I’m sure you will agree with me when I say:
It’s a nightmare if you break your iPhone.
Especially when you consider the average American adult spends 2 hours, 51 minutes on their smartphone every day according to comScore’s 2017 Cross-Platform Future in Focus report.
When you are without it, you feel naked. Exposed. And alone.
Repairs can be costly…
…and leave you without your iPhone.
Today I will be looking at what you need to do if your iPhone is broken, or you need an iPhone repair.
How long is an iPhone warranty?
First things first.
Your iPhone comes with a 12-month limited warranty. This means if your iPhone is less than a year old you may get it repaired or replaced for free under warranty.
This does not cover physical damage such as a broken screen. It also doesn’t cover water damage but does cover battery issues.
If you have an issue with a newer iPhone then get in touch with Apple to arrange a warranty repair.
What about AppleCare+ for iPhone?
If you have AppleCare+ on your device then you have additional cover above and beyond the standard warranty.
It is insurance product that provides up to 2 years of expert telephone technical support and hardware coverage.
It includes 2 incidents of accidental damage, each subject to an excess fee – so you won’t get it repaired for free.
You also get 24/7 priority access to Apple experts by chat or phone.
If you are clumsy, or have a track record of dropping your device it might be wise to pay the additional cost of AppleCare+.
What happened to your iPhone?
There are many ways to break your iPhone. From accidental damage to unexplained glitches – it is a long list:
- Dropping it in water
- Dropping it from a height
- Banging or scratching the screen
- Storing it in a really hot, really cold, or really humid places
- Damaging the speaker
- Breaking the buttons
- Damaging the ports
You can also find problems develop purely because your iPhone is getting old.
For example, there is the well-publicised issue of iPhones being deliberately being slowing down as the battery ages. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2018/01/15/apple-iphone-battery-problems-timcook-failure/#6fcc02386093)
Water or liquid damage
The iPhone has indicators that show if the device has been dropped in liquid.
They are hidden inside the charging port and headphone socket.
If they are ‘triggered’, ie turn red, Apple will refuse to do anything under warranty meaning you will have an expensive repair bill.
This is because Apple has an iPhone Liquid Damage Policy that means a warranty claim could be denied based “solely on a Triggered Headphone Jack LCI and or Triggered Dock LCI”
However, Apple was taken to court in the US by a number of people who claimed that the indicators turned red even though there iPhone was not submerged in water.
They claimed that humidity caused the change in colour.
Even the manufacturer of the tape agreed that humidity may have been the cause.
Apple settled the lawsuit out of court for $53 million.
A similar thing happened in the UK when BBC Watchdog interviewed unhappy customers who were being refused repairs because the LCI had been triggered. Independent experts opened their phones and found that the internal indicators had not been triggered proving the phones had not been dropped in water. They also showed that Apple staff did not open the device to check and simply dismissed claims based on the external indicators.
Watchdog claimed that Apple was not properly checking customer claims that their device had not been submerged in water.
You may be able to persuade Apple staff to fix the device if you can convince them that the trigger was caused by humidity rather than being dropped in water. Especially if you mention the US lawsuit and the BBC Watchdog reports
If you have dropped your iPhone in water, you need to act quickly to ensure the damage isn’t permanent.
Broken or cracked screen
A broken screen is probably the most common issue that Apple staff deal with.
However, it is physical damage and any physical damage is not covered under warranty.
This means it will cost you money to fix it.
The exact amount depends on the model of iPhone, and whether you have AppleCare+.
If you have AppleCare+ then you can expect to pay £25 for a screen replacement.
The non AppleCare+ repair costs for iPhone are far higher:
|iPhone model||Screen repair fee USA||Screen repair fee UK|
|iPhone 8 Plus||$169||£176.44|
|iPhone 7 Plus||$169||£176.44|
|iPhone 6s Plus||$169||£176.44|
|iPhone 6 Plus||$149||£156.44|
|iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5||$129||£136.44|
You can cut your costs by using 3rd party repairs (link to bottom) but be careful. Apple has modified iOS11 causing some 3rd party screens to no longer function.
Before paying for a repair make sure to ask if your iPhone will work properly after the repair.
If your screen is shattered then hold it together with some clear tape or a screen protector until you see if it is usable. If the damage isn’t too bad then you may be able to live with it.
If you plan to trade in your iPhone you will get a vastly reduced trade-in offer with a broken screen.
My iPhone won’t charge
It is human nature to assume that the battery is at fault. But often it isn’t.
Common reasons for an iPhone not to charge include:
- Liquid damage
- A faulty charging cable
- A faulty plug
- Dirt or debris in the charging port
- An iPhone crash
- Power source issue
Many people don’t realise that your iPhone warranty also covers the plug and cable. In fact, it covers all the accessories that come in the iPhone box. So if you have a faulty cable it will be replaced for free.
The best way to check your cable is by getting your hands on a friends and trying it out. If your phone charges then it is likely your cable is worn out.
This is a very common issue that is often nothing to do with the battery.
There are a number of things to try before you need to go and visit your local Apple store that is likely to resolve your iPhone charging problem.
Battery Drains too fast
Apple provides a 1-year limited warranty on batteries. Buying AppleCare+ extends this to 2 years.
However, to claim it your battery has to drop below 50% of its original capacity. This large a drop in such a short length of time is highly unlikely. It would be more likely to take 3 years to drop to this level.
There have been some reports of the iPhone 8 battery ‘bursting’ out after swelling, but it is still a rare occurrence.
It is more likely that the issue is caused by your charging regime or usage.
There are 2 common reasons that result in your battery draining too quickly:
- The software and settings used on your iPhone
- The battery is damaged or worn out
With the first being by far the most common. For example, we find that if we leave facebook running in the background our battery will empty quickly. Best advice is to close down apps that you don’t require.
We have a list of brilliant tips that will help you diagnose your iPhone battery issues. Going through them all should result in a big improvement in battery life, even on older iPhones.
No sound coming from speaker
Sometimes this is caused by fluff in the headphone port, which can make the phone think headphones are plugged in. This is easily rectified.
Another potential fix is simply to do a software update.
My iPhone keeps crashing
This is another issue that is commonly caused by a software glitch.
The first thing to try is to update your iPhone to the latest software. This includes iOS and all of the Apps you have installed. Make sure you update everything.
Another thing that could be the issue is that the iPhone has run out of space. This can cause random crashes that can be fixed by creating some space on your iPhone.
You iPhone may just need a reboot to clear out the memory and restart everything.
If you find the issue persists after trying all these tips it may be time to take it into your local Apple store.
How to get your iPhone repaired or replaced
Apple iPhone repairs
Regardless of where you bought your iPhone, it is Apple’s responsibility to deal with the fault. So you can take your iPhone to Apple even if you bought it on eBay, a store, or online.
You can take your device to the Apple Store and have the team at the Genius Bar examine it. It is a good idea to make a reservation as they can be very busy.
You can create a support request online at getsupport.apple.com. You simply need the device serial number which can be found in Settings > About.
Remember that if you have a device older than 1 year old then it is out of warranty. This means repair prices become really high.
Also if the device doesn’t have AppleCare+ then repairs will be expensive.
In these circumstances, it may be more cost effective to use a reputable 3rd party repairer.
3rd party iPhone repairs
Rather than spend a fortune replacing your iPhone why not try top get it repaired first? If you ask Apple to do this it will cost a fortune and in many cases they are unable or unwilling to fix it. They’d rather sell you another one.
However there are some good companies that do a brilliant job at repairing faulty iPhones, iPad’s and other Apple devices. From screen repair to battery replacement they do it all.
- If you are in the USA I’d use iResQ for Apple iPhone repairs
Been in business since 1994. Certified technicians have been working on the iPhone since it came out. Also have brand new, OEM-quality iPhone parts used on all repairs.
- If you are in the UK I’d recommend iMend for Apple iPhone repairs
Technicians come to your home or workplace and if they can’t repair your device you don’t pay. All repairs come with a 12 month warranty.
Gazelle Certified devices go through a 30+-point inspection process to ensure their quality and functionality. Plus, Gazelle Certified devices come with a 30-day return policy. Lastly, you can get around those pesky carrier contracts because Gazelle Certified means no contracts. You can simply get a great phone at a great price without strings attached.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
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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.