As the world prepares for the upcoming release of the next iPhone, those still holding iPhone 4’s and 4S’s may be debating whether or not they should trade up. If you’re like me, you’re starting to notice a slight reduction in battery life, as well as a couple of annoyances that are normal with an older phone. If you bought the iPhone 4S last summer, you’re nearing the end of your one-year warranty period, warrantying a full evaluation to see if there are a few things that Apple may be able to fix before you’re on your own. If you bought the iPhone 4 in 2010, congratulations! You’re probably eligible to buy the iPhone at a discount if you’re willing to sign a new two-year contract with your service provider.
But is it necessary to upgrade if your current iPhone is still working properly?
Even if you’re having problems, there may be a fix for it. Below are some known iPhone 4/4S issues that may be covered by your warranty or at least be fixable with a simple software update:
Unresponsive Home Button
There are two known defects with the iPhone 4/4S home button. The first, which is more common, is a more serious hardware issue in which the home button simply wears out. When this happens, only the Apple store can fix the problem, which should be covered by any warranty you have. If you aren’t under warranty, get an estimate for costs. Before seeking repairs, though, check to make sure there isn’t dust in the charger port. Some have had luck using compressed air or a vacuum hose to clean out any dust particles that might have accumulated.
If your home button is simply sluggish or requires several presses to take you to your home screen, the cause could be a known software issue. This software fix has several solutions. iDownloadBlog found an easy way to recalibrate the button by opening either the Stock or Clock app, holding down the power button until the “slide to power off” choice appears, then holding down the home button until the app exits.
I realize this is a known trick that’s been floating around for some time, but I just used it myself personally for the first time and I got good results,” iDownloadBlog’s Jeff Benjamin wrote. Sure enough, I tried Benjamin’s fix and so far, my home button is working better than it has in months. Benjamin even posted a step-by-step video on the calibration process.
Another option if your home button is sluggish is to restore the phone to original factory settings. This may not be the best option, but if nothing else works, it might be the best way to make your iPhone 4 behave properly.
Broken Power Button
On some iPhone 4s, users are reporting premature wear on the power/sleep button. Since most of us never power our iPhones off, our power buttons may get minimal use. Although when my home button sluggishness started, I began waking my phone up using the power button. Unfortunately, if your power button is worn down, the only known cause is hardware-related. If your phone isn’t under warranty, it might be cheaper to trade your phone in for a new one as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you may not be able to hobble along with a broken power button, since it’s used to reboot your iPhone if it ever should need it.
In the early days of the iPhone 4, some users reported problems with yellow discoloration on the retina display and antenna issues. By now, most of those issues have been resolved, leaving only typical wear. All things considered, the iPhone is a very durable phone. I have friends still using the iPhone 3S, so your iPhone 4 or 4S can certainly last two or three more years if you take good care of it. For optimum life, I’d recommend a durable case like the Otter Box to protect your components as long as possible, but that won’t necessarily guard against wear on your home and power buttons. It’ll just keep your screen safe from the occasional light bang or scratch.
If you are one of the iPhone 4S owners whose one-year warranty is about to expire, look over all of your camera’s features to make sure they all function at one hundred percent. This includes your camera, antenna, battery duration, and, of course, your power and home buttons. This may be your last chance to give your iPhone 4S the maintenance it needs to last for two or three more years.