Top 5 Problems with the iPhone 5

Top 5 Problems with the iPhone 5

1. Broken Screen

We are not going to lie, we were worried when we heard rumors the new iPhone 5 was going to have improved Gorilla Glass 2™ from Corning®.  iPhone screens are by far the number one repair we see most often and well…we really like being in business.  However, even with the new glass structure in the iPhone 5, we still see them break at about the same rate, maybe even a little more.  iPhones are getting thinner, lighter, and the screens are getting bigger.   This means, the screens are being pushed further and further to the edge with little to no protection.

In fact, the first time we tried breaking our iPhone 4S with a rock hammer so we could do our training video, it took us several minutes before we gave up and had to try a different tool and a different angle.   Our iPhone 5 broke in no time flat.  Sometimes, it has to do with how you hit it though.  We’ve seen plenty of accounts where customers have dropped their devices off of ladders, houses, and cars onto concrete and they not break, but you let them fall from 2 feet onto carpet off your leg while you’re sitting down and they shatter like it just got hit with a golf club.  During the CES™ show in Las Vegas, we had the privilege of talking with one of the engineers that work in the lab at Corning.  This phenomenon can be explained by cracks that are occurring at the nano-level each time you drop your device.  You can’t see them, but they are there.  Corning specifically designs their glass to try to “hold-out” as long as possible and keep your glass from breaking further, but it has a fail-point just like anything else.  So, that’s why one day for no good reason it seems, your glass can break.  We’ve even seen some of our customers who experience a break just by walking out of a cold building into a very hot day.

“So, I broke my glass on my iPhone 5, what should I do now?”  Well, that’s a great question and you have plenty of options.  First, if you’re near one of our stores you can get it repaired on the spot, typically within an hour.  We back all our repairs with 180 day warranty and all of our technicians are some of the best in the business.  Secondly, if you live too far away, you can mail-in your device or give repairing it yourself a go.  If you’re feeling tech-savvy, repairing it yourself will save you some money and we’ve made sure that we have included step-by-step repair video guides to make sure you get the job done right.

2.  Microphone

“Can you hear me now?” We see so many issues with the microphone in the iPhone 5 and most are related to moisture or debris getting inside the receiver and causing it to malfunction by not working at all or making your voice sound muffled.  There are 2 microphones in the iPhone 5.  One at the bottom for doing the bulk input when you speak on the phone, and the other on the back of the phone near the camera lens that helps strain out background noise as well as serves a large function during speakerphone calls.  If your microphone that controls the audio input at the bottom of the phone goes out, you will need to replace the charge port flex which has the component attached to it.  You can find this here.   If you find that your main microphone malfunction seems to be happening ONLY when you are on speakerphone, you may need to replace the Power + Volume Flex Cable here.

3. Not Charging

We are in love with the new charging mechanism from Apple on the iPhone 5.  You can insert your new Lightning cable facing either direction (not the USB end of course) and it still works.  It’s great for plugging your device in at night when you can’t necessarily see which way you are putting your cord in.  The only problem, is that just like the other charging mechanisms from generations past, they seem to malfunction the same.   The problem doesn’t seem to rest with the dock like the previous generations where the small tab that housed the 30 pins would physically break, but the charging mechanism and components on the flex cable.  Replacing the charging assembly is relatively straight-forward and you can view replacement parts here.

4. Battery Problems

Until the day that some better form of mobile power is harnessed, we continue to see batteries be a huge cause of malfunction in devices.  Now, we don’t claim to be chemical engineers, but one of the problems lay with the usage of Lithium-Ion as the main battery power.  Many batteries will swell, or the circuitry attached to them will fail.  Unfortunately, there’s really no way of fixing this except by replacing the battery, which luckily for us, is super easy in the iPhone 5.  You can find parts here.   We stumbled across a bit of reading here of some information about swelling batteries.

5.  Power Button

Anytime you feel a “click” from a physical button on any phone, it means your device is still relying on a series of electronic inputs that have been used on your dad’s old bag phone from the 90’s.  It basically consists of a small metal dome (which is what you feel “clicking” every time you press down) that makes 2 concentric circles form a connection, telling your device that you’ve made an input.  This is an old technology and there have always been problems with this type of input.  All the oils, dirt, and moisture from your fingers easily slip through the separations of the cosmetic button and find their way to the little circles and don’t let your input be heard the way it was designed to.  Now, designers have gotten better at keeping this stuff out by adding tape and sealants, but it still happens daily.  And, if that isn’t what is causing your power button to malfunction, it could be the entire power flex has gone out or has become misaligned.  Occasionally, you can manipulate small pieces of the flex to re-align, but it’s similar to trying to build a ship in a bottle.  Sometimes, it’s best to just replace the power flex cable, which takes a little practice and patience, but is definitely do-able.

Need some help with your Apple iPhone 5 problems, or have some info that we missed? We would love to hear from you. Simply add your comments on this blog, and if needed, someone will get back with you in 24 hours.

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  1. My IPhone screen 'prompts' will not work. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. cannot answer calls cannot go to an app. screen does not work. Screen does not appear to be broken.

    1. Hi John
      If you have dropped your device it is possible that yu have damaged the digitizer with out being able to see physical damage. I would first try a soft reset and see if that helps.


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