30 minutes - 1 hour
My iPhone 5s had been showing its battery age --- short life, jumping from 20% to shut-off. Sometimes, I needed to recharge 3 or 4 times a day. An online diagnostic test by Apple flagged the battery as an issue. Upgrade or repair --- not really a question to ponder with IFIXIT around.
I had previously replaced batteries in iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 - how hard could the iPhone 5s be? I was about to find out! I bought the 5s Battery Kit with my IFIXIT $10.00 holiday discount - with shipping, it came to $24.95 - not bad at all. Went through the IFIXIT Battery Replacement Guide and watched the video. Also read quite a bit of information provided by an internet web search. I knew about the short Touch ID cable and needing to limit the screen bottom opening to about 1.5 to 2 inches tops. I used the Suction Cup and went slow until the lower edge started to show a gap. I worked it some more, and using the supplied green spudger, I worked around it to get it separated. Off came the clip and connector, then I went to work on the upper plate, being very careful to arrange the 4 screws so they would be put back where they came from - especially the Non-Magnetic screw from the upper right corner. Battery removal was tough. Like most have experienced, the tape broke, even with my exercising extreme care. My guess is that the temperature inside the iPhone during normal use weakens the integrity of the tape holding the battery. So I got out a hair dryer, and got to work heating the rear case to loosen the adhesive holding the battery. It took about 20 minutes, including messing with a plastic ID card to work the battery loose. I'm thinking all the time that there must be a better way, but dental floss or guitar string was just not for me! I peeled the retained tape shreds off the inside rear case. I had some challenge applying the new tape strip to the battery - I actually put it on backwards (tiny removal hole mis-oriented toward the inside of the phone) but it seemed to work out all right, anyway. With the battery stuck down, and the connecters attached, I began to work on getting the cover plates reattached with the teeny, tiny screws. This was the biggest challenge for me. Being an old fart, I used a magnifying glass to help me in my work. It was difficult positioning the screws. The magnetic screwdriver would cause them to jump around out of position. Also, having a proper non-magnetic tweezer would probably have helped a lot. With lots of patience, I was able to place and tighten all the screws in the proper holes. Couldn't tuck the Battery Tape tab down the way Apple had it, but I folded it against the lower edge of the Battery, and pressed the screen into place so it closed without a hitch. Job done, and all functions appeared to be intact. Whew!
An iSlack might be a worthwhile investment, I might get one at some time. I would have felt horrible if I damaged my Touch ID functionality doing this repair. Anyone doing this job should take a deep breath before starting out. Researching the potential problems (carefully separating the screen at the lower edge, making sure the screws go back in the proper holes, how to remove the Battery when the tape breaks) prepared me to handle the problems that I faced with some finesse, Also, before I pressed the screen back into place, I powered the iPhone up to see if it booted properly. If I had a problem, it would have saved me from having to reopen the case a second time, maybe to reseat a loose connector to the logic board.
It was a bit of work to remove and then replace the screen wire connectors at the top of the iPhone, and re-secure that darn metal plate. IFIXIT has a video (iPhone SE Battery replacement) that shows how to keep the attached screen at 90º while removing the metal plate. But the satisfaction of having completed this servicing without problems was incredible.