My latest fix was a bit of a challenge. It was an iPhone 7 with the snapped off head of the charging cable stuck in the charging port. I had already attempted to fish it out with tweezers, but sadly could not get it out. I had no option but to replace the charging port, which is no small feat on an iPhone. The entire bottom half of the phone must be removed, and with very little room for error it is a slow and methodical process.
Patience, gentleness, and even more patience are the name of the game with this type of repair. The slower and more methodical you go the better to ensure no other parts get damaged.
This particular phone had a slightly misshaping charging port. I was able to shape and mould it back into somewhat the correct shape before starting, but it was never going to be perfect. The aim was to get it right for the charging cable to fit.
I had my trusty screwdrivers, heat gun, prying tools, suction cup and magnetic screw holder, and began.
First, I unscrewed the two holding screws around the charging port that held the screen in place. Heating up the bottom of the screen at 70 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes with a heat gun (moving it forwards and backwards to prevent too much heat in one area) I then used a suction cup to gently lift the screen at the bottom and get a pry tool inside the gap.
Gently working my way around the screen with the pry tool I released the adhesive holding the screen down. Work from the bottom, up the left-hand side, top, and open the iPhone like a book to prevent damage to the ribbons. I then rested the screen on my magnetic screw holder to prevent strain on the ribbons.
Revealing the insides of the phone I unscrewed the top and middle ribbon shields to reveal the ribbon connector for the camera and screen. and disconnected gently which allowed me to separate the screen from the phone. I put the screen to one side as I no longer needed it until reassembly.
I unscrewed the Taptic Engine but did not lift up just yet as you need to disconnect a hidden ribbon. So, the next port of call is to unscrew the plastic cover on the bottom left and lift out. Then you disconnect the Taptic Engine ribbon and remove it.
Remove three screws around the charging port. The top right one is a longer screw. The bottom right screw cannot be removed just yet as it is blocked by the internal speaker. We will get to that later.
Next, unscrew the internal speaker and gently disconnect the two cables connected above it. They need to be gently manoeuvred out to release. Gently detach the two cables from the clip holding them against the speaker. You can then lift the speaker out of the phone.
And now that there is space you can unscrew the final screw around the charging cable.
Unscrew two retaining screws at the bottom of the logic board. This can be found just above where the speaker was.
Disconnect the charging port ribbon at the top of the logic board and gently move it so that it is stood up straight.
Detach the microphones from the rubber holders at the bottom of the phone. I used a prying tool to gently unstick them from the bottom as they are held against a rubber contact with a small amount of adhesive.
Unscrew 2 screws on the frame of the phone, either side of the charging port, to release to metal connectors. These are a bit fiddly as they are on the rim of the phone.
We have made space to release the charging port. Now comes the hard part, getting it out!
Using a prying tool very gently lift the charging port, components, and paper-thin connectors out of the bottom of the phone. Be very delicate, and do not cause any strain on the battery or other parts. Get it to the point where it is only connected underneath the logic board.
You might be wondering why it is important to be gentle removing something that is broken. The answer is for a better standard repair, and to make sure no other parts get damaged.
Use a prying tool to get underneath the logic board and lift the charging port ribbon. There is a small amount of flexibility on the logic board, enough to gently peel of the connector paper for the charging port. Once released this should free the ribbon and allow you to gently manoeuvrer it out of the phone.
You have now successfully removed the older charging port. At this point its time to have a drink and rest. Look at how thin everything is. It looks like paper, but its actually very important circuitry. Technology is amazing!
Time to fit the new one.
Remove all the blue adhesive cover from the new part. This will allow you to stick the new port down when it is in position.
Again, very gently, position the part so that the connector goes underneath the logic board and connects in place correctly. You must, again, gently, bend the connector around to connect it. Do not tear it, otherwise you will need a new one. This will give the correct position to fit everything else. Take your time, do not rush.
Slowly bend the charging port head so that it fits snuggly into the hole in the frame for it and shape the rest of the connectors around it so that they fit in position. Make sure the screw holes are aligned and press down on the connector to stick it into position. I personally found this quite fiddly, but don’t put any undue pressure on any part (again I cannot emphasise the word gentle here) and stay calm and collected as you get it into position. This is the hardest part of the fix. Once you have done it you are almost home.
Screw in the two screws next to the charging port on the frame. These hold the metal connectors on the rim of the phone in place.
Reattach the two screws removed from the logic board. You will notice these have got special heads on them to allow smaller screws to be screwed into them. Awesome!
Screw in the bottom right-hand screw next to the charging port. We’ll soon be covering this up so we need to put this one in first.
Reposition the internal speaker and screw it back into place.
Connect the two antennae back to the logic board after feeding them back into the clip. I will say it again, be gentle.
Screw back in the 3 remaining screws around the charging port. For this phone, the frame is slightly bent, but the cable does still attach to charge.
Reconnect the Taptic Engine ribbon and screw the 3 screws back into place. Then, reattach the plastic cover in the bottom left corner of the phone and screw back into place.
Reconnect the battery ribbon and the phone screen ribbons. Gently position the screen so that it rests on top of the frame.
Before we commit to fully assembling the phone let us check that it works by plugging it in and seeing if we get a sign of charging.
Yes, we do! Excellent. Let us finish off by putting it all back together.
Lift the screen up and open it like a book. Rest it against something while you reconnect the two shields protecting the ribbons and screw them in place.
Position the screen so that it sits correctly on the frame. Clip into position from the top, working your way down the phone towards the bottom, pressing it gently into position. Finish by screwing the final two screws back into the base of the phone.
And out of courtesy to the customer, I plugged the phone in for two hours to charge the battery. It’s now back to full working order and has a satisfactory ‘click’ when the charger is connected. Boom!
That was a lovely fix. Apart from being fiddly putting the new port back in it went well. The phone charges and the customer can use the phone again. I’m happy, so let’s move onto the next fix, whatever that might be.
New iPhone 7 Charging Port @ £10
Labour @ £30
Total cost: £40