iPhone 7 & 7 Plus are *technically* repairable—experience tells us otherwise

With contributions from Kenny Graves

¬†After watching the iFixit video to help us get ready for the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus repairs, we felt confident that we could tackle this repair in under 45 minutes. We quickly realized that the waterproofing presented a big challenge to our process. We were successful, but it took *literally* hours for our student volunteers to complete the repair. We’re going to try one more time to see if there is any way to shorten the repair time, but it’s likely we’ll have to refer students to the Apple store for this repair. If you decide to tackle the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus with your students, check out our lessons learned below.

  • Removing the cover is a pain. Because of Apple’s waterproofed phone, the glue that holds down the screen is extra secure. Even with the heating pad, it took us two class periods to even open the phone.
  • New location for camera/screen/battery connectors. Apple moved the connections from the top of the phone to the left side of the phone. So, be wary when opening any iPhone 7 and later. If you open the phone quickly, you will break the connections.
  • New Y000 screws inside the phone. The iPhone 7 and beyond use Y000 screws inside the phone, and the old kits do not have that screw head. You will have to use the newer kits that say that they have the Y000 in order to repair the phone.
  • Home button/touch ID issues. Now, there is a screw that holds in the home button that is very difficult to remove. Also, the home button is also fixed to the cover with adhesive and needs to be carefully removed.
  • Reattaching the screen. Be mindful of the way that you add the connectors back to the phone. If any connection is bent or is not in its original position, the phone circuit is disrupted, and it will not turn on.
  • Repair takes a LONG time. We spent at least 4 hours in total on the phone today. Granted, this is the first iPhone 7 repair, but given both of our experience in fixing phones, it was a bit ridiculous. At one point, students and staff were sweating while we were repairing!

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