iPhone Commits Suicide at 20mph: Emergency Rescue, Part 1

Ever wondered what happens to an iPhone when it’s violently ejected at 20 mph? Although it would be an interesting thing to see on perhaps YouTube, I had hoped never to personally experience my own phone performing suicide while jumping off my bicycle mount during a 140 mile charity bike ride this weekend. Read on through as I detail the circumstances, autopsy report, my research on repairs/replacement for my phone, as well as what I plan to do. This weekend I participated in the Ride for the Feast, a 140 mile bicycle ride in the name of charity to help Moveable Feast feed nutritious meals to unfortunate people homebound with HIV/AIDs, breast cancer, and other life-threatening diseases. 140 miles from Ocean City to Baltimore, Maryland, and while I had never ridden more than 50 miles in the past, it was a challenge for a great cause.

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In all my infinite wisdom, I had decided to use a cell phone mount to take my iPhone 3Gs with me so that I could see the map, view the queue sheet, and listen to some tunes while riding. With only 5 miles to go, we entered Baltimore City and found long smooth country roads replaced with unbelievably badly deteriorated roads. Not having ever experienced an issue with my mount before, and having used it many many times on my motorcycle before with pretty rough vibrations, I didn’t even think to check the phone. Just as we were coming to the final stretch and my exhaustion was finally becoming overwhelmed with excitement to finish the ride, I heard a sickening sound and looked down to see my (not so) shiny white iPhone bouncing along the street. “How odd,” I initially thought, “someone threw an iPhone at me.” To my horror, it was my phone jumping out of its mount due to the insane amount of bumps riding on the Baltimore streets.

It was the one major downer in an otherwise exhilarating weekend and series of events for a good cause. (Un)luckily for me, it was just the screen that cracked, and the phone itself was still operational, including the touchscreen. After a few hours of using it though I soon realized that the glass was cutting my finger on swipes and slowly falling out, so I wrapped it in plastic wrap in the meantime. I had to cut a slit in the bottom to charge it. Works, but quite ghetto indeed.

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My immediate thoughts were of how I might replace or repair the phone. My prior plans were to wait until September(?) for the next iPhone and when I would be eligible for an upgrade. I’m just short of my 2-year contract period and there is an $18 penalty, plus $200 purchase price to upgrade to the iPhone 4. I mulled over using this incident as an excuse to upgrade to the iPhone 4, but with just 4 months to go before the next upgraded version I was averse to the idea of switching so close to the next update.

A friend had replaced his iPhone 3 screen almost two years ago, and I recalled that while it was a straightforward process it had cost him something like $100 to do back then. $100 being half the price of the upgrade seemed a bit steep, but upon further research there were kits for as low as $10, with some of the more reputable ones going for around $20-$30. Some of the sites detailing the replacement process actually show a quite straightforward (although not to say not difficult) process.

It seemed like it was only last week where I thought I'd simply apply some TLC to breath some life back into my Iphone. So here goes nothing, I’m going to order a kit and when it comes in I’ll walk through the repair process. Wish me luck.

iPhone Repair Resources

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