iPhone Screen Repair: 4 Options +1
There are many ways to fix iPhone screen, unfortunately, the most obvious option – Apple – is not usually the best choice. I’m going to help you figure out which repair option is best for you. Even if you’ve never had an iPhone screen break, I’m sure you know someone who has.
Bookmark this page, you’ll want to have this guide handy in the future.
The Apple Way
Apple is naturally the first place people go to get their iPhone glass replaced, but most are surprised to find that their 1-year warranty with Apple does not cover accidental damage. I know a few people who got lucky with a generous Apple Store employee, but most people are not so lucky.
Apple does have an out of warranty repair option for you. They will gladly offer you a refurbished unit – of the same iPhone type & storage capacity – for about half of the cost you originally paid for the iPhone.
For example, if you bought an iPhone 7 for $499 last month then it will cost you $249.50 + Sales Tax to get a refurbished unit from Apple. This certainly is not the most affordable option, but it does beat buying a brand new iPhone.
Typically, you will have to ship-in your old iPhone to Apple, then they will send you a refurbished unit within a couple of days. The refurbished iPhone from Apple will fall under your existing 1-year warranty from the original broken iPhone Or you will get 3 additional months with the refurbished unit. Whichever extends your warranty the longest.
If you were lucky enough to purchase AppleCare+ for $99, then you only have to pay $49 + Sales Tax for a refurbished iPhone from Apple. You can only take advantage of this twice in 2-years, after which you will have to resort to a regular out of warranty refurbished iPhone. Either way, you will want to make sure you backup your broken iPhone to iCloud or iTunes, then do a factory reset before sending it in to Apple. Once you receive the new refurbished unit from Apple, you can restore from that iCloud or iTunes backup.
The Expert Way
There are a few companies online that specialize in iPhone screen repairs. The repairs will typically cost between $115 and $160 depending on the iPhone model. You will have to ship your iPhone to the repair facility, but normally the warranty you get makes up for the inconvenience of having to deal with shipping.
The best iPhone repair companies offer a warranty that meets or exceeds the warranty with Apple, and since the warranty starts on the date that your iPhone is repaired, it’s not hard to beat the warranty from Apple. It is not uncommon to get a 1-year warranty on your repair.
Once you ship-in your iPhone for repair it can be as quick as only 24 hours before your iPhone is fixed and on its way back to you. Return shipping is normally included in the cost of the repair – unless you pay extra for expedited shipping.
If you elect to use the free shipping method, total time without your iPhone is one week or less.
Just be sure to put a passcode on the iPhone before you ship it off – that way all your important information stays yours.
Click here to see the companies I recommend for iPhone screen repair.
The DIY Way
This option is for the hackers among us. The repair is very difficult, but you can certainly save some cash by fixing the iPhone screen on your own. Just keep in mind that each of the iPhone models is different, so you will need to find an iPhone repair guide specific to your model.
Finding quality parts for the repair also requires some guidance. I do NOT recommend Amazon or ebay for replacement iPhone screens. Their quality can be inconsistent and the warranty/return policy is limited. Even on purchases from Amazon. Their return process can be tricky because you will undoubtedly have to deal with a 3rd party seller. Amazon does not carry replacement iPhone parts, they allow other companies to sell through Amazon.com.
Cheaper is not better in this scenario. Spend the extra money and make sure you get a quality screen from a company that stands behind their product. Search Google for phrases like “iPhone Screen Repair Kit”, then skip over the listings from ebay & Amazon. Find a company with a phone number that you can actually call if you have an issue with the replacement screen not working properly.
The Local Way
If you have a local shop that repairs iPhones, this would be the most convenient option. Though it can be risky to use a local shop for several reasons.
The prices will often be higher than a good ship-in repair center, and the quality of the repair can sometimes be lacking.
You will want to stay away from shops that say “same-day turnaround”. The really good repair shops are going to have at least a 24 hour wait, or they will schedule your repair in advance.
If the business appears to be run out of someones home, or if you find them on craigslist, you may want to look elsewhere.
When you call a local shop, always ask about their warranty. If they say something like 15 days or 30 days, don’t go there. They probably just made that up on the spot! A truly good local iPhone repair company will stand behind their repairs with at least a 6-month warranty.
If it looks like they repair every kind of device on the market today, you’ll want to stay away. Repairing too many devices is a sign that they may not be very good at repairing Apple products.
If you end up choosing the local route, make sure and set up a passcode on your iPhone. You do not want your information getting in the wrong hands.
The Green Upgrade
This option is a unique way to get your iPhone screen fixed while upgrading to a newer model iPhone. If you sell your broken iPhone to a company like Gazelle, then you’ll get a handful of cash that you can use to offset the cost of a newer model iPad. If you don’t like the offer that you get from Gazelle, you can always try and sell your device to a local shop or on eBay. Typically a company like Gazelle is the most convenient option since they handle everything for you.
Benefits of the Green Upgrade
You are doing the “Green” thing by recycling your device. Companies like Gazelle will refurbish your old iPhone and give it to someone else to use.
You will get the latest model with better performance and more features.
You will get a brand new 1-year warranty from Apple and the chance to upgrade to AppleCare+.
In this case you will want to back up your old iPhone to iCloud or iTunes before you send it in. Then go into settings on your iPhone to do a factory reset. Once you get the new iPhone, you can restore from your iCloud or iTunes backup so it has all your data and apps on it.
If you are keen to get your iPhone repaired then we have carried out some extensive testing and have a couple of suggestions of who you should use to fix your faulty device on our iPhone repair page.
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Kevin Craighead is iChimp’s chief technology editor and has been covering Apple’s mobile electronics, security, privacy and the wider technology sector since 2011. He is also a highly regarded Web Designer & Developer.
With a career spanning 30 years which began doing PC support (before the internet existed), Kevin’s technical expertise and experience is highly regarded in a wide variety of fields. His well-researched work resulted in highly regarded and often cited articles such as the infamous ‘Unable to move message to trash’ error on iOS devices.