Reviews of and repairing an iPhone

[Edit] Also read the comments left by visitors below – Not everyone’s review is as glowing [/edit]

The Story

I was recently given a broken first generation iPhone. The headset assembly had a torn ribbon cable that made the phone unusable. Attached to this ribbon cable was the vibrator, headset jack, volume and mute controls, and the power button.

I shopped around online for apple part # 821-0449-A. Unfortunately, it is a pretty rare item that looks like it’s only sold from a few mom and pop operations. No large retailers like Amazon or NewEgg carried the assembly that I needed. Since it was a first generation iPhone, it made it even harder. The few places I did find it varied in price and reputation… anywhere from 7$ all the way to 49.95$.

After looking around, I finally decided I would try to order the part from since it was only $8.50. However, I was skeptical about this online store as it had absolutely 0 reviews online. I decided to call the phone number on the website. If they answered and didn’t sound too suspicious, I’d run it through my Credit Card and Paypal… figured I couldn’t lose.

I called FlexQueen and they answered after a few rings. No phone system, just a good old fashioned phone. I spoke with a gentleman who confirmed they stocked the Headphone assembly I needed.

I Placed my order online at 8:27 AM… received an e-mail shipping confirmation at 1:58 PM. My order arrived exactly two days later via USPS. It was well packaged, and exactly as ordered. What actually did surprise me is that the item was OEM. I’m not sure where FlexQueen got an OEM Apple part, but I’m not complaining.

I had to borrow a screwdriver set from a neighbor because the Philips screws that are in the iPhone are incredibly small. I mean… small. You have no idea how small.

After some ridiculous finagling we were able to get the assembly in, except for the power button which had been ripped to shreds by the previous owner. I was totally bummed because I wasn’t going to be able to finalize my reassembly until I could purchase a new power button. However, I did cheat and powered the unit on using the compression switch on the headset assembly without putting the phone back together and sure enough… Power! That means I repaired an iPhone by hand. Oh, the pride.

Naturally I went right back to FlexQueen’s website to order a replacement part. To my heart’s delight, they had a the power button at a fairly reasonable price. (It was $3.50 for a button smaller than a dime.. but still, a hard to come by button..) Unfortunately, shipping on this button was a whopping $7.50!

After some thought, I called FlexQueen and explained my situation. Octavio immediately offered to send me my new part for regular price plus a nominal shipping fee. The additional shipping charge was essentially cost + a few pennies just because rounding and adding wasn’t worth the time.

I ordered my button from Octavio at 2:00 PM Friday and the button was in my mailbox Monday morning in a hand addressed envelope. I think Octavio was unable to fulfill the order using the normal ordering system, so he took it upon himself to complete my order by hand!

Needless to say, I was incredibly impressed with FlexQueen’s fulfillment of my order.

Why did I write this review?

But one question remains… Why did I bother to write such an indepth and stellar review of an online company that is smaller than this blog (Seriously… my blog has a higher Google Page Rank than FlexQueen)?

The answer is simple. Inside of my first order was 4 things:

  • My ordered headset assembly
  • Packing material
  • A receipt
  • A hand-signed note note

This note was a hand-signed plea from what I can only assume was a proprietor of It read in part:

We sincerely hope you are fully satisified with your purchase and if so please give us a good review. Good reviews are the only way we can compete with Asian distributors that have overhead costs that are so much lower than ours.

So there you have it. FlexQueen gave me a great price on hard to find cell phone parts, shipped it very quickly, and went the extra mile by giving me a reasonable price on additional products I needed that were associated with my original order. In addition to that, they recognized their ‘small-time’ circumstances and sought out positive feedback.

I don’t need cell phone replacement parts very often. In fact, this is only the second time I can think of… but I can guarantee that if and when the occasion arises, I will order from FlexQueen again.

To Octavio and my new friends on FlexQueen/OCESA Manufacturing: I hope this positive review is an adequate ‘Thank You’ for your honest and prompt service.