You may have seen online at least one brave soul who has replaced their iPhone 4′s back cover with a metal beveled back. Well, surprise surprise, they weren’t all that brave after all. Turns out the process is extremely easy. Your phones innards will be exposed for a short while, but don’t worry because there is nothing technical involved.
1. Turn iPhone 4 Off (just a worthwhile precaution)
2. Turn Vibrate Toggle ON
3. Unscrew two screws on bottom of iPhone 4 with a Philips #00 Screwdriver
4. Slide back cover towards the top of the iPhone 4 (away from the bottom)
5. After the back cover slides a centimeter or two it will just pop off (no connections to unplug)
6. That’s it, swap the back covers, slide it down and screw it in.
The best part is, if you do it right, it’s not going to void your warranty. As long as you don’t strip the screws, there’s no apparent way for Apple to determine that you’ve switched back covers. That is, as long as you remember to put your stock back cover back on.
The rear back cover I’m using is beveled, which means it protrudes slightly. This gives the phone a more natural feel. The edges are rounder and less sharp then the stock faceplate. To give your iPhone 4 an even more comfortable feel, you can add a bumper to the mix. The bumper fits as well on the beveled back as it does with the stock flat back.
Over in Hong Kong there is already a slew of various rear back covers available. Most of them for under $20 shipped. You can beat Apple to the chase, and give your iPhone 4 the flat white glass back it was deprived of. You can also get a little crazy and give your iPhone 4 a green furry back. Or, like me, you can give add brushed metal bezeled back and make your iPhone 4 look cooler and feel more comfortable. It’s a win-win. Also, when it’s time to sell your iPhone 4, you’ll have the original iPhone 4 back in pristine condition.
So, now that the secrets getting out there that it’s super easy to replace the back cover, is this going to be the next big trend? Will accessory stores, flea markets, and booths at the mall begin profiting off of this trivial modification? It’s very likely. Back in the Nextel days, these places completely upgraded the phone’s housing, which was a much more intensive process. Don’t give them the satisfaction of charging $50+ to do so. The process takes a matter of minutes. In fact, it was easier then putting on the Element Case Vapor for iPhone 4 case we reviewed. There has been no noticeable change in signal strength after a week of use, which is pleasing. Some cases may be on backorder at the moment, but you can order them from www.cnn.cn, just search for “iPhone 4 back”. Alternatively, take a look on eBay, they have a bunch of back covers for iPhone 4 too.
Notes: Don’t try to use any other screwdriver aside from Philips #00. Also, don’t hold us responsible if anything goes wrong. This review is for educational purposes only.