iPhone 6 GPS Problem Explained
By Jeff Mayes, Noveber 2018
Preface This all started when my iPhone got the dreaded GPS accuracy issue, as with many other people my phone would show me off the road in a field somewhere and not track when I set it to take me somewhere.
Research: After much research I came to the conclusion that replacing the ribbon antenna was a good 1st course of action. I ordered the antenna and received a very small flexible circuit board with 4 very small RF connectors on it. Examining the board I really could not see what could go wrong and was discouraged that it may not fix my issue.
Action: I opened the iPhone, removed the motherboard as instructed by many websites, found the old board and proceeded to do the replacement but to my surprise I found one of the 4 connectors not as tight as the other three, I also remember that several posts on the forums did say that some re-seated their Antennas and fixed the problem. This was my eureka moment in that now everything has become clear, it’s not that the Antenna board is going bad it’s that one or more of the connectors are coming loose, this also makes perfect sense in that many people have said that the problem gets worse over time effecting Wifi and Cellular signals. As more of the connectors become loose that is exactly what would happen. I also noticed nothing was wedged up against the connectors their for some flat drops onto the back of the phone would create just the right momentum to cause a connector to move.
I went ahead and replaced the Antenna but don’t feel that really was needed but as you all know going back into the phone in case it was needed would have been a bummer. I also put some silicone cement on top of the connectors which would harden between the connectors and back case and keep this from happening again.
Resolve: After reassembling the phone everything worked great again! (Except for charging when turned on but more on that in another blog later).
Conclusion, Dropping the iPhone 6 onto its back over time will cause the Ribbon Antenna’s connectors to loosen and cause GPS, Wifi and Cellular signals to fade. Next time I need to do this I feel that with the right jig (bent flat head screwdriver maybe?) I could simply slide that behind the Antenna board and rear case and pop the connectors back into place without even removing the motherboard. If I work that out I will be sure to put up a video. In the meantime if you work on a lot of iPhone 6’s you may want to make that jig for yourself.
Hope that helps someone!