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Summary:

For many of us, the iPhone has become a staple item in our daily assortment of tech gear. Like any product that gets heavy use on a daily basis, sometimes it can fail. For the iPhone, that means a trip to the often crowded Genius Bar for help. Now as more consumers are adopting the digital device, Apple is facing an increasing number of iPhones in need of repair. The good news for consumers is, the majority of those repairs can now be done by your local Genius.

Broken iPhone

For many of us, the iPhone has become a staple item in our daily assortment of tech gear. Like any product that gets heavy use on a daily basis, sometimes it can fail. For the iPhone, that means a trip to the often-crowded Genius Bar for help. Now, as more consumers are adopting the digital device, Apple is facing an increasing number of iPhones in need of repair. The good news for consumers is, the majority of those repairs can now be done by your local Genius.

When the iPhone first launched, Apple offered a “loaner” program (with a fee) for consumers who had iPhones that needed to be repaired. This program, which received little attention in the press, finally disappeared from Apple as it began offering instant iPhone swaps, instead of asking a consumer to wait a few days for an offsite repair. (Come to find out, the “waiting” technique may work well for iPods, but doesn’t fly for iPhones). In an even more efficient move, Apple now offers a new service allowing Geniuses to perform actual repairs of the screen assembly to your iPhone at the store.

What? No more free swaps?

For the business-minded, the talk of your Genius Bar appointment being even longer while a Genius dissects and operates on your iPhone may make you scream, “No fair! Usually you just give me a new one and I’m on my way.” We all knew, though, that it would not be cost-effective for Apple to simply swap out an iPhone on a whim when things went bad. With the ability to perform certain repairs in-house, this means you keep your original iPhone and won’t need take the time to sync up a replacement iPhone before you are back in the game.

Cracked screen? No worry!

The biggest component likely to either fail or be damaged is the screen. Similar in construction to the screen on the iMac (minus the touch-sensitive components and newer oleophobic coating on the iPhone 3GS), the screen can be removed from your iPhone via a large suction cup. (Though I’m sure Apple has a very “specialized” device that does this — much like the infamous unbent paper clip that doubles as the SIM card ejection tool). Geniuses can now replace a defective screen for free if your iPhone is under warranty or, if not warranty-related, for a nice hefty $199. (Standard disclaimer: Defective doesn’t mean cracked beyond belief because your estranged ex drove over it in her Hummer. That does void your warranty, as does liquid damage and jailbroken phones.)

Before Apple began offering this service, consumers faced choices like iFixIt or iResQ, which offer similar repair services (or just components) at rates cheaper than Apple. However, such solutions do void your Apple warranty. These solutions also require you (in repair instances) to send off your iPhone, so you will be without it for a few days. Going the Apple route, provided you can actually find a Genius Bar appointment at your local Apple Store, they should be capable of (provided the parts are in stock) replacing your screen assembly within five to 10 minutes. When a Genius graces your iPhone, your warranty remains intact.

Apple’s talented Genius team can also perform other repairs to the iPhone, as the screen assembly contains other parts that can fail, including the receiver or touch sensors. In order to continue to reduce costs and provide quicker turnaround to consumers, Apple will likely follow its trend of performing more repairs in store. As crowded as the Genius Bars usually are, Apple will have to keep repair times under consideration. Most stores allocate 10 minutes per iPhone or iPod appointment. When times are busy and the Geniuses get behind, taking the time to swap the screen may only extend wait times for others. At the time of this writing, the Apple Store is unable to do screen replacements on the iPod touch or the classic iPhone due to slight construction differences. (Hint: These models do not feature the same two screws found on the bottom of the 3G and 3GS.)

Most importantly, please remember to back up your iPhone before going to the Genius Bar. You never know when your iPhone may need more than just a simple screen replacement.

  1. Good article but it is an urban legend that jailbreaking voids your warranty. Jailbreaking is a SOFTWARE change and can always be undone. If you have a jailbroken phone that needs service just restore back to it’s original software prior to service and everything will be fine. Obviously if you don’t do this step then Apple might refuse service so better safe then sorry – but I am annoyed when people think somehow changing software on a phone magically taints it or something!

    1. THANK YOU! I always try to explain this to people, but no one ever understands.

    2. I am ALWAYS explaining this to people!

    3. I just called someone this minute at the apple store and they said that whether it’s under warraty or not it will cost $100 and that there is no choice but to get the whole phone replaced. They won’t just replace the screen!

  2. What to read on the GigaOM network Monday, July 6, 2009

    [...] Former Joost CEO gets new gig as VC (NewTeeVee) Microsoft seeks user feedback for Hohm (Earth2Tech) Get your iPhone screen repaired at an Apple store while you wait (TheAppleBlog) Retrieve and store your favorite podcasts for listening later with Juice (OStatic) [...]

  3. so what constitutes “breaking the warranty”? If I dropped my phone and the screen cracked are they going to charge me $199?

    1. Replace the screen yourself for a little bit of nothing I just bought one for 15 usd off ebay it takes no time and comes with all the tools

    2. I took my phone to the Apple Store to repair a cracked screen. You have to make and appointment (do not show up early or late) you won’t be seen. I found the experience of the Apple Store frustrating. It did cost me $199.00 to replace the phone not the screen. The cost to replace is the same as a repair. Why can’t the ATT store where I purchased the phone replace the screen? I was also told that when I purchase the first Iphone that there was no insurance. Three weeks after the replacement the phone was dropped and cracked the screen again. Needless to say I am unhappy and can’t afford a $199.00 repair each time this happens.

    3. Dr. Cell Phone can replace the Cracked Screen on your iPhone for only $74.99. They also offer 30 days warranty on repairs. I would recommend you visit their website http://www.drcellphone.com , they can save you at least 100 Dollar.

    4. WE FIX ANY PROBLEMS WITH iPHONE >>>

      6515 Van Nuys Blvd. Van Nuys CA 91401
      818-989-5636

      1. when i download a free movie in rock app.. my iphone got super slower i dont what to do..please help FIVE STAR…heres my email jad_888_8@yahoo.com and im form philippines

      2. I was wanting to know how much it would cost to fix cracked screen and the lcd display had oil on/in it so I think that needs to be replaced as well.

    5. This is for mr.unhappy Apple doesnt allow att employes to work on their phones or do any warranty exchanges att is under their mercy to keep that contract with them and nobody is certified to repair on any phones and their there to sell phones to make money

  4. Apple Bloog » Blog Archive » Apple Stores will replace broken iPhone displays Monday, July 6, 2009

    [...] week, Apple announced that a specific repair, screen replacement, can be performed at Apple Store Genius Bars while the customer waits. The service is free if your phone is under warranty, otherwise it will [...]

  5. RSS News Portal » Apple Stores will replace broken iPhone displays Monday, July 6, 2009

    [...] week, Apple announced that a specific repair, screen replacement, can be performed at Apple Store Genius Bars while the customer waits. The service is free if your phone is under warranty, otherwise it will [...]

  6. [...] week, Apple announced that a specific repair, screen replacement, can be performed at Apple Store Genius Bars while the customer waits. The service is free if your phone is under warranty, otherwise it will [...]

  7. smashed my iphone screen (left on roof of car!) but just booked in to a uk apple store for screen repair or replacement iphone (!) for £139

    *told that smashed screen glass is accidental damage so not covered under warranty*

    worth the money though i think (obviously hoping for replacement iphone!) as a replacement 8gb 3g is £342 here

    1. Same thing just happened 2 my phone!! 8(

    2. How could you book for a screen repair? Do you think I can do that somewhere in London? I’ll be there for a coupple of days in two week … yesterday night i cracked that bloody glass accidentally and this “genis I don’t know what booking” seems to me the cheapest solution so far. Tx

    3. hey whether phones bought in uk can be repaired in US…….. jus check out please………:)

  8. Apple Stores will replace broken iPhone displays « Info for Life! Monday, July 6, 2009

    [...] to two years from the same time period. This week, Apple announced that a specific repair, screen replacement, can be performed at Apple Store Genius Bars while the customer waits. The service is free if your phone is under warranty, otherwise it will [...]

  9. Apple Stores will replace broken iPhone displays | oQlz Blog Monday, July 6, 2009

    [...] coverage to two years from the same time period.This week, Apple announced that a specific repair, screen replacement, can be performed at Apple Store Genius Bars while the customer waits. The service is free if your phone is under warranty, otherwise it will [...]

  10. AppleUsers.org News » Apple Stores will replace broken iPhone displays Monday, July 6, 2009

    [...] coverage to two years from the same time period.This week, Apple announced that a specific repair, screen replacement, can be performed at Apple Store Genius Bars while the customer waits. The service is free if your phone is under warranty, otherwise it will [...]

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