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Summary:

A very common “feature” of many highly used iPhones are unsightly cracks in the screen. Since screen cracks are almost never covered by the iPhone warranty, an entire cottage industry has cropped up for iPhone screen repairs. Even Apple decided it wanted a piece of the […]

cracked_screen

A very common “feature” of many highly used iPhones are unsightly cracks in the screen. Since screen cracks are almost never covered by the iPhone warranty, an entire cottage industry has cropped up for iPhone screen repairs. Even Apple decided it wanted a piece of the pie, and now do (expensive) iPhone screen repairs. AT&T doesn’t offer any insurance for iPhones, but does for other smartphones. Obviously, this has to do with the high cost of repair combined with the likelihood of breakage. What’s a paranoid iPhone user to do?

Mission: Repair, one of the leaders in iPhone service, is now offering a program which bridges the gap between iPhone repairs and iPhone insurance.

The program, called a “Peace of Mind/Maintenance Performance Guarantee” will cover screen and other repairs to your iPhone. The terms and conditions are a bit lengthy and technically they can’t call it insurance or a warranty. Essentially, the program is a “pay in advance” system for iPhone screen repairs that in practice behaves like an insurance program.

You pay $19.99 for one year or $29.99 for two years and if your screen breaks, they repair it at no charge. For a bit more they’ll cover almost everything but the screen ($34.99 1 year/54.99 2 years) or combine the two (54.99 1 year/79.99 2 years). Unlike AppleCare, this program will cover accidental screen damage as well as iPhones or iPods that are already out of warranty.

Water damage is excluded and you have to ship your iPhone/iPod touch to them for inspection before signing up for the program in order to prove it is in good working condition (an iPhone App allowing you to test it yourself without sending the phone in to Mission: Repair is coming soon). The current requirement for advance shipping is a pain of course, but when I’ve had to do a repair before, I buy a cheap GoPhone and put my SIM card in there for a day. Additionally, users of the new program are required to install an iPhone screen protector and users are limited in the number of repairs per year. The closest equivalent is BestBuy’s $15 per month “BlackTie Protection” which covers pretty much everything. However, one only needs to pull out the calculator app to see that $180 is not a terribly good deal. AT&T’s insurance program for other phones is $60 a year, so Mission: Repair’s combined coverage program is competitive with AT&T’s offerings on other phones.

I’m sure others will pick up on the idea, but I’m glad Mission: Repair is taking the lead! I know what I’ll be giving as stocking stuffers to my risk-averse iPhone and iPod touch friends this year.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user christyxcore.

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  1. iPhone Extended Service Plans Announced at Mission Repair! « Mission:Repair Blog Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    [...] you probably heard it first on TheAppleBlog.com. They beat me to the [...]

  2. Finally, iPhone Insurance (Sort of) « blog01 – new life. Tuesday, December 15, 2009

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  3. Compare all Iphone and Phone insurance plans in the USA for free visit http://www.ensquared.com

    There is options for phone theft and damage as well as extended warranty.

    We have not included Mission Repair yet on our site however we will do so in the near future.

  4. Buy Iphone Accessories » Blog Archive » Finally, iPhone Insurance (Sort of) Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    [...] artical from The Apple Blog [...]

  5. I had a friend who left his iPhone in his jeans pocket and it went through a wash. Six days later the iPhone came back to life. Is that not iCrazee or what? I need to write up this story on my blog.

  6. I added a provision to my homeowners insurance that covers the iPhone for any event..lost, stolen, broken..whatever. I have Allstate.

    1. You might check with the insurance company. I tried to schedule my iPhone and they would only insure the purchase price of the phone: $199. However the actual replacement cost of the phone is $399.

  7. Excellent, thanks for the tip about the iPhone insurance. The insurance supplied by O2 in the UK covers practically nothing!

  8. Is the new screen also a fat resistagt display (for which devices)?

  9. I bought SquareTrade the day I got my 3GS, covers any damage I don’t intentionally do for the ACTUAL replacement cost, and I never had to prove the condition of the phone or agree to any protector.

    1. SquareTrade only covers new iPhones purchased within the last 30 days from an authorized eBay seller or other authorized retailer (ie, AT&T, BestBuy, Walmart, etc.). They do not cover refurbished or used iPhones. SquareTrade policies include a $50 deductible per claim, and are more expensive than this program appears to be.

  10. “A very common feature of many highly used iPhones are unsightly cracks …”

    Aside from the horrific grammar of your opening sentence, I have to say I’ve *never* seen an iPhone with a cracked screen. I see dozens of them every day, all of my friends have them, and I’m sure some iPhones get cracked screens if yo drop them on concrete many times over, but this is hardly a “very common feature.”

    I’ve dropped my 3G many times and never cracked the screen also. It’s generally a very hard thing to do unless you are a complete tool.

    1. I’ll ignore your comment about being a tool, and tell you I broke my 3G screen in two months after purchase. I broke my phone dialing up a booty call after a wedding at 3am. I dropped it from my ear (drunk btw) and it landed face down on exposed aggregate concrete. Most expensive booty call EVER!

      And I’ve seen a few cracked screen over time. So its not that hard and you don’t have to be a tool, just clumsy.

    2. To clarify: Gazoobee is the idiot. Richard is pretty funny.

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