The repair that was none


After the disaster had happened yesterday, I went to a phone repair shop at Toa Payoh this morning to have my iPhone fixed. Tess had recommended the shop and I thought this shop will be as good as ant other, so let’s go for it. There are a lot of these repair shops in Singapore: rather dodgy places which I’d normally avoid. But then again, these are the only places that can fix issues like mine while you’re waiting versus having you wait a few days, which was simply not acceptable to me.

True to expectation, the guy there told me it would take 15-20 minutes and 80 Singdollar to fix the screen.
Alrighty, let’s do this…

The phone was open in no time, he had the replacement screen at hand and amongst other stuff he nicely mounted the old TouchID sensor and the earpiece onto the new screen. While he clearly knew what he was doing, my German heart screamed bloody murder that he had all these little screws flying around all over his already cluttered work bench. I can not be sure all of them returned into the housing at the end.

But: the screen worked again! Thank god!
But: it was flickering like broken Christmas lights.
But: he said this was normal when you attach a new LCD and would fix itself latest next time I’d charge.

Turns out he was right on that and it fixed itself within an hour or so.
I noticed something else, though:

Do you see the black border between the LCD and the housing of the phone? It’s askew! From my understanding this has nothing to do with the assembly. He simply installed a complete kit with screen. It’s the part itself which has this skewness, which likely means the part he’s using is likely a reject of actual productions for Apple.

Not great. But I told the guy it’s fine. It’s not a big deal after all and I sort of did not expect that another screen would be necessarily any better.

A bigger issue became apparent half an hour after the repair, however, and keeps occurring once in a while: the touch screen died again and would not accept any inputs. This would last for a minute or so, after which all the inputs I’ve tried in the time span the touch functionality was lost would be executed in a quick sequence.

Ah, shit!
I did not go back right away (maybe I should have) and plan to drop by the shop again next week. Looks like I can force this error to happen when I change the screen brightness to maximum, so I’ll have them replace the screen again.
But I also decided that I would not stop the order I have already made for a new phone. The reason is not that I badly want an iPhone 6. In fact, I do not like to buy an iPhone mid cycle. Not at all! Normally, I was planning to buy the next generation iPhone in September.

But for one, I am relying so much on my phone that I am not willing to accept monkey business like the screen issue I’ve observed. And even if they re-repair it, I will never feel happy with it and will always have this uneasy feeling about it. Given I am using it a lot not only for consumption but also content creation, this is simply not an option for me.

Yes, that’s a luxury choice and I know very well that I am bloody fortunate I can make it.

Let’s see.
Apple says the new phone will arrive on Wednesday, but I will still go back to the repair shop with my old 5s on Saturday (if they can fix it well enough that time, it’s still a good hand down device for my mom).

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