iPhone 5s went for a swim in a CO hot spring during a cross country road trip.
My wife and I recently moved from the Santa Cruz Mountains (a stone's throw away from the heart of the Apple cult) to the greater Detroit area. We decided to take three months to explore some areas on the West coast that we wanted to mark off of the 'ol bucket list. About halfway through our trip, we decided to take a break in a small CO town known for their hot springs, and I couldn't get in those hot tubs quick enough. When it happened, my phone was in an old beat up life proof case, so I was hopeful that maybe the phone wasn't completely shot. By the time I realized what had happened, I yanked the phone out of my pocket, only to watch as the screen glitched out and faded to black. I immediately put the phone on rice, not having any tools, and we drove around for weeks with a phone on rice. I frantically ran around three states stopping at Best Buys, Targets, various tool shops, and Walmarts, scouring their inventories for the proper tool to get under the hood of my iPhone. I eventually got so fed up with wasting my precious vacation time on phone drama that I ordered an iFixit toolkit and a replacement battery to arrive at our final destination in MI a few days before we got there.
Being unable to open the phone for as long as I was locked out of it (17 days), hindered any realistic options of me fixing it. I viewed this as a blessing in disguise, and decided I was going to do a complete teardown. When we finally arrived to my in-laws house, where my tools were, I immediately went to work on the phone. This was my biggest mistake, aside from the actual hot tub part, of course. The in-laws wanted to chat me up while I was borderline delirious from driving through the wee hours. I tried to stay focused, but succumbed to the need of rest in a real bed. I awoke the following day to find that Mr. Meow had decided to sunbath on the table where I had left the magnetic mat with phone guts strewn about. Too many parts were gone without a trace: spacers, those 'lil screws, you name it. I was able to remove the old battery, but decided to keep the replacement battery for my future frankenstein phone. That's where I'm currently at, frequently checking Facebook Market and Craigslist for those sweet deals on busted up cheap phones I can mine for parts.
1. Leave your phone in the car at hot springs.
2. Magnets may be strong, but never underestimate the chaotic power of destructive indifference in the domesticated feline.
3. Apple makes great products, but they really try to make it as hard/inconvenient as possible for the consumer to do their own maintenance. Had I been able to just unscrew the first two screws with a standard eyeglass repair kit, or something that was readily available, I don't think the damage would have been nearly as substantial.
4. Having decent tools makes all the difference.