apple uses a very aggressive adhesive to hold that rear glass on, and getting it off takes a lot of heat to soften it enough to separate the glass from the frame. Commercial repairs involve a precision guided laser that burns the glue out making it relatively easy to get the glass off, but most of us don't have one of those handy so we have to make do with a heat gun. It is not at all uncommon for problems to show up after a glass replacement due to the heat having damaged internal components. Usually it turns out to be either a part on the rear of the phone like the flash, for instance, or a flex cable that's mounted to the frame on the opposite side of the glass to be removed. So that's a risk you take in doing a glass replacement that you need to be aware of.

One way to mitigate that possibility of damage would be to basically gut the phone first; remove all of the internals and strip it down to the bare housing before starting. Of course, the problem with doing that is, if you're going to all that work to tear it down, at that point why not go ahead and save yourself the trouble and just swap out the whole housing? Of course, a housing replacement has its own hazards, as it's always possible to damage the components being removed, especially since Apple is so fond of gluing things like flex cables down.

I've been in that same position on an iPhone X and due to the frame being bent, I went ahead with the full housing replacement. In the process I found that there are several choices you'll run into with getting a replacement. First off, you can find new ones online and there'll be a couple of choices. Several of them will be new housings, but they'll be completely bare; there won't be any of the little stickers or insulations or cables on it and you'll have to do a lot of work to move or fabricate those parts on your own. Other versions will sometimes come with "small parts", meaning a lot of the pieces that would be difficult to move over already come on the housing, making the job much simpler for you. Finally, a third option would be to buy a used housing. You have to check carefully as to what it comes with, but you can generally save yourself some work and be assured you've got genuine OEM parts that are already installed. I did run into an issue with one I bought where the person who had disassembled it had been very careless and ended up damaging some of the flex cables that did come with the phone, so where I had hoped to not have to replace the wireless charging coil, because it had been damaged I had to anyway.

Finally, one last thing to consider with the glass replacement. Of course you'll notice the metal bezels around the cameras in the glass. The thing is, when the phone is manufactured, those bezels are put on after the glass and are spot welded onto the frame. So first of all, it makes the glass harder to get off because you have to break it up to get it out from under the bezel since there isn't any practical way to take the bezels off and re-weld them back on. Next, you can't use a piece of glass that's cut to the exact dimensions of the original glass because then it won't go over the bezels so the manufacturer has to make the holes bigger to fit over the lip of the bezel that was originally supposed to be over the glass. That means you'll have a significantly bigger gap between the bezel and the glass than was originally there. If I was going that kind of replacement, I'd make sure to put down some kind of silicone sealant around each bezel when installing the new glass to make sure there's no path for liquid to get through.

So those are all the things I came across or thought about when I was in a similar situation. What you choose to do is entirely up to you, but hopefully I've given you some things to think about in making your decision. Good luck with your repair, and let us know how it all turns out! Success stories are always appreciated, and even when things go wrong we can usually learn something from it.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

Add your answer

E-J will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 0

Past 7 Days: 0

Past 30 Days: 3

All Time: 20