Flex Cable Extenders Save Time & Money for Mobile Repair Techs
iPhone and Android mobile phone flex extender cables were introduced to the market back in 2012 by China. Many repair technicians and mobile phone repair stores are using these, while other don’t even know such a product exists or understand why they’re used. The concept is pretty simple. We’ll explain why flex extender cables should be used in every repair setting as well as the benefits they provide.
What are Flex Extended Cables and why should I use them?
As the name suggest, flex extended cables simply extend the length from the phone’s logic board to the LCD screen assembly. On the surface, these flex extensions are not required to get a repair done. However, they can help shave time off certain repair tasks and prevent costly parts consumption that can add up over time.
These cables are currently made for iPhone and Android OS “flagship” models such as the iPhone 4, 4s , 5, 5s, 5c as well as S3, S4 and Note II models.
When to use Flex Extender Cable?
- Every repair technician should use them when they receive LCD assemblies from vendors. In this setting, they are mainly used to test the digitizer and LCD.
- When selling your cracked, damaged or broken LCD screens for cash to recycle.
- Those who use an iPhone LCD Screen Tester device or a logic board should use flex extensions.
Benefits of using Flex Extender Cables
- Time – Let’s assume an 8% failure rate of LCD screens from your supplier for iPhone 4/4s LCD screens and estimate an average time of repair for a broken digitizer at 30 minutes from start to end. If your business repairs 100 phones per month, that’s 4 hours per month saved. Not to mention it’s no fun to install a faulty part and have your customer waiting twice as long before being able to walk out with their repaired device.
- Connector Failure – Without using a flex extended cable, you’ll be burning through logic boards faster than needed. If you use an iPhone LCD screen tester device, you’ll burn through more replacement chips than necessary as well. Logic board manufacturers did not design the board or the LCD flex connections to withstand dozens or hundreds of connections. You can expect the main board to fail after just a few hundred connects. Mileage will vary based on technicians sensitivity to connecting and reconnecting the flex ribbon.
- Logic Board Exposure – In addition, using an extended flex cable will allow you to keep your logic board closed when testing LCD screens, reducing the chances of logic board failure.
- Testing Flexibility – Technicians will benefit from the extra room the cable provides when testing screens and greatly reduce the chances of tearing the flex ribbon.
Not All Flex Extender Cables Are Created Equally
Don’t let price completely dictate who you purchase from. A high-quality and cheaper quality flex extender is made in China – and the difference is very noticeable. The high quality ones will use brand new original male and female snap connectors. The low quality ones will use reclaimed and refurbished original or high copy snap connectors.
Usually the high quality ones will last about twice as long as the cheaper ones, take less time per LCD/digitizer test and reduce the chances of logic board and/or LCD damage to the main connectors.
Tips for Buying Flex Extender Cables:
- Ask your LCD parts supplier if they can provide them directly and include them in your LCD order. If not necessary, it doesn’t make sense to pay for shipping from overseas.
- Ask if the board and LCD connectors are new/original or not.
- Order a sample first before placing a bulk order.
- Use your finger to snap the connectors in place and use a flat plastic housing separator tool to remove it. When using your finger, it’s easy to “feel” how the male/female connections are lined up and will reduce wear on the parts.
A good source to buy extended flex cables is eBay (make sure you buy the correct model).
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