Converting AT&T iPhone 4 from Black to White

Last night I finished converting a black iPhone 4 (AT&T) to new white casing.  The whole process took 4-5 hours and more than one order of parts.

I bought a cracked iPhone 4 from ebay.  This is how it looked before the conversion:


There are many sites such as iFixit that tell you how to take the iPhone 4 apart.  They don’t do as good of a job telling you how to put it back together, but you can just follow the directions in reverse.  There are many tiny screws in the phone.  You can take a piece of tape and stick the screws on it to make sure you don’t lose any.  Screwing the little screws back in is what takes the most time.

Look at all those little screws.

The first time I ordered parts I made the mistake of ordering directly from Hong Kong.  It took a little over a week to receive the mailings.  If you search by distance on ebay you should be able to find some sellers who have already imported the parts.  The packages are small enough that they will only take a couple of days by first class mail.

You might want to also replace the battery while your poking around in there.  After a year or so of charges the battery does begin to get weaker.

Major tip, if you are replacing the front screen glass just order the entire assembly including the lcd and digitizer.  These parts are laminated (glued) together in the iPhone 4.  So it becomes difficult to remove the old lcd or digitizer without causing damage.  Ordering the entire assembly also avoids problems associated with lining up the panels and dust contamination.  I ordered each part separately the first time and ended up having to order an entire assembly in the end.  The assembly can be found for around $56 on ebay.

You should also order a white home button and replacement cable from the same person you order the screen assembly from.  They will cost about $3 each.  The first button I received had the wrong cable attached and was slightly too large to fit into the new slot.  You can get around this by reusing the old cable (fragile) and gently filing around the edges of the new button with a nail clip file.  One of the back panels I ordered actually had a fake camera lens and one of the speaker assemblies was missing the antenna cable. Some of these after market parts don’t seem to have strict quality control.  But on the other hand the oem Apple parts are made in similar factories in China.


In the end everything worked out great and the phone looks fantastic.  The screen looks bright and sharp and there was no dust or dead pixels.  Personally I think that the white phone looks more attractive now.  The oem white iPhone is actually slightly thicker than the black one. I compared the conversion to a black iPhone 4 at work and it retains its slimness.










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