You Must Replace Your iPhone 3GS Battery Soon Before it Expands or “Explodes”

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As the iPhone 3GS is approaching 4 years old next month, you should consider replacing the battery soon before it expands and break your logic board.

Apple iPhone 3GS was first released in June 2009, which was about 4 years ago. It is powered by an internal 3.7 V 1219 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery and is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity after 400 full charge and discharge cycles.

The photo above shows one of customers iPhone 3GS with a battery that expanded 1.5 times its original size. This is a serious problem because it physically applied forced in all directions, causing the logic board to be pushed up. This caused the logic board to bend and disconnects the delicate circuitry on the logic board. The touch screen also gets pushed up and may break the LCD screen.

Editor's note: learn more by reading our ebook on starting your own iPhone repair & unlock business

If your iPhone 3GS is still operating normally but with decreased battery performance, you should consider replacing the battery sooner rather than later especially if it’s from the first production batch. It is easy to check this simply by looking at the serial number.

On your iPhone 3GS, go to Settings > General > About and look for the serial number. Take note of the third, fourth and fifth numbers of the serial number:


  • 1 is the year of manufacture which is 2011
  • 09 is week 9 of year 2011

This gives you a good estimation of how old your iPhone 3GS is. Do be aware that if your iPhone 3GS’ battery was never replaced before and your iPhone 3GS came from the first production batches, there’s a chance that this may happen.

While it’s extremely rare, battery problem such as this is usually caused by manufacturing defects. However, I believe Apple and its suppliers are doing all they can to produce high quality products, but the chemicals inside a battery can go unstable and will cause chemical imbalance. Other factors such as a bad battery charger or irregular voltage can also damage the battery.

Seriously, I’m not pulling your legs as there’s already an ongoing discussion about this on Apple’s support forum (photo above was from a user on the Forum). You should schedule an appointment at your nearest Apple store to ask for a battery replacement. If that’s not an option for you, most local repair shops can do the replacement. If you prefer to do it yourself, our eBook on iPhone repair or other online resources can guide you through the process.

Just to give you some ideas, here’s a brief summary of replacing iPhone 3GS battery:

  1. Prepare a backup phone in case something goes wrong.
  2. Backup your iPhone data.
  3. Take apart your iPhone 3GS:
  • Remove 2 screws at the bottom
  • Use a suction cup to gently lift the display (don’t lift it up all the way yet!)
  • Disconnect the cables on the top right of the logic board (extremely delicate!)
  • Detach the screen assembly
  • Remove all screws holding the logic board
  • Detach dock connector and WiFi cable
  • Lift the logic board and gently remove the battery (it sticks real hard due to glue, you may want to heat up the back casing with hair dryer for 15-20 seconds to melt the glue)
  • Get a replacement battery that matches the model number printed on the battery
  • Once you get your battery reassemble everything by reversing the steps above
  • Boot up your iPhone

If you run a repair shop it’s best to check your order records and contact your customers who have an iPhone 3GS. I’m sure they will appreciate for letting them know about this potential disaster.

You Must Replace Your iPhone 3GS Battery Soon Before it Expands or “Explodes” was last modified: May 13th, 2013 by Joe Wang

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