I’ve written before about how I’m an iPhone fan. What I like best about iPhones is that they only slow down when they’re really old and that the build quality is second to none. The only flaw in the iPhone design is that you can’t easily change the battery, which is a shame because after 2 years, the battery level of my iPhone started to drop by 3% at a time right before my very eyes. I’d blink and my battery would go from 23% to a black screen with a picture of a cable on it. Facebook was a real battery killer, with any video application coming in a close second, making simultaneous online socialising and porn-watching something which I had to save until the end of the day, because no one wants a dead phone before they get home from work, do they?
When I first got my current iPhone, the battery would last for two days at work on one full charge, which was pretty good going. But, as with any battery, mine lost it’s full capacity over the years and would die frustratingly quickly after fairly light phone usage, so I looked into having the battery replaced.
Apple could replace my battery for £25 (as part of a ‘special’ offer) but there would be a two week wait due to a current shortage of batteries for my iPhone. I’m impatient, so I didn’t really fancy waiting.
I’d previously changed the battery in an older iPhone and that had gone pretty smoothly, considering there had been many tiny parts held together by minute screws to disassemble. Looking at some YouTube tutorials for my current iPhone, it was incredibly straightforward to do a battery swap so I ordered myself a genuine Apple battery for only £12 on eBay, which also came with the necessary tools for such delicate surgery.
The next day, the battery arrived and with a little trepidation, I took to butchering my iPhone.
The photos you see of my iPhone on this page are screenshots taken from a video I started to make of the battery replacement for the purpose of demonstrating just how easy it was to change an iPhone battery. The video was less than 3 minutes long because I discovered two things:
- The included tools were very cheaply made and started to disintegrate from the off. Using soft cheese may have made things easier.
- The front cover definitely does not easily lift up once unscrewed, as demonstrated in the video, on account of copious amounts of black sticky shit used to hold it to the phone frame.
As I result of falling at the first hurdle, I gave up with the video before going with the gung-ho approach of “fuck it” and forcing a butter knife under the edge of the screen before bending it up with brute force to break the black, shitty seal of stubbornness. Fortunately, the screen came off intact and everything still works since putting it all back together again. My technique isn’t recommended if you plan on keeping your phone for a while longer and I think luck played more than a little part in my success.
Apple like to stick the batteries into their phones, which makes sense. On my old iPhone, the battery had come out with moderate force but resembled a banana once removed, so l was prepared for a bit of a battle with my current iPhone battery. What I wasn’t prepared for was a full-on war or the dirty tactics employed by my the current battery to prevent it from being extracted from my iPhone.
I have no idea what Apple use to stick down the batteries now, but you could probably use it to attach cupboards to a kitchen wall. Hell, I reckon you could even use that shit to mount a washing machine to the kitchen wall! That stuff is good at it’s job, which is bad news for crap plastic tools and a butter knife.
As with the initial removal of the iPhone screen, frustration and aggression kicked in, making for some extreme prising, bending and cursing. I’d had enough, so gave one almighty shove with the butter knife. This, it turns out, was a bad idea.
As I pushed at the butter knife, there was a “pfffft” noise and a puff of smoke arose from a crack within the battery casing. Taking that as a warning, I withdrew the butter knife and intended to come up with a more rational extraction method instead.
However, the iPhone battery gods had been angered and were about to smite me.
Smoke started to bellow from that innocent-looking crack on the battery casing and there was a very peculiar smell. I’m no battery expert, but noxious emissions were surely not a good sign. What was possibly an even worse sign was the fact that the battery was getting hotter as the seconds passed.
This was probably not good.
I rushed to get a bowl of water just in case I had to extinguish a raging fire. I had to rip the poxy battery out before it destroyed my iPhone!
I’ve heard horror stories of exploding batteries so I didn’t hang around. In went the butter knife and stabby-stabby I became, desperately trying to get what was essentially a ticking time-bomb out of my phone. Perseverance and stabbiness paid off, because the sticky shit eventually released the fizzing battery. Being responsible and wanting to dispose of the battery safely, I ran to the window, opened it and chucked the fucking thing out of it.
Literally and without exaggeration.
I acted like a complete and utter bitch. But, I’m now a complete and utter bitch with an iPhone that once again lasts for well over a full day on one charge. The screen and home button work just as before and the iPhone even recognises my fingerprint, so clearly iPhones are built to withstand a bit of punishment.
Next time though, I think I’ll wait for the two weeks.