3D man near red question mark

 

Got questions?

Want to know what to fix before seeking for a repair shop?

We prepared most asked questions, please check it out.

What is screen? What is digitizer?

Many users are confused on what is digitizer, screen or LCD, LED.  If your screen is cracked or damaged but still able to use it or see it, your LCD/LED (picture displaying unit) is fine, then you will need a digitizer / screen replaced only. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is the one displays the picture and images.

Here are the examples.

Broken_Motorola_Defy brokenglass

As shown in the picture above, the screen is still functioning.  However due to different manufacture process, some phone might not work even though the display is functioning 100%. (i.e, LG NEXUS models.) Then you will have to replace the digitizer.  Some keeps using the phone as it is still working, but the cracked glass keeps pressing down, the LCD will eventually will get damaged which then looks like the picture below (called bleeding).  When this happens, you will have to replace the glass and the LCD together which will cost more.

iphone-lcd-white broken-blackberry IMG_9228

we have added new video describing the components. Check it out here.

Some repair guys say digitizer and glass is different, is that true?

Answer is yes and No. The digitizer which detects your touch is fused to the glass thus makes it as one piece on certain model, and it cannot be replaced separately.  This means you will have to replace the glass/digitizer altogether when the phone has a problem detecting your touch even though it is not broken/cracked and vice versa. However some phones such as Galaxy S3, S4 or iPhone 4 and later model has digitizer fused the LCD thus glass replacement is possible but it is very difficult process.

Please ask us when you have a question so that you can save from wasting your money.

I was told that my phone requires to have whole front panel replaced, but my LCD is fine and only glass is cracked, why?

note2glassiphone 5

Ever since iPhone 4 was released using technology called fusing, almost all of the smartphone manufactures started follow it. Manufactures use special treatment called fusion to put  LCD or LED / Digitizer / Glass together as a one piece keep dust coming under the glass. It makes the screen brighter but this also makes the repair cost high as well because you have to replace whole front screen panel when it’s broken regardless glass was broken only or not.

However some models like iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, Some Galaxy S series and Motorola Razr, and some Blackberries as well as few models of LG, we found  that it is possible to separate and replace the glass off the LCD so that we can pass on the savings to the customers.  Because it is much cheaper to replace glass only when LCD/LED and digitizer is still working while you have broken glass.

 

Please see our example below:

Galaxy S3 with broken glassas you can see in the picture, this Samsung Galaxy S3 had broken glass only.  The digitizer and display is working fully even though we removed the glass so why spend more when you can save?

However not all phones’ glass can be removed due to manufacturer’s different process of making phones.

Please see our list of what phones are possible to remove and replace glass only so that you can save money.

I have a water damaged phone, does putting in rice help?

It helps a little. Many friend would tell you with wet phones is to use uncooked rice. I even heard that on Radio telling people to put their phone in dry rice after vacuming out the moisture! Theoretically this would make sense, as it appears to do the same thing as Molecular Sieve while being readily available to anyone with a well-stocked kitchen.

Unfortunately, rice is not an effective solution a couple of reasons. Rice has a low capacity for atmospheric absorption. It may absorb the liquid water on the case, but our real problem are the tiny drops inside. Also, as rice sits on your shelf, and the shelf at the store before you bought it, in unsealed boxes and bags it slowly sucks in water out of the atmosphere around it, reaching it’s absorption capacity. Let the professionals handle your problem. Here is some pictures of what happens when tried to dry themselves.

Below are the phones that was brought in after the phone stopped working after the customers thought they saved the phone by putting it in the rice or using hair dryer after water spillage and used it for a while. Please note the users who experienced phone working after putting in the bag of rice had the phone that had liquid damage was going to function regardless of rice because they were lucky not to have main board damaged. Please see this video.

waterdam3 waterdam1 waterdam2

 

Some were saved but some were not repairable as it came in too late due what we call “Rice damaged”.

Best thing is to contact local professional repair shop right away when water damage happens, as it can save your money from buying another phone.

So, can you fix water damaged phones?

We want to try!  Basically, any problem can be fixed.  The question becomes “is it worth repairing?”  Without actually seeing the iPhone and having one of our expert technicians perform a complete diagnosis, we can’t really tell over the phone how much the repair will cost.  Bring in or send your phone in, we can run diagnostic for free!

The water damage repair service includes full diagnostics and ultrasonic cleaning. We strive to fully restore your phone with only the ultrasonic cleaning process and majority of the time, no other parts are needed to be replaced in the phone. In the event that additional parts are needed, they will need to be purchased along with the water damage repair service. We guarantee that the phone will be in good working condition or functioning properly once damaged parts are replaced. In the rare case that we can not get your phone working, we will provide you with a couple different options. 1) Send your phone back to you. 2) Offer to purchase the phone from you, since we can still use some of the parts from it, and we like to recycle. Helping the environment is a definite plus! 🙂 3) If the phone functions fine, but has one or two minor features that may not be fully repairable, we will offer you a discounted rate for the repair and send the phone back. We have state of the art equipment that removes any kind of corrosion, minerals, or debris that has built up on your circuit board and components. Corrosion and minerals that build up on the circuit is the most common cause for your phone not functioning properly.

Please note that water-damaged phones are not covered by the cell phone repair guarantee. Water is tricky stuff, so any phone repair complicated by water damage can result in a loss of functionality. Any new damage is not covered by the guarantee, and neither is the damage beyond the original fee charged for the iPhone repair.

What should I do after my phone takes a bath?

First, DO NOT TURN ON your phone. Then dry it off with a towel, then place it in a bag of plain uncooked rice. Then leave the bag of rice complete with iPhone in sunlight, or another warm/dry place.  The rice will wick the moisture out of your iPhone which immediately increases your odds for an “easier” repair!  DO NOT put your iPhone in the oven, even at low temperatures.  DO NOT use a heat gun to dry it out.  Then bring it in to ifixsmartphone.

My iPhone got wet and now the screen is white. Do I need a new LCD screen?

It’s possible!  But since water can easily infiltrate the circuitry on your iPhone, your LCD might still be OK.  It might be that the connector on the LCD has started to corrode, or the connector on the logic board needs to be cleaned.  There are many possibilities when liquid spills occur and if you don’t NEED an LCD, we won’t quote it!

Look the this iPhone screen that got wet.

IMG_8970

We were able to just the fix the water mark which was big savings for customer.

MANY cases our technicians will simply disassemble the iPhone, clean all of it’s components, and reassemble it.  It’s kinda like magic!

Ok, I want iFIXsmartphone to take a look. How do I get started? Do you offer mail in service?

Yes! This is the easy part!  Send your phone in using repair service we are currently offering in our services menu if you are not local and the rest is easy.  Our price includes the shipping back to you. Once we receive the iPhone we’ll contact you within 1 business day to report our findings.

What are your hours, when can I come to your store?

For our Buena Park location, come by between 10 AM to 7 PM on weekdays or 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays. We will diagnose the issue with your machine and give you all of your options.

What does it cost for you to look at my device?

NOTHING! We feel diagnostic fees are predatory in the repair industry, and do not charge them unless we have to use our parts and over 1 hour of time.

Do you work on iPhone only?

Absolutely not!  Bring in your Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC, ZTE – we’ll look at anything. We are able to diagnose and repair many smartphone hardware issues. We specialize in the repair of Apple devices, but are capable & willing to work on a large variety of machines, including other brands.

Proud to not be Apple certified!

How could this be true? Doesn't a lack of certification mean you have no idea what you're doing, or that my repair has a chance of premature failure?

No. To be an Apple certified warranty repair center, to the point that repairs are 100% officially covered under an Apple warranty, the service center must buy their parts from Apple. This gives Apple bargaining power in setting prices of parts, which results in unnecessarily expensive repairs. In order to make a profit, a repair shop must set a very high price for any given service. I am sure some of you who have been to Genius Bar and have heard “your iPhone screen replacement will be $295.”

Here is an example, that LCD cost $68 from a Korean vendor of Grade A panels. Apple does not manufacture any of these parts they resell to the repair shops. Apple sells the part to a service center for 3-6 times its actual cost, which is the reason Apple Authorized service centers are so expensive. Apple knows that customers prefer shops that are Apple authorized service centers. It has little to do with getting you better service or a better repair.

But doesn't Apple rigorously test those parts to ensure quality?

No. Are you curious as to what “Apple Authorized” means? One might assume this makes it a better part, but they’re the same parts we purchase. As one can see from forums such as macrumors, Apple has no real high tech process to weed out displays with issues such as dead pixels, as a lot of people receive displays with them. Look up the issues with the LG display on 15″ Retinas.

The difference is that we test parts the old fashioned way, by plugging them in before using them. The personal touch can’t be beat.

Don't Apple certified techs better know how to take apart a machine?

No. We’ve heard “I used to work at Apple” many times. It typically means they’re still removing the hinge cover over the inverter board and the keyboard to plug your new LCD in. Read around!

Apple certified technicians are not allowed to even solder on a motherboard when performing a repair for a customer. AASP’s methods & options to repair are incredibly limited, and you’ll experience the consequences of these limitations firsthand when you get your bill.

What about workmanship? Doesn't being certified by Apple mean my machine will be put back together properly?

One would think so! I once serviced a machine for a business who had the keyboard replaced by Apple. They paid hundreds of dollars, it had two screws missing, and the top case was permanently misaligned. They were told it would not be perfect cosmetically after being refurbished. This is typical!

A common example is with A1150, A1211, A1226, and A1260 model Macbook Pros. If you’ve had Apple work on your machine, remove the battery. Look at the two screws on the side facing the front, the trackpad button. These screws likely are not put in all the way. They’re inserted at an angle, because the person putting them back in is using a screwdriver too long and thick to allow him(or her) to insert them straight. This is a small detail, but it showcases a good point: that you barely need to know how to use a screwdriver to call yourself “Apple Certified”, and shows a lack of broader experience on the part of most “certified” technicians working on these machines.  Being Apple certified means someone’s passed a test and can read a manual. It doesn’t mean they have years of experience servicing gear in mission critical environments, where workmanship counts. We do.

I learned how to service electronics the old fashioned way, with an apprenticeship alongside senior techs. I worked on broadcast consoles and tape machines in the tech shops of professional studios. Real clients lost real thousands per day when gear malfunctioned, and the gear we repaired was expected to work 30 years late, far beyond the lifespan of today’s disposable electronics.

What about other non-Apple repair facilities?

There’s tons of bad parts out there. Big shops that try to do it all do not have the time or money to weed through all the different parts suppliers in order to save you money. It’s easier for them to charge a high price and buy the part at high markup from established resellers or have a low price and buy generic junk from eBay. Both approaches give you the short end of the stick.

It requires time consuming cherry picking and research to consistently find good parts at good prices. Leave that work to us. Often good parts can be had at lower prices than knockoffs, but you have to know where to look.

What about places that are Apple Authorized at a really low price?

If someone tells you they are Apple certified and give an amazing price, it doesn’t mean they are Apple Authorized to do the repair they are actually doing. They could be Apple Authorized to operate a cash register behind the bar at an Apple store. They could be someone who got fired from an Apple store for smoking weed in the break room – you really have no idea.

If someone’s priced 10%-20% over me and they claim the repair is Apple authorized, it’s just not true. In order for that specific repair job they performed to be Apple authorized, it has to be done with their parts, and this costs a serious premium.

How will your repair affect my warranty?

Anyone who isn’t a fully Apple authorized warranty repair facility is technically voiding your warranty.

However, in reality, Apple can’t tell the device’s been opened or repaired, by just looking at it. Our meticulous workmanship ensure they’ll never know we were there. (If Apple decides to disassemble the device and look inside, they might be able to tell as our part are marked with our logo inside).  Will the next housecall repair person use a magnetized tray to ensure each screw is saved?

How is service this fast attainable?

We have a streamlined business structure. As soon as you become a customer, your machine is a priority until it is done. We limit outsourcing and do most repairs here, often getting started the moment you walk in.

All parts necessary are stocked. We don’t have to order a part in order to perform your repair in many cases! The second you decide to utilize a service, we’re ready.

How is this so cheap?

These services aren’t cheap. A better term would be “affordable by contrast.” Other repair centers base pricing on high overhead. One large form of overhead is ordering parts 1 at a time. They must deal with faulty parts, pay expedited shipping rates to get them there in a reasonable timeframe, and pay extreme markups. Our supply company sells to us at cost, and gets parts direct from the manufacturer.

Certain competitors are paying 20%-40% more for the same parts at the same quality level because they lack a structured, aggressive parts sourcing system.

Lastly, we do not employ unnecessary staff. You may be used to walking into a store with 4-10 people. In these cases, most of the people are looking for guidance from 1 or 2 senior techs. We do not employ technicians that cannot perform every service offered by themselves. You will find here that even our receptionist knows how to fix an iPad without ripping the wi-fi antenna. Smarter employees leads to a more efficient work environment

I'm going to use someone who says he can do it for $29 instead when you quoted $45.

Best of luck to you. Most of these places aren’t real businesses, or are real businesses staffed by people who are inexperienced and learn from by practicing on your equipment, or learn off youtube. It’s a great source of information, but watching youtube doesn’t make one a tech. It makes them someone who knows how to follow the instructions given to them off a video. The subtleties of proper workmanship and repair cannot be learned through a video, but only through extensive hands-on experience. When your machine has another problem(these are physically damaged devices we work on) and other problems present themselves, what is inexperienced technician going to do?

 

In addition, consider part quality being used.  Even though they are made to same size, the finish and the quality can affect the cost of the parts. Please look at the picture below for the comparison.

iphone5qualitycompare

They are same iPhone 5 Glass, but look at the quality.  Should I say more?

 

What makes us better? A lot of the gear I worked on was over 30 years old, and used in mission critical environments. One second of downtime is unacceptable as it will render a recording useless. If one thinks opening a slightly abused 2 year old laptop is difficult, imagine working on a 55 year old Pultec equalizer, where the parts are practically turning to dust as you touch them! The level of workmanship necessary to keep these from failing again and to successfully get it back in service is considerably higher than the level of workmanship necessary to get a laptop back together. Rest assured your machine won’t be leaving with missing screws, broken pieces, or misaligned parts; we know better.

I've called you to negotiate payment or emailed with concerns on price and you've hung up on me, and won't take my calls, were rude, or won't get back to me. How come?

There is only one circumstance where this ever occurs: when dealing with a lowballer. If you’ve called, received a price quote, and asked if someone would do it for less, you’re not getting anything done here. Don’t bother calling back or trying to fix this after the fact, your name and number has been recorded for future blacklisting.

Is this a one man show or is there something to the "Group"?

Think “Murphy Group” on Entourage. He does have the elderly receptionist out front, but for the most part, it’s just him. Same here.

Do you use OEM Parts?

We want to! Whenever there is OEM parts available, we want to use it as it provides best repair result. However, there are some looking for a deal when they are under a budget, so we do also carry non-OEM, so called “after-market” parts.  Does that mean it’s bad? Not necessarily. It is designed to work the same but the part is made with low cost. To learn more about non-OEM parts, please visit our blog page as we are continuously updating about it.

Lastly, why should I use iFIXsmartphone?

As stated above, I learned how to service electronics the old fashioned way, an apprenticeship at a top class facility. You can rest assured the part being put in your machine comes from a reputable supplier; not eBay. We offer a very narrow scope of repair services in order to be able to offer the best turnaround time, best prices, best customer service. We never act with less than admiral integrity. It’s casual professionalism at its best, with basic admirable values trumping aggressive sales and shoddy workmanship.