I’ve never been the type of guy that is good with his hands. So when I suffered the horific incident of dropping my phone and ending up with a broken iPhone, I wasn;t sure what to do.
Always more of a pen pusher than anything else, that’s me. Which is why I made the decision to fix my own broken iPhone screen even more bizarre.
I’d been walking down Rayleigh High Street, earphones in (though bizarrely I hadn’t actually been listening to anything), holding my phone in my right hand. A quick movement of my left hand and suddenly the phone was whipped down to the floor, slam-dunked impressively thanks to my hand having caught the earphone wire.
Picking it up, the front screen was still together, though a spiderweb of cracks had appeared all over the phone, making it nigh on impossible to read anything at the top right of the screen.
I swept my finger across the phone, pleasantly surprised to find it still working. The screen had cracked in such a way that certain sections of the phone were sticking up slightly, meaning that every time I touched that part of the screen, I could feel fragments of glass trying to cut into my skin.
I went into Southend and stopped off at a couple of stalls that fix mobiles. I was hoping to get the screen replaced for £20 or £30 – maybe at a push £40. The two quotes I got were for £85 and £70. I felt absolutely gutted.
I hate spending money at the best of times, always battling with my own conscience about whether it is justified, whether I actually need that item and so on, so the thought of having to spend so much was horrible, especially at a time when I have precious little income. I looked on eBay and found the replacement kit for £41 and ordered it up, figuring that, if I took my time, I’d be able to change it myself, buoyed by the fact that Scouse Girl had changed a screen on an iPhone recently.
Even though she had worked in IT and I figured she was probably more suited to fiddling with phone innards than I was, I also thought that by spending an hour or so and taking things slowly, I’d be able to succeed.
The package arrived at 12.05pm. I opened it immediately and began the process of fixing the phone. Two and a half hours later, I had pieced it all back together.
The back plate wouldn’t go on properly, and the camera wasn’t working at all, but the touch screen was fine, so I was part way there. Then I realised that the phone wasn’t picking up any network signal. By this stage I’d had enough (there really are no words that can describe how much stress I had caused myself over the previous 150 minutes) and decided that I would head into town, go to the local phone fixing store (which I’d just found on Google) and pay them to put it right.
I was annoyed at myself, more so that I’d have to pay even more money, but grateful that there was a solution.
As I drove to the shop, my phone beeped with an answerphone message. For some reason it was now picking up a signal, which solved one of the problems.
When I got to the phone shop and explained truthfully what had happened and how I had fucked up the phone, the lady behind the counter said that they didn’t fix phones on site, but sent them off for repair.
They were sent once a week on a Tuesday, and received back 8 days later on the Wednesday, explaining that I had obviously missed that weeks pick-up. I enquired about the cost and she said that it would probably be £25 to put it back together, plus parts, and that if I needed a new camera it would be another £60 - £85.
I thanked her, and said that I may pop back next Tuesday morning to drop the phone off, but that I’d leave it for now. I went and grabbed a coffee, calmed down a little, noticed that the phone had, once again, dropped it’s network coverage and decided that I’d have one more attempt at fixing it when I got back.
I spent another hour when I got home undoing everything at the back of the phone, then putting everything back in place and reconnecting wires. I attached the battery, turned the phone on and tested the camera which was, miraculously, now working again. I then put it all together and slipped the back of the case on.
It still wouldn’t do up, but with a bit of force it snapped into place and I screwed one of the two screws back into the bottom of the case to hold it together, the second screw not fitting due to the slight misalignment of the case.
Now the phone has everything working bar the network stuff, which comes and goes freely.
It connects to Orange when I am outside my flat, or when I am upstairs in my bedroom, but stubbornly refuses to get a signal when I am sat in the living room.
It still needs fixing properly, and I hate myself for believing that I’d be able to replace the screen. For the sake of an extra £30, I could have got someone else to do it, and the phone would be fine.
As it is, I now need to find a repair shop who will no doubt charge me the Earth just to look at it. I can’t send it to Apple as I have invalidated the warranty by changing the screen myself and am sitting here pretty pissed off about the whole deal.
I don’t know if it is a by-product of suffering from depression, or if it is something that everyone experiences from time to time, but the level of self-hatred and loathing that I feel as a result of this is unbelievable.
Yesterday I felt like crying at my own sheer incompetence, and although today I’ve gotten used to the fact that the phone is screwed and that it’s my own fault, I’m still reluctant to see or speak to people I know, as I just know that I’m not in the mood – because of the phone fuck up – to idly chat with others.
I’m not sure what to do with the phone next. I have had daydreams about dropping it in a big cup of coffee and completely buggering it, which causes a smile, but the reality is that I love my phone, and feel pretty lost without It, so that will remain just a daydream.
Whatever happens, it needs fixing. Guess I just need to find somewhere to send it off to.