Image via iFixit
The motto for the repair community is "If you can't open it, you don't own it." In other words, if your device can't be opened, repaired, upgraded or otherwise hacked, is it really yours or are you borrowing it from the maker? Perhaps part of the reason we're so uncomfortable with cracking open our gadgets to repair them is because the innards look so foreign and complicated (let's leave alone the fact that many manufacturers make it somewhat impossible to repair them at all). iFixit has come up with a solution -- make the rear panel of the iPhone transparent so that we get used to showing off the guts of our gadgets.
The clear rear panel is $30 from iFixit.
"You know you want to show off the world the guts of your iPhone. Well now you can! This plastic panel is complete with all the necessary parts camera lens, flash diffuser and bezel. Are you afraid of breaking your original glass panel? Do you want a cheaper replacement panel for the one you just broke? This is the part you want."
As Electronista notes, "The new material is also clear plastic rather than glass, making it less prone to shattering and cheaper to replace if it breaks without hurting the phone inside." Right now, the piece only fits GSM/AT&T; iPhones but perhaps we'll see a CDMA version out for the Verizon iPhone users sometime soon.
The site also has free (as always) instructions for installing a rear panel, including the new transparent version.
While it is mainly a replacement part for an existing back panel, the piece does more than just act as a spare part. We love that iFixit made the piece clear, so that we can get a little more familiar with the insides of things. We've become so used to having all the inner workings hidden away that it can be intimidating to break into them. But that's the essence of repair culture, and maybe this piece can do juuuust a little bit more for making us comfortable with electronics.
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