If the camera on your iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS has stopped functioning you can DIY repair it in about 20 minutes and it'll cost you far less than getting an out-of-warranty repair from Apple, or giving up and buying a new iPhone. All you need are the right tools, the right parts, and the right guide. Just like taking care of your old car can keep it on the road for years to come, taking care of your older iPhones can keep them in service for you, or the family and friends you hand them down to, or keep their value higher for resale.
Disclaimer: As with any repair, iMore nor PXLFIX can be held responsible for any damage you may do to your device. It’s also worth considering that opening up your device to perform any repair or modification can and will void your Apple warranty. If you don’t feel comfortable opening your device, don’t. Use extreme care and caution when performing a repair on any device.
It's always worth first trying an iOS restore to rule out a possible software issue before performing a hardware repair. Also, if you cracked the actual glass over the camera lens this won't help you. You'll need to replace the actual back housing of your device instead.
PXLFIX recommends using only quality and genuine parts from a reputable supplier like eTech Parts. They have quality parts, tools, and much more for all your repair needs.
Before performing any repair, always power off your device before removing any screws or parts.
Using your #00 Phillips screwdriver, remove the 2 screws located on each side of the dock connector.
This part can be a bit tricky so please do this with extreme care so you don't tear any cables during the process. I highly recommend using the suction cup method unless your screen is cracked above the home button for some reason and you can't get a proper seal with the suction cup.
Suction cup method (recommended):
The easiest way to remove the digitizer assembly is by using a suction cup.
Spudger/razor blade method (only use this method as a secondary method):
ONLY use this method if your screen is cracked above the home button. If this is the case, you'll need to use a razor blade or spudger in order to remove it. And while you're at it, replace that broken screen!
Remove the cables that attach the digitizer assembly to the logic board:
Once you have the bottom of your digitizer assembly popped up we can remove the cables attaching it to the logic board.
Using your SIM tool or a paperclip, either works, remove your SIM card and tray from your device.
The camera on both the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is connected by a single cable attached to the under side of the logic board. Pop off the old camera with your spudger or pry tool and connect the new one.
All that's left to do is to put your iPhone back together. You can watch the complete repair and re-assembly on video below. And if you run into any issues or have other suggestions about mods or repairs you'd like to see us cover, you can check out our brand new mod and DIY forum.
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