Low-Cost Refurbished Apple iPhone Deals For the Holiday Season

The List of Affordable Unlocked GSM Apple iPhones Via Amazon

Refurb iPhones.jpg

If you don’t want to drop $600 to $1000 or more on a new iPhone this holiday season but you are also too cautious to test the used phone market, there’s an option via Amazon. You can get every single model of the iPhone refurbished from Apple on the website, and I’ve done all the hunting work for you.

I used to broker previously-owned iPhones myself through my shop Gadget Gurus, but I got away from dealing used equipment due to the problems that would pop up down the road. I started advising people to only buy new iPhones that come with a warranty, because it was just too risky buying used, even if they were rebuilt by myself.

Now we don’t have to worry about that, because I’ve sourced out several Apple-official refurbished iPhones from Amazon that come with a warranty. I’ll be sharing them with you over the next few weeks, starting with the lowest priced models that still run fine on the current version of iOS.

To kick it off, here are several that I found on the site that are all GSM-unlocked iPhones that can be used on any GSM carrier. If you don’t know what that means, call your service carrier before you buy. But that includes AT&T, T-Moble, and the non-contract GSM providers like Cricket Wireless.

“Unlocked” means you can activate it on the network of your choice. A locked phone will only work with one carrier. Since the phone will be paid for in full without a payment plan, you’re free to run it on any of the available GSM networks.

Here’s the list of the GSM iPhones I found tonight that are priced in the range of $128.99 to $254.99. The models go from the iPhone 5 through the iPhone 6s in various colors. Click the links and you’ll exit my blog and be taken straight to Amazon where you can purchase the phones.

Post a comment below if you have questions, and stay tuned for the next level of phones that I pluck out on Amazon that I believe are good deals for you! Clicking on the links provided will help support the CZ blog site and the Gadget Gurus business, so thank you in advance!

Here’s the phones. The prices are current as of 12-18-2018:

iPhone 5 GSM Unlocked 16Gb White $128.99

iPhone 5 GSM Unlocked 16Gb White $128.99

iPhone 6 GSM Unlocked 16Gb Space Gray $189.99

iPhone 6 GSM Unlocked 16Gb Space Gray $189.99

iPhone 6 GSM Unlocked 64Gb Space Gray $194.25

iPhone 6 GSM Unlocked 64Gb Space Gray $194.25

iPhone SE GSM Unlocked 16Gb Rose Gold $169.98

iPhone SE GSM Unlocked 16Gb Rose Gold $169.98

iPhone 6S GSM Unlocked 16Gb Rose Gold $224.99

iPhone 6S GSM Unlocked 16Gb Rose Gold $224.99

iPhone 6S GSM Unlocked 64Gb Rose Gold $249.00

iPhone 6S GSM Unlocked 64Gb Rose Gold $249.00

iPhone 6S GSM Unlocked 64Gb Rose Gold $254.97

iPhone 6S GSM Unlocked 64Gb Rose Gold $254.97

iPhone 6S GSM Unlocked 64Gb Space Gray $254.97

iPhone 6S GSM Unlocked 64Gb Space Gray $254.97

See you next time,

Carlton Flowers
The Gadget Guru

iPhone 5 Bulging Battery - A Real Safety Hazard To Watch


December 13, 2018 Update

Due to the popularity of this post and the continued relevance of the issue, I’m going to be providing ongoing updates to the bulging battery issue.

This is the 2nd most popular article I have ever written, and it continues to draw a significant amount of traffic to my blog on a daily basis. The reason is, bulging iPhone batteries is still a safety issue.

The iPhone 5 saw a significant jump in bulging battery failure, and the reason was due to the increase in size and the flattening out of the phone’s design. It is also due to the increase in the size and power of the lithium battery that powered the newer model.

But due to smartphones being developed with more powerful processors, higher resolution power-sucking LCD displays, bigger size, and even flatter form factors, battery failures have continued to be an issue to the current date. It is still as important as ever to watch the signs of battery failure to avoid permanent damage to your iPhone.

All iPhone models from the 6S to the current X series are still susceptible to battery failure, and require replacement in as little as a year depending on how the phone is used and properly cared for. That is why I suggest that you pay close attention to the following signs that will let you know it is time to see a qualified iPhone repair shop like my own in order to have the battery replaced.

The following will cover all of the critical signs that you need to look out for in order to prevent irreversible damage to your phone, and even injury from an exploding or combusting battery.

Sign #1 - Your Phone Often Overheats

If you notice that your phone warms rapidly when you are running applications that draw a lot of power, it is definitely possible that you are dealing with a damaged battery. The battery is comprised of several super-thin layers of lithium and insulators, and when you drop or bend your phone, the integrity of the layers can be compromised.

When the layers are damaged, the battery will will short out, causing electricity to find a quicker pathway through the battery. You’ll experience a faster-than-normal battery drain, and this is what causes the buildup of heat. Use your judgment and take note of the temperature of your phone compared to when you first started using it, and this will give you a clear clue to possible damage developing inside of the battery.

Sign #2 - Your Battery Power Drops In Chunks

Watch closely for how smoothly your power drops from your battery indicator on the screen. It should drop evenly, and only one percentage at a time. If you power your phone on and it is showing 100%, and within minutes it drops to 80% or less, or if it moves evenly down to 50% and then drops straight down to 20%, for example, this is an indication of a short.

Significant jumps point to the fact that your battery is draining improperly. When your iPhone drops in entire chunks at a time, that means you have damage to the lithium layers within the battery. The problem will only get worse, and it will eventually start showing the physical evidence explained in Sign #2. Get your battery replaced before this happens!

Sign #3 - Your Battery Is Bulging

After the lithium layers have been compromised and left unattended over a period of time, it will start to bulge out. This is a dangerous situation that requires immediate attention. Your clue that you have a bulging battery will be discoloration in the center section of the screen, and you will possibly even see the screen bulging out on the sides of the phone.

In my experience of doing repairs, I have seen screens similar to what is pictured above where there is a visible gap between the LCD assembly and the sides of the frame. This means you only have a short amount of time before the battery explodes inside the phone, or catches on fire.

I have seen iPhone logic boards burned out, which spells disaster for your smartphone. There is no fix once you have damaged the logic board, so it is imperative that you have the battery replaced when you see the physical results of the bulging damaged battery.

When pulling a bulging battery from an iPhone for replacement, I have had the experience of seeing the battery actually smoke, and burst into flame when it is bent while extracting it from the frame. It’s not a fun situation, and I have suffered burned fingers as a result. Take my word for it, you don’t want to wait that long before addressing the problem.


As iPhone models continue to evolve, they will require more power, hence bigger batteries. And while everyone wants bigger screens and flatter phones, the problem will only persist. Keep your eyes on your phone, because it is truly a sad experience to see an iPhone owner lose all of their data when a phone sets on fire because the repair was put off to the last possible minute.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of your precious pictures that you have saved over the years. So my advice to iPhone users is to ALWAYS back up your data to the cloud, and pay close attention to the health of your phone. It is also important to realize that dropping or bending your phone will accelerate the the shortening of your battery’s life, so take extreme care with how you handle your phone.

Thanks for checking out this post, and I’m super grateful for all of my loyal blog followers. Please take a minute to check out my cool offers to help support the cost of continuing the helpful updates, and post your comments below if you have an interesting experience to share about your phone’s battery!

The original post from 2015 follows after the affiliate product link below. Thanks again for reading!


Okay folks, pay attention closely if you own an iPhone 5, 5C, or 5S. The life of your phone could depend on it.

Tonight, I had the pleasure of fixing a gentleman's iPhone 5 that had a situation where the screen was popping up. Plus, when pressing your finger on the front glass, you could see discoloration on the LCD in a vertical area.

At first, I thought he just had a defective screen assembly where the glass separates from the plastic and metal brackets. But the owner also told me that he had a bad battery, and believed it was bulging and forcing the display out from the metal phone frame.

I asked him if the battery was doing strange things, like discharging rapidly, or charging erratically. He said no, the charge was doing fine, but it was only the problem of battery bulge. I wouldn't have believed it until I saw it.

Just as you seen the in picture, his phone was coming apart on the top end of the screen, which made it extremely difficult for me to remove the LCD assembly from the metal frame. It took quite a while for me to carefully pry up the screen without permanently damaging the LCD.

I told him that it was a 50/50 shot at getting this screen removed and having it go back in without any problems, but we decided to trudge forward. After much to do, I successfully got the screen removed from the frame.

Lo and behold, the battery inside the phone was bulging, just as he described. What causes this to happen is that the layers of lithium inside the battery that are separated by a thin film find a way to short circuit, thus making the battery bulge.

The battery bulging will force the screen assembly out of the frame, and could end up in permanent damage to the LCD. But worse than that, the battery can bulge to the point that it eventually explodes, or in rare cases, catches on fire.

I learned a good lesson on just how dangerous dealing with lithium ion iPhone batteries can be a couple of years ago when I hastily removed an iPhone 4S battery from a frame. Using a metal spudger, I forced the battery out quickly, causing it to bend. That bending caused the thin layers of insulation between the lithium layers to break down, short-circuiting the battery.

I grabbed the battery with my fingers to pry it out after bending it with the spudger, and noticed an acutely painful sensation in my finger. After I snatched my hand away from the battery, a small orange ember appeared, and then a flame shot out from the battery.

Keeping my burned finger in a bowl of ice half the night to cool the barbecue sensation taught me a fine lesson about respecting lithium batteries, and how dangerous they can be. That's why I knew to be super careful when I removed the screen from this iPhone 5 only to discover a bulged battery that needed to come out.

The Apple Corporation did a massive recall on the iPhone 5 for defective batteries. But they left half the defective phones out in the wild, denying a great percentage of people a repair covered under warranty. So they are still out there.

If you notice your screen popping up, know that this is a potentially serious issue that you should have checked out immediately. And don't try to remedy it yourself unless you are willing to potentially tear up your phone, burn your fingers, have your battery explode.

My advice? Leave it up to the experts, and get it fixed as soon as you notice the symptoms!

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Guru Safety Advisor

My Top 5 Reasons I Won't Get A New iPhone


Here's the first of a series of "Top 5" lists! Today's top 5? Why you won't see me in line anytime soon buying an iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 6, M, Mega, Mini, or anything else they come out with. Here we go!

1) It's Too Small - my eyes are too old. I can't read text on the screen. That just sucks. Make it bigger Apple, and maybe I'll think about it. Sadly, even the rumored iPhone 6 is said to only have a 4.7" diagonal display. That's so 2010.

2) No Text Reflow - Apple joins the idiots at Samsung on this one. Panning side-to-side to read sentences after zooming in on text is just plain stupid. Unless I fall and hit my head, and become stupid, I'm not signing up for this kind of reading abuse.

3) They Break - All you people who think iPhones are like "jeweler's quality", you can keep them. Drop it from 2' and it's toast. I feel sorry for all the people with a brand new iPhone 5S that they dropped the first month and destroyed the phone. I'd rather buy a rubber ball to bounce on the concrete versus a $750 glass and metal computer.

4) They Malfunction - iPhones do stupid things for no reason. I'm sitting here right now with a friend's iPhone 5S that vibrates, and makes annoying sounds. But the screen won't come on. Not even with a hard reset. It's a known issue. But like always, Apple won't admit this for at least 12 more months and after 1,507,327 more complaints.

5) Apple Thinks We Are Stupid - I don't want my smartphone force-fed into my mouth on a baby spoon like Gerber products. I want to be treated like I am halfway intelligent by my smartphone manufacturer. The arrogance at Apple is and has always been something that I completely don't care for.

That said, I must go to work. I'm reading some tech blog posts on my brand-new Apple iPad Mini with Retina display. And before you call me an anti-Apple troll, I never said I didn't like the iPad!

Carlton Flowers
Top 5 Techno Babbler


3 Stupid-Simple Things Keeping Me From The iPhone


It has been a year and a quarter since I defected from the Walled Garden of Apple. I traded in my iPhone 4 to get a Samsung Galaxy S2, which I'm still using.

I've got a backup iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 4th Gen for WiFi use, but Android is my main operating environment experience.

If I counted everything, there would be quite a laundry list of things that Apple seems to refuse to give me to make me happy (it's all about me).

But looking back, I would have stayed if I could just get three stupid-simple things. I'll share them with you now.

Thing 1 - A Back Button

When running an app that doesn't have an on-screen back button, the only thing you can do to go back a step is to hit the home button and re-enter the app. To me, that is a huge waste of time, even though it only takes a moment. But how simple is the solution?

I love my back button on my Android device, and now I can't live without it. I constantly use the back button to backtrack though my screen taps, especially on Facebook. No on-screen back button on the app? No problem. I have my Android soft button always there waiting for me to give the command to "back that thang up".

Thing 2 - Text Reflow

This is the most maddening of all things that Apple had deprived me of. It's quite possibly one of my most favorite features of Android devies. But for whatever reason, Apple prefers to remain hard-headed about this, turning a deaf ear to the many inquiries about adding this capability to the Safari browser.

When I'm using Opera on my Android device, I can zoon in on text to make it bigger. My browser will re-flow the text, wrapping it downward so all I have to do is scroll down to read. With my old trusty iPhone, I get to pan sideways to read sentences that fly off the right side when you zoom in. I'd rather bang my head up against a brick wall than pan side to side trying to read an article on a smartphone.

Thing 3 - Keyboard Choices

Even though I absolutely love the perfect layout of the iPhone's keyboard, I want variety. Apple has no plans to provide that, when it comes to text input. Don't hold your breath waiting for cool things like Swype for an iPhone. Because it ain't gonna happen.

When I'm on my Android device, I switch from my iPhone Clone keyboard to Swype, then Swiftkey, and more. Once I burn out on a particular keyboard and layout, I  can move to a completely different keyboard that allows me to keep my mind fresh.

I have found my time period to get sick of a particular keyboard is about a week. After that, I have to move to a different style of keyboard to freshen my mind and cut down on typos. It's completely a mental thing, but I seriously enjoy the choices for text entry on Android devices.

So there you have it. Sure, there are 10 or 15 more things I could drone on about. But these three stupid simple things would have been enough for me to tolerate the balance of other things I would have had to give up hope on.

How do you feel about your iDevice? Have you ever thought about these issues? Are you secretly desiring these things, hoping that Apple will some day bend? Or does it not cause you to lose a single minute of sleep? Toss your opinion into the hat in the Disqus comments section!

Carlton Flowers
Spurned/Burned Apple Fanboy


First iPhone 5 Found In The Wilderness


Here it is, folks! The first iPhone 5 that I have spotted in the wild! This one belongs to one of my cohorts, fellow blogger Tim Largent.

When I first saw it, I didn't know I was looking at an iPhone 5. He had it sitting on his desk, downloading his apps from iCloud. When I saw his iPhone 4 sitting on the other side of his desk, I was confused, thinking the iPhone 4 was an iPod or something.

I asked him what the heck he was doing, and he told me he was loading his new phone. That's when it dawned on me (I'm not that bright) that the device I was looking at was in fact his iPhone 5.

Picking it up, it was noticeably thin. He had it in a cheaper rubber case, but even with the case on the device, you could tell that it had a couple of millimeters shaved off. Otherwise, it looked exactly like the iPhone 4, only stretched out a bit.

If someone had plopped that phone in front of me on a table and asked me to identify it, I would have guessed it was an iPhone 4. But after you pick it up and try to access the top left corner of the screen, and can't reach it with your thumb, you reaize it has increased in height.

The new data connector is quite a bit of a switch, about 1/4th the size of the older standard connector. But it's not the magnetic type that you see on the Macbook Air. This has a few iPhone fans a little disappointed, but the new connector is an improvement at least.

The display looks about the same, but with the added pixel height. The new aspect ratio of 16:9 is set up for optimal movie viewing. It looks like the standard iPhone display with an extra row of icons added. That might help for jamming more favorites onto the home screen.

So the bottom line is, for me, that the iPhone 5 is shockingly similar to the iPhone 4/4S form factor. It is a great-looking phone with the newly designed thinness and slightly taller display, but it's more of the same. Apple did not take chances on shaking up the entire design.

The iPhone 5 is not something that would draw me back from Android devices, but I do see this out-selling all previous iPhone models. I think Apple is smartly sticking to what they know works best, and we may not see a radical shift in design for quite some time.

Do you have an iPhone 5, or are you considering getting an upgrade? If so, what carrier is your choice host? Let me know in the comments section below!

Carlton Flowers
iPhone Watcher


iPhone 5 Revealed - Breakthrough iPhone Or Catch-Up Smartphone?


The iPhone 5 has been officially announced! Finally, all the hoopla, waiting, and rumors come to a close. The yearly Apple dog-and-pony-show has been quite an experience. But how will the iPhone 5 be viewed? Is it a breakthrough device, or a catch-up to Android?

My prediction did come true. I blogged that it would make no sense for Apple to release a new generation iPhone without a 16:9 aspect ratio. As I indicated, the screen is 4" x roughly 2.2" wide. That's a perfect 16:9 aspect, which will make this a great device to watch movies and television shows on.

The iPhone 5 is slightly thinner, and claims to be the thinnest smartphone in the world at 7.6 millimeters. Plus it is 20% lighter, weighing in at a slim 112 grams. The display packs 1136x640 pixels, and it is an LTE-capable device with a new A6 processor.

Those are the basic big changes. Everything else is really not earth shattering news. For Apple iPhone owners, I would say that this is a significant upgrade that most people would want to jump on for $199 and a new 2-year contract. If I had an iPhone 4, I would most definitely be buying the iPhone 5 on my next available upgrade.

But for Android users, a lot of what we are seeing would be old news. I don't tend to believe the prognosticators that are saying Android users will leave in droves thanks to all the new features of the iPhone 5. I don't see it surpassing cutting edge Android devices. Instead, it's more of a game of "catch-up".

One thing that CZ Blog Administrator and Crack Reporter Jim "Postal Jim" Stuckey reported to me as he was watching the streaming live event was the excitement over being able to upload from the iOS Facebook app. I wasn't even aware that you couldn't do this. I've had this capability for the past year with my Samsung Galaxy S2 with Android Gingerbread (and now Ice Cream Sandwich).

The front and rear cameras of the iPhone 5 are the same as the cutting edge standards of Android devices. The rear camera is still at 8 megapixels, and the front facing camera comes in with 720p capability. They claim the rear camera is smaller, but I don't see that making any difference in usability.

You can take photos in the middle of shooting video footage with an iPhone 5. That's a really cool feature, but didn't we already see this with the HTC One X smartphone a couple of months ago? I think we did. Again, this is great for Apple users, but not a big deal for Android owners.

One feature of the iPhone 5 that I am excited about is the new lightning connector. No more big fat 1" wide power/data connector plug. Now it is 80% smaller, and you can reverse it. They've cut it down to Android Micro USB size, but you don't have to plug it in with the right side facing up. So that is an advantage over current cutting-edge Android devices.

Another huge improvement of the iPhone 5 that I give Apple credit for is the new aluminum backing. My biggest beef with the iPhone 4/4S was the fragile design. It can't be dropped from a height more than 2' without shattering the display, or cracking the back glass. Hopefully the aluminum design will help it absorb the impact of a drop, and redirect the energy instead of shattering the display.

iOS6 has officially been announced along with the iPhone 5. I'm not sure when the next edition of Apple's operating system will be available for download on the iPhone 4/4S, but it will come pre-loaded on the iPhone 5. There are new features with iOS6, but nothing that has given me a case of Apple envy.

That's about all I've got. To wrap it up, I would highly recommend the iPhone 5 to anyone in the market for a new Apple smartphone. I'm sure the price on the iPhone 4S will drop, but why take the older technology when the cost of the newest device is only about 1/20th of what you'll be paying on that lovely 2-year contract for service? I say go for the gusto.

For Android users, this doesn't look like a device that would draw you back or make you switch. Some will, of course, but former iPhone owners/enthusiasts like myself aren't going to give up the higher capabilities of Android devices to float back to a smaller handset.

What are your thoughts about the iPhone 5? Are you going to be pre-ordering one, or purchasing as soon as you have an available upgrade? Are you an Android user that will be making the switch? Does any of this excite you? I wanna know! Comment away!

Carlton Flowers
iPhone Yawner

CZ Tech Talk Preview - An Unplugged Geek Fest


Hi folks. The CZ Blog Man is in a rare mood. I'm gonna try something new, so don't expect normal. If you are reading this, you agree to the terms and conditions of this post, which are as follows:

  • This post shall ramble on, possibly without end
  • Reader is aware that I may not ever make a point or have a purpose
  • Writer reserves the right to change the topic of discussion every 3rd sentence without warning
  • Post could end abruptly without warning
  • Reader agrees to the terms of payment for the post (this is explained at the end)

Now that you have read and agreed to the terms and conditions of this post, I will be able to continue with what it is that I did not plan to do. And that is ramble on about whatever comes to my mind, kind of like a brainstorming session. So here we go! It's the Unplugged Friday Edition of CZ Tech Talk!


It's bunk. Crap. All these blogs out here posting about this bogus new design that makes the screen only 1/2" taller but the same width are really disappointing me. Come on, geek writers, do you really thing they are going to change the aspect ratio of the iPhone 5?

I talked to my partner, CEO Jake Seeman, of our company CoMo Coding LLC last night. We have an app development company, of which I am the Vice President handling all marketing. I asked CEO Jake if Chief Programmer Stephen Lindhauer had an opinion about these rumors, and if it was causing him any worry. He said yes.

Here's the thing... people like our Chief Programmer Stephen will have a complete psychotic fit if Apple changes the aspect ratio of the next iPhone, because that means all of the current apps would have to be re-written to run on the new weirdly shaped screen.

If they increase the width from 2" to 2.29", that would fit the aspect ratio of the new vertical dimension of 4". That is, IF the new display even ends up with the extra half inch on top. Wait a minute... strike those figures. The current dimension is 3.5" diagonally measured. So adding a 1/2" extra amount to the top would make a greater diagonal distance.

Whatever the case, you get the point. If you make it taller, and not wider, you screw up the aspect ratio. That's why I think all you big boy blog sites are sitting with your heads jammed in a warm moist place for believing this stuff.

Next topic...


I don't know who it is that started this rumor, but as the story is told, they claim that the people of South Korea love the iPhone and are found carrying it much more often than their native Samsung products.

These people also claim that the South Koreans see the iPhone as a status symbol, and they don't give the same respect or value to their own brand.

Well I am glad to report to you that this story is 100% garbage, and I know this for fact. My previously-mentioned partner, CEO Jake Seeman, was actually in South Korea for an entire 2 weeks. He said that EVERYONE in South Korea is walking around carrying phablets. They are all over the place.

He told me that this idea that the countrymen (and women) are carrying iPhones is a complete fabrication. He never saw a single iPhone 3GS while there, and only 2 iPhone 4S's (one of which was his own). So I hand the Turd Trophy to all of you who seem to find it necessary to promote this craptastic rumor.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is coming! We have just a few days until the announcement. Soon after, we should hear about the HTC Phablet that is coming. I am gonna bet that the Samsung version will be better. I love HTC smartphones, but they are too heavy and bulky. I need light and unbreakable.

I cannot wait to get my hands on a phablet. Unless something life-changing and monumental comes out in between today and October when I can upgrade, it's gonna be Phablet Time for me


That's all I have for the moment. that doesn't mean that I won't post another one of these unplugged ramblings in the next 5 minutes though. It just depends on the current state of my ADD/HD. But from now on, when you see the new "CZ Tech Talk" logo, you'll know this is an unplugged post.

But before you go, we have to talk about payment. Yes, that's right, this isn't free. You agreed to the terms and conditions of this post when you started. If you made it this far, it's time to pay up. I don't allow stealing.

To avoid possible prosecution and punitive damages, you must pay for reading this post by dropping a comment in the fantastic Disqus commenting section below. Tell me what you think of the rambling topics, share a new topic, or tell me what your favorite flavor of ice cream is.

Whatever the case, make your payment now or you will receive a citation and fine in your email inbox for violating my terms.

Thanks a bagillion.

Carlton Flowers
CZ Unplugged

iPhone 4 Stuck Power Button - What You Need To Know


I have torn up 2 iPhones in my past. From tearing them up after attempting to fix them, I became quite proficient in the art of fixing them. But today, I uncovered what I believe to be a common issue with the iPhone 4 (4S) - the stuck or sticking power button.

A young friend of mine asked me if I could repair his iPhone 4 that had a mushy power button that no longer clicks. To turn his phone on or wake it back up, he would have to use tremendous force on the sticking power button. I decided to take it on.

I discovered a quick-fix and a real fix for this issue. The quick fix only requires taking the back off of the phone. Apparently, someone was lucky enough to shove a small folded piece of paper in-between the power button and ribbon to give it something to press against in order to activate. This does not work.

It can be a dangerous pseudo repair. If you break the ribbon from putting pressure in the wrong place, you can FUBAR your iPhone power button completely.

The only real repair for this is to compeltely tear down the phone and replace the entire ribbon and button assembly. Unfortunately, this is more time consuming than replacing the LCD/digitizer screen. Everything has to come out. And the replacement ribbon/button assembly is tiny.

The labor for this fix might not be worth the trouble you have to go through. In my opinion, this is a problem that should be taken straight to Apple whether or not the phone is still under warranty. From my research, I'm finding out that this is not a malfunction that comes from abnormal wear.

If you want to see the process you must go through to accomplish the replacement of the ribbon and button, check out www.imore.com and their step-by-step process. You can also check out my favorite iPhone repair site at www.ifixit.com for a great guide. However, if you have never disassembled an iPhone 4/4S, I do not recommend attempting this.

I believe the instances of this issue numbers in the 200,000-plus range. That's proof enough of a manufacturer's defect at worst case, and poor design at least case. I don't think it's a defect, but just a common problem that can occur due to the tight space the button and ribbon assembly have to be squished into.

My recommendation is to find a workaround. You can jailbreak your iPhone and reassign some of the buttons to simulate the power button's functionality. I did this with my iPhone 4 when my home button had the same problem. Instead of hitting the home button when the phone was off, I would depress the volume up + volume down buttons at the same time to turn it on.

If this is not something you want to do, you can call Apple directly and bug the crap out of them until they agree that it is not your fault that they designed the phone this way, and make them repair it for free.

This is just one of a nice list I have of serious Apple iPhone issues that the company doesn't seem to want to deal with. Judging from the response to the original "Antennagate" issue, I am of the belief that they don't want to deal with the headache.

I hate to be critical of Apple's devices, but this is just an unacceptable problem that I think a significant number of people are having. Physical buttons on the iPhone 4, including the home button, power button, volume button, and silence button are all prone to sticking in this same manner.

I'm hoping that Apple resolves this with the iPhone 5, along with the ridiculously fragile cracking screen issue. The iPhone is a solid, heavy "quality-feeling" device, but that obviously comes with a price.

Critics tend to take jabs at manufacturers like Samsung and Pantech for having "plasticky" light-weight devices, but you can't take a blind eye to the fact that they are much much more durable and don't have these common button malfunctions.

Take note of this, Apple, and please save the frustration of countless future customers of yours by resolving these issues on the next breakthrough version of your flagship device!

Carlton Flowers
Defender of Poor Souls Who Own Phaulty iPhones


The First Infallible iPhone 5 Design Prediction


With the release of the Apple iPhone 5 around the corner, it's time for me to make a bold prediction about the design that will stand above all. Here it is: All of the current iPhone 5 design predictions are 100% crap, and I can back that up.

No matter how much "proof" that the current prognosticators have, no matter how credible they may be, they're gonna be dead wrong when the actual device is released. Something we have learned over the years is that Apple has successfully guarded their product releases without fail.

Right now, all eyes are on the alleged iPhone 5 digitizer from China that is featured in a Youtube video being circulated around the net. The video shows a new screen that is the same exact width of the iPhone 4, but about a half an inch taller.

First of all, if this is the only modification we see of the iPhone 5, I would be sorely disappointed. Stretching out the digitizer only in the vertical direction would make no sense. That would mean changing the aspect ratio of the new device.

If you do that, none of the 1.7 bagillion apps currently available for download would work on the iPhone 5, requiring developers to rework their apps to fit the new dimensions. That's not going to happen, folks. Just because we see this fake mockup digitizer does ont guarantee that the odd proportions will end up on the next iPhone.

All we have to do in order to completely discount this garbage story is look back to the release of the iPhone 4S in 2011. How many times did we see stories released which outed iPhone 5 cases that had a new display size? I lost count.

They even went so far to say that entire container loads of new iPhone 5 cases were shipped to the US and stocked in carrier stores. The story sure was believable, but I don't think a single person actually saw a container of these vaporware cases.

Fast forward to the future, and the fake iPhone 5 digitizer with the vertically-stretched design. I call shenanigans. This is complete bunk. If Apple really does have a new bigger display about to hit us in the face, it's not going to be with a different aspect ratio. They will protect the integrity of their App Store products and make it as easy on developers as possible to make the new phone compatible.

So my bold prediction for the iPhone 5 is that it will not look like anything the insiders predict that it will be. I think we will all be in for a surprise, and the suspese will be tremendous. Circulate THIS around the net if you dare.

Carlton Flowers
iPhone 5 DeBunker



iPhone 5 - Breakthrough Device Or Boring Do Over?


So we are on the cusp of another grandioso Apple announcement as we near what could be the release of the iPhone 5... would someone wake me up when it's over? Sure, this might be a great device. But I'm seriously doubting that Apple gets me excited like the days of old.

The former iPhone fanboy has lost his love for the sacred fruit of Cuppertino. I miss the "magicness" of the next-iPhone rampups. That magic has faded since I bought my iPhone 4 in 2010. Now that we are about to see what the iPhone 5 will entail, I have no excitement left whatsoever.

Many of my iPhone fan friends are super excited about the 6th generation of the Apple flagship smartphone. They say it will be a breakthrough device that further seperates itself from the Android competition. But looking at the comparison of the rumored digitizer in the photo, I'm disappointed.

The new iPhone, if this happens to be the real McCoy, will look a lot like the current iPhone 4S but only stretched taller. The diagonal on the display will be 4". That's bummer number one. To me, the standard minimum size for a smartphone is 4.3".

They seem to have stretched the limits of the display to the edges, which is kind of nice. But the display is still too narrow, and too small. The home button looks like it will be slightly smaller, and there is a bit of rearranging going on the top of the face.

There are lots of rumors flying about what the iPhone 5 will be packing on the inside. We can fully expect a 4G LTE radio, 1Gb of RAM, and possibly more storage space than previous models. There might be NFC (near-field communication) and a couple of other tricks, but that's about it.

The data connector/charger cable will be different. They are going to have a plug that looks similar to the Micro USB connector, but it will be a proprietary Apple connector.

Rumors are aslo swirling around to the tune of an improved digitizer glass that is less succeptible to scratching and cracking. As fragile as iPhones are, this would be a humongous improvement. But that wouldn't make me want to run out and get one.

From what I gather, the new iOS6 environment will only get Apple caught up to what Google has already accomplished with Anroid 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich". I'm not expecting to see anything relatively new with mobile operating systems with this device.

So while this might be a great device for Apple fans, it just doesn't excite me. I might end up buying one just to have an Apple phone to test out the apps my company develops, but it wouldn't be my primary phone. My Android device will still reign as my main gadget.

One interesting fact is that each new iPhone has outsold all previous models combined. They are predicting the same for the iPhone 5. That being the case, it really doesn't matter how boring the new iPhone is. They are serving their customer base fine enough, and they are gathering new fans to boot.

My prediction is that the iPhone 5 will continue the tradition and break records for smartphone releases, and the loyal following will happy. Some of the sensible fans will complain that it isn't on the bleeding edge, but they will be happy by the end of announcement day.

As for me, I think I'll sleep through this one until we get the news on the next Samsung Galaxy Note!

Carlton Flowers
Bored iPhone Reporter



Samsung Galaxy S3 Due To Hit The Scene In June


Hot new rumors are swirling about a June 20th 2012 release of the epic new flagship phone, the Samsung Galaxy S3 on all carriers!

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint have all confirmed the eventual landing of the new Galaxy superphone, and it's looking highly likely that we will see it hit the carrier stores this summer. The colors of white, blue, and gray have been kicked around, and it will definitely feature a fully redesigned form factor.

One big change that I had originally not suspected to come to fruition is the addition of a physical home button. It looks like the single home button and 2 soft buttons on the left and right are actually going to appear on the phone. I think this will be a welcomed addition that will add to the simple functionality of the phone.

In the previous generation, the Samsung Galaxy S2 and also with the Galaxy Skyrocket, the European versions featured a physical home button while the US versions had the standard 4 Android soft buttons. Now we will see a unified design for worldwide release.

I'm excited about the new 4.8" diagonal screen form factor and thinner design. This should mean that the "bigger is better" design is here to stay with top flight Android smartphones. As the demand for multimedia content increases due to widespread 4G LTE service, it only makes sense.

We still don't know for sure if Samsung will release the Galaxy S3 ahead of the upcomming iPhone 5, but knowing that the next iPhone will also feature a new form factor and bigger screen, you can guarantee that they will not be in a rush to release it early in the summer.

With the rapid growth of the Android market, it might not make a difference. There are enough people in the US that have firmly committed to the Android platform that I don't believe you'll have many ship-jumpers switching from Android to Apple. Both platforms will have a huge level of success, and there's plenty of room in the market for mega growth.

Right now, 50% of the population of this country packs a smartphone. But there is still a significant number of people who have yet to make the transformation from "feature phone" to smartphone. This pool of people might be large enough to even allow the Windows Phone Mango platform to make a serious splash, but at this point I truly believe that Apple's iOS and Android handsets will reap the greatest reward.

We'll be watching for more details as they become more solid. But there's enough exciting information about the Samsung Galaxy S3 superphone to all but guarantee that this will be my next early upgrade in October of 2012!

Carlton Flowers
Galaxy Watcher