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November 27, 2012


Replies: 4

Static Electricity Damage to Cell Phone Screen?

ebonypen Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I wouldn't be asking for help here if it weren't for the fact that a general Google search for any information relating to this topic had come up inconclusive.

I'm just wondering if anyone has ever seen damage to a cell phone (or even a laptop, ipod, whatever,) caused by static electricity. What did it look like?
Just yesterday I had my Samsung Intensity III in the pocket of my mountain bike shorts as I did a short 30 minute ride around the neighborhood. The phone never hit or rubbed against any of the bike, I never crashed, it didn't get wet, but when I got home and looked at the screen it was almost all white with a little corner of the screen palely displaying the time and battery power. In one corner of the screen there is what looks like a darker colored (black with some blue and red pixels).
I have eliminated all possibilities besides static electricity and maybe the fact that the phone was gently undulated up and down in my loose pocked about 2000 times, (and if that were the case, what a whimpy piece of garbage!)

So I'm not expecting any solution to the problem since that's all the screen has been able to show for the last 24 hours and hasn't changed a bit, but has anyone ever seen anything like this? Does static electricity seem like a plausible culprit?

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Devious Comments

PR-Imagery Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Either got crushed, something came loose or water damage from sweat. Outside of that, coincidence that it just happened to fail during that time; in any case if its under warranty still just take it in and say there's something wrong with the screen; circumstance doesn't really matter, turned it on and that's how it was.
pyrohmstr Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Professional Artist
You can't damage your cell phone with static because your phone isn't grounded. I suppose you could do something if you had it plugged in, charged yourself up, and poked straight at the metal contacts of the processor. Although even then there are capacitors to protect against that sort of thing.

All of the sensitive bits of your phone are well-shielded so no static you could generate by accident would do any damage at all.

That said, it sounds like you got sweat in it and ruined the screen that way. Or it just broke because you hit it on accident while biking. Those are the most likely culprits.
tigerallied Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Would be easier if you posted a photo with the phone to figure out whats wrong.

And no static electricity should not be a problem (well unless you get hit by lightning, but then you have some other issues besides your phone).

From your description it sounds like a cracked screen. If its something similar to this [link] is cracked. Nothing you can do about it unless you have warranty that can cover it, or replace the lcd panel - which is not really worth it in most cases.
nokari Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Not really sure what it looks like when involving a phone LCD screen, but static electricity will destroy circuitry. It basically causes shorts that burn out the circuits. You might not see any effect on the screen unless the shorts occurred in that area or the screen will simply stop working in the areas affected.
The other possibility of what happened to your phone is that all the constant bumping around might have caused some circuitry behind the screen to come loose and/or physically damaged. Occasionally electronics have unknown defects in their construction or materials as well, since mass production is never 100% perfect. And all that jostling around might have been all it took for the defects to make a noticeable effect.
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