Thanks for that tip Tonima! This is another confirmation that skipping steps 13-19 worked out great!
As an extra measure, in addition to leaving the front panel rubber banded in it's open, vertical position (I secured mine to a can of beans) and being very careful and controlled when removing the adhesive strips; before using the suction cup to separate the front panel from the rear case, I had secured the back side of the rear case to my working surface (kitchen table) with a strip of folded over duct tape (creating double sided tape). Such might not have been necessary as I held the rear case with one hand while removing the adhesive strips with the other, though it just felt safer having the rear case (as well as the front panel) well secured in place to help assure that I didn't accidentally cause any damage to those very fragile looking cables that were left connected, by any possible movements of either of the iPhone's halfs during the pulling to remove the adhesive strips.
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