What to do with a broken iPhone screen

What to do with a broken iPhone screen

Check your warranty, backup your device, and use Apple for your replacement screen to preserve your warranty and the quality of your iPhone or iPad screen.

Need to know what to do with a broken iPhone screen? Here is everything you need to know to get a broken screen replacement without voiding your warranty, further damaging your device, or hurting yourself. I worked at the Apple Store for almost two years and saw many people do this the wrong way and end up with a ruined iPhone and a voided warranty. Many tears were shed.

If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch screen is broken, all hope is not lost. Fortunately, Apple makes it extremely easy to get a broken iPhone screen replacement if you do it the right way. As someone who used to work for Apple but doesn’t anymore, this is the best advice on the Internet for how to get your screen repaired.

1. Check Your Warranty Status

Head over to Apple’s warranty checker to check your status. There are three possible outcomes:

  1. Out of warranty
  2. 1st year manufacturers warranty
  3. Covered by AppleCare+

Out Of Warranty

If you are out of warranty, don’t freak out. You can still get a replacement at the Apple Store, and I strongly encourage you to let Apple handle it. I’ll go into that more later.

1st Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

If you’re under the manufacturer’s warranty, you still have to pay the same replacement cost as being out of warranty, as the 1st year warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage. Listed below is the replacement cost by device model.

AppleCare+

If you have AppleCare+, go you! You payed $99 with your device and can get a replacement at an Apple Store or through AppleCare for $50-80, depending on the device. I have a full list of repair costs listed below.

Note: Apple Covers Hairline Cracks Under Warranty

One type of break is actually covered by warranty if you go to an Apple Store — a hairline crack. As of 2014, Apple considers a hairline crack to be a defect in the glass and will replace the device for free within the first year, or within the first two years if you purchased AppleCare+ (Apple’s extended warranty plan).

The way you know if you have a hairline crack is that it is a single line. If there is any other sign of damage or an obvious place of impact, the Family Room Specialist (the guys/gals who service iOS devices in Apple Stores) will not cover it under warranty.

If your device has multiple cracks or a spider web crack, you will have to pay the full replacement cost.

2. Backup Your Device (If Possible)

Make sure that you are backed up to either iTunes or iCloud so that when you take the step to get your device replaced, you are also able to get your photos and personal data back as well.

To backup to iTunes, plug in your iOS device to a PC or Mac with iTunes installed and press “Backup” on the device summary screen.

Tip: If you encrypt your backup, you do not have to enter your passwords again. Just don’t forget your encryption password, or you won’t be able to get your information back!

To backup to iCloud, go to Settings > iCloud > Storage and Backup (iOS 7) or Backup(iOS 8) and press “Backup Now“. If you don’t have enough storage, you can always buy more iCloud storage, which I highly recommend doing.

Most importantly, Apple can replace your device all day long, but they can’t replace your photos or memories.

3. Use Apple for your replacement

Take your iPhone to Apple for repair, it will be

Do not take it to the mall kiosk guy, the iRepairFixBreakYouFixit place, your local gas station that does iPhone repairs, or some whizz-kid that can do it in his lair. Here’s why:

Apple will replace your device for a reasonable cost — while maintaining your current warranty status. If you are out of warranty, Apple will actually give you a 90 day warranty on the new device.

Tip — Mixed Warranty Repair

If you are still under AppleCare, AppleCare+, or the 1 year manufacturer’s warranty and you have a broken screen AND another issue that is covered under warranty, Apple will actually replace your device for free — IF the other issue is not in any way connected to the screen break.

For example, if your lock button is jammed (top of device) and the bottom of your screen is cracked, it’s up to the Family Room Specialist to make the call on whether or not the lock button issue is or is not related to the screen break. A good FRS likes to make customers happy, and will actually look for opportunities to do this. It’s really fun to make someone’s day. They just need to justify it.

There is no use in trying to push through to management or by throwing a fit and being a jerk to get your way. In a well-run Genius Bar, the management will always take the side of the technician unless the technician is acting outside of the spirit of Apple service, which is to do the best thing for the customer at all times.

 

Apple Washes Their Hands Of Your Device If You Go Somewhere Else

Apple recognizes this as taking service into your own hands and voids your warranty. Your only option, if anything else goes wrong, is to go back to the person who fixed it on the cheap, buy a brand new device (for $500-700 — ouch!), or buy a used one on eBay.

As a result, I saw countless customers who had their screen replaced somewhere else come in because it wouldn’t turn on anymore, and had to tell them that we wouldn’t repair it.

Furthermore, on the iPhone 5 and newer Apple performs a semi-complex calibration process that must occur on the MultiTouch, Proximity Sensor, and Display that uses a special machine built by Apple. Therefore, using a third party vendor hinders your iPhone’s functionality.

Apple will void your warranty

You may think, “Oh, they’ll never know I got it done somewhere else.” Kindly, you are wrong 🙂

The Apple Store iOS technicians see hundreds of devices every week and sniff out third-party screen replacements like a blood hound.

Realistically, I’d say about 1 in every 1,000 would get through. Realistically.

Please do not repair your device anywhere else. Pony up and let Apple handle it. You will be much better off for it.

Don’t Do It Yourself

You can literally die if you try to replace the screen of an iPhone or iPad yourself and you don’t know what you’re doing. I’m not kidding.

Apple created the battery without a protective shell to save room inside, because of this, if you so much as barely dent the battery or puncture it, it will burst into flames and spew poisonous gas into the room. Lithium-Ion batteries are extremely volatile when disturbed.

You can burn down your house, injure yourself, and/or die. You know how those Samsung Galaxy 7’s are exploding in peoples’ pants? Yeah, that’s what will happen.

Don’t do it.

4. Mail it in to AppleCare if you live far from an Apple Retail Store

In addition to taking your iPhone into a store, if you are far away from an Apple Store, help is still available. You can set up a mail-in repair through AppleCare by calling 1-800-APL-CARE (1-800-275-2273) or go to getsupport.apple.com.

Apple’s GetSupport site is amazing. I highly recommend going there for more information.

One thing to note is that if AppleCare sends you the device first, they will charge you the full cost of the device as collateral until they receive your broken device in return. It’s kind of a bummer, but it’s the way the world works.

Broken iPhone Screen Replacement Cost

Finally, here are the prices that apply if you replace your device through an Apple Retail Store or mail it in through AppleCare. These prices are competitive with what the guy on the street does it for.

Here’s a breakdown of each device replacement cost.

As of October 2016.

iPhone Model Whole Device Screen Only AppleCare+ Replacement
Original $149 NA NA
3G $149 NA NA
3GS $149 NA NA
4 $149 NA $49
4S $199 NA $49
5 $269 $129 $49
5C $269 $129 $79
5s $269 $129 $79
6 $299 $129 $79
6 Plus $329 $149 $79
6s $299 $129 $99
6s Plus $329 $149 $99
7 $319 $129 $99

If I’m a little slow on updating my chart here, here is Apple’s nice chart for iPhone replacement costs.

iPad Screen and Device Replacement Costs

 iPad Model  Replace Device  AppleCare+ Replacement
Original $249  $49
2  $249  $49
 3  $299  $49
 4  $299  $49
Air  $299  $49
Air 2  $379  $49
9.7″ Pro  $379  $49
12.9″ Pro  $599  $49
Mini  $199  $49
Mini 2  $249  $49
Mini 3  $299  $49
Mini 4  $299  $49

Here is Apple’s iPad replacement cost chart if I’m behind on updating mine.

 

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