What to do with an old and broken iPhone

Almost a year ago, after an enjoyable Christmas party, I dropped my 16GB iPhone 3G.

It was a sad day.

I got a new phone earlier this year, put the old 3G in a box, and then forgot about it. A few weeks ago when I was moving things around I re-discovered it and decided I should have a go at fixing the screen.

I looked around for information about replacing the screen, and the best how-to articles I could find were the ones at TidBITS and wikiHow.


These sites told me that I needed to buy a new digitizer and screen kit (fortunately the LCD hadn’t been damaged when I dropped the phone), so I hopped over to eBay and bought one of these for £13, which duly arrived a couple of days later.

I followed the instructions and after a minor issue removing one of the screws that attaches the screen frame to the LCD (be careful with the tiny little things), I had the broken glass removed, the new screen attached, and the iPhone back together and working.

Once I’d made sure that everything was working perfectly, I decided that I wanted to get rid of the phone rather than keep it. I was directed to Mobile Valuer (a MoneySavingExpert site), plugged in the details of the phone, and was shown who would give me money for it.

I chose to go with Royal Mail’s Simply Drop.

I filled out their form online, received a valuation (£155) and a unique code, and was then sent a special envelope so that I could send the phone to them (after removing all my old data).

On Saturday morning I wandered in to town, wrote my unique code on the envelope and then paid for registered mail. This cost me £5.50 but meant the phone was fully insured for the £155 I was hoping to get back.

Two mornings later I got an email and an SMS message from Simply Drop telling me that they’d inspected the phone, were happy that it was in fully working order, and that £155 would be transferred to my Paypal account (Simply Drop provides a number of payment options, including donating the payment to charity). The next day the money arrived, and by this morning (just 5 days after sending my phone in) the money was already in my bank account.

If you have a go:

  • Make sure to get the right digitizer/LCD (and get it from a reputable dealer)
  • Be very careful that you don’t strip the screws when removing the screen frame from the LCD
  • Be very careful when removing the screen glass (lots of little tiny shards)
  • Send your phone to a company that you feel confident about

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