My decade-old 4th generation iPod decided to blue screen on me, literally.
I love old stuff and I’m rather attached to this very first Apple product that I purchased 10 years ago. So I decided to turn to iFixit, the well-known DIY repair store for Apple products, for a replacement LCD screen.
The monochrome 2″ replacement display costs US$30 and the cheapest shipping was US$15, costing a total of about US$45. When it arrived in the mail 10 days later, I fixed it up and got this:
The LCD was missing a couple of rows. I initially thought it was my fault, so I took it out and put the old screen back but it was working fine. It seems that no amount of coaxing was going to get those rows to show up.
So I wrote them, attached a couple of photos, and shortly a replacement part was shipped. Another 10 days later, I received a replacement replacement LCD. I fixed it up, and this time it looked pretty good but after booting up I found it odd (and I almost missed it) — there was no backlight. I took a closer look at the flex connector and noticed there was a spot on one of the pins. When I held it up to the light, it became clear that it wasn’t a spot.
You can see a missing bit at the top of the flex connector here.
It turns out that the first two connections are for the backlight, which explains why the backlight doesn’t work in this screen.
I wrote them again and they sent me a shipment notification email, I waited. 10 days had passed and I didn’t receive any mail from them. I almost thought it was never going to come, but here it is, 15 days later:
Even though there’s a teeny bit of stain on the back of the LCD at the top-left corner, I decided that this was enough torture, both for myself and the iFixit team. The backlight is working fine and there are no dead pixels, so I’m pretty satisfied with this display.
So what’s the actual cost of this replacement? 3 screens, 3 times the shipping, and one entire month. Replacement parts for old iPods are hard to find now and even harder to test.
Kudos to iFixit for making sure I get a working replacement screen! Frankly, I don’t get this kind of service from local shops here, so this really impressed me.
I would defintely recommend iFixit for your DIY repair needs (and no, they did not pay me to say that).