Apple iPhone 4s - Replacing the UMTS antenna

Your phone has a weak signal or no signal at all

  • iPhone 4s
  • 15 Steps
  • Easy
  • 30 min.
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Introduction

In this guide, we show you how to replace your iPhone 4s’ defective UMTS antenna. This repair can help if your iPhone can no longer find a signal, or only gets a weak one.

Required tools

  • For storing screws

    For storing screws

    We recommend storing your screws so you don’t mix up the various screws and small parts.

    €10.00 at the iDoc store
  • Menda ESD Spudger

    Menda ESD Spudger

    You need a flat plastic prying tool to disconnect the various plugs and connectors.

    €5.00 at the iDoc store
  • Tweezers

    Tweezers

    We recommend using tweezers to remove screws and various small parts from your device.

    €16.00 at the iDoc store
  • Steel Laboratory Spatula

    Steel Laboratory Spatula

    You need a flat and sturdy prying tool to disconnect glued parts.

    €9.00 at the iDoc store
  • Pentalobe PL1 screwdriver

    Pentalobe PL1 screwdriver

    You need the right screwdriver for removing pentalobe PL1 screws.

    €10.00 at the iDoc store
  • Phillips PH00 screwdriver

    Phillips PH00 screwdriver

    You need the right screwdriver for removing PH00 screws.

    €10.00 at the iDoc store

Required replacement part

Show all replacement parts for the iPhone 4s 

Replacement parts and tools for this repair

Our tools plus the right spare part help you fix your device easily.

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Getting started

If you get stuck or have questions, you can post a comment for each step. We’d be happy to help.

15 steps
  1. Removing the enclosure screws

    iPhone 4s - Removing the enclosure screws 01
    1. You need a pentalobe screwdriver to open your phone.
    2. Remove the two pentalobe screws at the bottom of the enclosure. They are located to the right and left of the dock connector. Put the screws in the same compartment of your organizer tray.
      2 x 3.6 mm pentalobe screws
  2. Removing the back cover

    iPhone 4s - Removing the back cover 01
    iPhone 4s - Removing the back cover 02

    1. Use your thumbs or the palm of your hand to push the back cover of your iPhone about 4 mm away from the bottom of the phone where the dock connector is (see figure 1).
    2. Then you can lift the back cover at the end that’s sticking out past the phone (see figure 2).
  3. Disconnecting the battery connector

    iPhone 4s - Disconnecting the battery connector 01
    iPhone 4s - Disconnecting the battery connector 02
    1. If your iPhone’s still on, turn it off now by holding down the standby button for about five seconds and following the prompt on the display.
    2. Remove the two Phillips screws on the battery connector using a Phillips screwdriver (see figure 1). Put the screws in the same compartment of your organizer tray.
      1 x 1.5 mm Phillips screw
      1 x 1.3 mm Phillips screw
      The contact point on the logic board could come off. If the contact point breaks off but the soldering points are still intact, you can solder the contact point back on.
    3. Now carefully lift off the battery connector by inserting the pointed ESD spudger slightly below the silver cover plate (see figure 2). If you don’t have a spudger, you can also try using your fingernail.
    4. For the rest of the repair, you can also use the metal laboratory spatula instead of the spudger. This may make some steps easier for you. However, we explicitly recommend using the ESD spudger produced specifically for precision electronics.
  4. Removing the battery

    iPhone 4s - Removing the battery 01
    iPhone 4s - Removing the battery 02
    iPhone 4s - Removing the battery 03
    1. The antenna cover is under the battery connector. Remove the cover and put it in the same compartment of your organizer tray as the Phillips screws you removed before (see figure 1).
    2. Now remove the battery. It’s sometimes glued firmly in place. Insert the flat end of the spudger into the space (about 1 cm to the left of the volume down button) between the battery and the outer frame, and slowly lift the battery (see figure 2). If the battery’s really stuck on, use other leverage points to the right and left of the original spot to pry it off. If you still can’t detach the battery, you can use a heat gun to warm it slightly from the outside and soften the glue.
    3. Now you can also disconnect the antenna connector by carefully pulling it off the plug head using the spudger (see figure 3).
  5. Plastic tab

    iPhone 4s - Plastic tab 01
    iPhone 4s - Plastic tab 02
    1. Fold the plastic tab with the warning over and press it firmly onto the lower adhesive strip. This way, it won’t get in the way during your repair.
    2. Of course, you can also remove the plastic tab.

  6. Disconnecting the dock connector cable

    iPhone 4s - Disconnecting the dock connector cable 01
    iPhone 4s - Disconnecting the dock connector cable 02
    iPhone 4s - Disconnecting the dock connector cable 03

    1. Remove the two Phillips screws from the dock connection cable and remove the silver cover (see figure 1).
      1 x 1.1 mm Phillips screw
      1 x 1.4 mm Phillips screw
    2. Put the screws and cover in the same compartment of your organizer tray. It’s easy to tell them apart.
    3. Now you can carefully detach the connector by using the pointed tip of the spudger to lift the connector. Alternatively, you can also use your fingernail again (see figure 2).
    4. Pull the flat cable that’s lightly glued in place off of the logic board and bend it carefully over the frame (see figure 3).
  7. Removing the speaker

    iPhone 4s - Removing the speaker 01
    iPhone 4s - Removing the speaker 02
    1. Loosen the two Phillips screws on the speaker but only remove the one in the turquoise circle (see figure 1). This way, you won’t have to struggle to get the little black triangle back in later. Put the screw in a separate compartment of your organizer tray.
      1 x 2.5 mm Phillips screw (just loosen)
      1 x 2.5 mm Phillips screw
    2. Use the spudger to remove the speaker (see figure 2).

  8. Preparing the new antenna

    iPhone 4s - Preparing the new antenna 01
    iPhone 4s - Preparing the new antenna 02

    1. You have to remove the old antenna that’s attached to the speaker. Unscrew the two equally sized Phillips screws (see figure 1).
      2 x 1.6 mm Phillips screws
    2. Now remove the antenna, which is glued on, using the laboratory spatula and then stick a new antenna on (see figure 2).
    3. Then you have to fasten the two Phillips screws again.
  9. Installing the speaker

    iPhone 4s - Installing the speaker 01
    iPhone 4s - Installing the speaker 02
    1. Put the speaker back in.
    2. At first, only tighten the two Phillips screws on the speaker a little bit (see figure 1).
      1 x 2.4 mm Phillips screw
      1 x 2.4 mm Phillips screw
    3. The speaker’s clips have to be against the speaker behind the higher level of the middle cover (see figure 2). This is easiest if you only slightly screw in the speaker at first so it can still move around a little.
    4. Once the clips are fitted properly, you can tighten the screws.

  10. Attaching the dock connector cable

    iPhone 4s - Attaching the dock connector cable 01
    1. Connect the dock connection cable again and put the silver cover on it.
    2. Fasten the two Phillips screws for the dock connection cable.
      1 x 1.1 mm Phillips screw
      1 x 1.4 mm Phillips screw
  11. Aligning the plastic tab

    iPhone 4s - Aligning the plastic tab 01
    1. Detach the plastic tab with the warning or stick it back in if you took it out.
  12. Installing the battery

    iPhone 4s - Installing the battery 01
    iPhone 4s - Installing the battery 02
    iPhone 4s - Installing the battery 03
    1. Now put the battery back in the iPhone.
    2. First you have to attach the antenna connector again (see figure 1).
    3. Then install the antenna cover (see figure 2).
    4. Now click the battery connector back into place and screw it in (see figure 3).
      1 x 1.5 mm Phillips screw
      1 x 1.3 mm Phillips screw
  13. Attaching the back cover

    iPhone 4s - Attaching the back cover 01
    1. Put the back cover back on and carefully push it the last few millimeters toward the dock connector.
  14. Fastening the enclosure screws

    iPhone 4s - Fastening the enclosure screws 01

    1. Now screw in the two screws at the bottom of the enclosure.
      2 x 3.6 mm pentalobe screws
    2. Then all you have to do is push in the SIM card tray.
  15. Setting the time

    iPhone 4s - Setting the time 01

    When the battery is removed from the device, the iPhone loses the time and sets itself to 1:00 a.m. on 1/1/1970. You could have trouble connecting to the cellular network if the time isn’t set.

    After a repair, complete the following steps:

    1. Synchronize your iPhone with iTunes or connect to a WLAN network and wait until the time is set.
    2. Remove the SIM tray with the SIM card and reinsert it.
    3. Activate airplane mode on the device and then deactivate airplane mode.
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