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Apple Stores Can Now Replace iPhone Displays While You Wait

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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 (s aapl) 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.

147 Responses to “Apple Stores Can Now Replace iPhone Displays While You Wait”

  1. Shawn in Monroe

    Everyone here complaining that the iPhone costing only $99, $199, etc while a screen needing replacement for $199 obviously do not understand that the NON CONTRACT (figure subsidized by AT&T) iPhone will code you over $500 and that the screen is one of the more expensive components – so in “reality” you are paying less than 1/2 of the “true” price of the phone to replace one of the 3 major pieces and Apple in NO WAY is ripping anyone off – sure, they could do it a little cheaper but even $150 for a HQ screen like the iPhone has is worth it…

    Sounds more like the repetitive stories about friends of a friend in Dallas (and elsewhere) are more from the owners of those companies trying to get you to be mad at Apple for being reasonable…

    Shawn

  2. My iphone 3gs screen split when it was in my wife’s purse. I told them i was using the phone in the cold and when my warm hands touch the screen as i was entering my password, the screen cracked. They fixed it for free. I only had 1 crack all the way across the screen, so you couldn’t see any sort of blunt damage, so this may only work in certain scenarios.

    • You can buy the kit on ebay to replace your screen for 15 bucks I just bought one for my mother-in-law and it comes with all the tools to replace the screen it takes no time to replace it also, beats paying alot of money for a new screen from apple

      • IF YOU DON’T MIND GIVING TELLING ME WHAT IS THE NAME OF WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR AND/OR THE COMPANY. I JUST BROKE MINE AND CAN’T PAY $200 TO FIX IT SINCE I JUST PAID TUITION. THANKS FOR ANY HELP

  3. ahhhh i brought my phone less than 10 days ago and i dropped it and screen cracked. I’m so pissed. I’m still within my 14 day return period and I feel like getting it fixed and just returning it…think they’ll know??

  4. I agree Apple are thieves. I wish I never got this dumb phone, 1 fall and screen broke into many pieces. :( I can not believe they would acutally charge me more than I paid for the phone to fix it. I will never ever buy anything from this company again!!!! No matter how flashy they make it. :(

    • You’e not very smart, are you?

      The iPhone is a mini-computer.
      You dropped it.
      It broke.
      Duh.

      And nobody charged you more than you paid, because you haven’t paid yet- the largest portion of the iPhone price is bundled into your contract.
      To buy a new iPhone outright with no contract can cost $600-$900 on eBay. I’ll be happy to give you $200 for your phone, or anyone else’s for that matter.

      • Zip Williams

        Apple f#cks their customers and most are too star struck to see it. Look at the iPad, no headphones, screen cleaner, case, docking station. All extra and lots extra.

      • He’s not very smart? Hey dumbass, did you know that the SCREEN is not the “mini-computer” and has absolutely NOTHING to do with the screen breaking? Glad you listed your website so that no one is stupid enough to have you work on their “mini-computer” that isn’t broken from a cracked screen.

  5. Apple is crazy! they are the real thieves charging $199 to fix a broken screen when I only paid 200 for the phone. How much do you think that screen actually cost apple? probably under $5 or $10 . And as far as the jailbreaking I was hesitant at first but after I jailbroke I wish I would of done it sooner.

  6. I just dropped my iphone 3GS and bought it 2 months ago with the ext warranty. I went to the genius bar, and they will not replace the screen for free, it costs $199. but they can do it while you wait. I had the soft rubber case, and it still slipped and fell on wooden ground from about 4 feet height. Im going to get a hard case now for $30, but if the phone falls flat on its face on the screen that wont cover it either. and if i break the screen again, its another 199. this is the only thing that sucks about iphone and apple. another option would be to get insurance on the iphone via your credit card for broken damage etc. i will do that this time, because im sure ill drop it and break it again. goodluck to all.

    • Billy Bob

      Enough already- STOP dropping your phones IDIOTS! I have owned an iPhone since they were introduced to the general public and have NEVER dropped it- Treat it like it is supposed to be treated and you won’t have to shine your ass on websites like this!

    • Christina

      Billy Bob, do you think people are dropping their phones on PURPOSE?! Get off your high horse – stuff happens, and expensive toys fall/break. My iPhone cracked the other night when it was in my pocket, I was SO disappointed these things aren’t more durable and refuse to shell out more money to fix a screen when my phone itself was only $99. I’ve heard that it’s a crapshoot, but depending on who you talk to you can get the phone replaced for free. I’m gonna try my luck with that, I have nothing to lose!

    • Sara Johnson

      Billy Bob just like Christina said nobody drops an iphone purposely I have never dropped my iphone and it’s screen is cracked but because of other people accidentally dropping it

    • That’s really sad guava. The only phone (that I’m aware of) that isn’t backed up. For $4 or $5 a month (not much) most companies will replace the phone for you 2x in 12 mos.

      As for you, Billy Bob, you’re a jackass, but the name kind of indicates that. You’re right, what was I thinking? People are often caught thinking “hmmm, I wonder what will happen if I drop this face down onto the pavement, maybe if it lands just right it will shatter the screen” and then let it fly.

      Hopefully you’ve returned to the safe waters of your Apple fanboy site.

    • Billy Bob

      Maybe you should treat this device as the delicate piece of HIGH-TECH electronics that it is. Try taking your Bose system and dropping it…It would quit and it is some of the best gear made…They are not made to be abused, they are made to be used and cared for you moron!

      • Zip Williams

        Exactly, I am very carefull when I carry my Bose 5.1 system around from the gym to work etc. The iPhoneis delicate and not designed to be carried around.

      • Why doesn’t AT&T/Apple have a replacement plan like most SmartPhone contracts? It’s because Paul is absolutely correct.

        Sorry but a <$10 screen and 10 minutes doesn't equal $199. Apple has this odd enjoyment of ripping people off as best they can.

  7. Don’t go to these imature places all these places use the cheap parts go to godaddy and check out the record for how long these websites have been in exiatance and you will notice that they have only been registered for less than a couple weeks make sure you do your research before getting your phone fixed anyone can do it it’s not that hard you just go to you tube and watch the video it’s not rocket science

    • Why the hell would I pay $199 to do a repair that takes 10 minutes? Why would you, why would anyone unless they just enjoy dropping cash into Apples pockets (and I know there’s a lot out here that does).

      I love people who think paying retail is the only way to go. What exactly do you lose by not being under “warranty” if you’re out of warranty?

  8. I broke my iPhone screen a little while ago and instead of going through all the hastle of buying a new screen i just searched around for a little while and found magicphonerepair.com they had the best prices along with 24 hour turn around and free insured return shipping.

  9. Well…i had my visit with a ‘genius’ today and much to my dismay….they DO NOT fix the screens for free unless it is a hairline crack which is a manufacturer’s defect. If it’s personal damage they do not cover it. In Canada, they charge $256. He said it wouldn’t void your warranty if you get it repaired somewhere else, though if it was damaged in the process, it wouldn’t be covered.

  10. SO, if I get my screen replaced somewhere else that will void my waranty thru apple however is there a way apple can tell the screen was replaced!?! I sure the hell am not going to tell them, so I am assuming they will never know and my waranty will be valid til it runs out???? right????

    • I was told by an Apple Genius that the warranty remains intact as long as the repair is done by an Authorized Apple Service Technician with genuine replacement parts.

      As someone mentioned above, I have also seen kits with the glass and all the tools on eBay for $15 or less. I have also been told that there may be “microscopic” marks on the glass to identify whether it’s genuine. Can anyone either verify or disprove this?

  11. these things are crazy i was sitting at my office desk and the phone dropped very lightly and the next thing i knew the screen had cracked I took it into apple and they tried charging me $199 WOW the phone it self only cost $99 with a contact…. anyways the same thing had happened to my friend and she had hers fixed locally by Phone Repair Depot… I contacted them and sent in my phone to them and they fixed it the same day and shipped it back to me within 2 days I had my phone on my ear I would recommend them to everyone they charged half the price and got it done in the same time it would take me to make an appointment call them (214)550-0404 or visit their website http://www.PhoneRepairDepot.com

  12. So..

    If I drop my phone, crack my glass and let a “genius” repAir it, my warranty is voided on the phone?

    Why on earth would I let a “genius” do what I can do, for much less $, if the phones warranty does not remain??

  13. They should do battery replacements if they can take screens out… All you have to do is take out 8 tiny little screws after the screen is out, pull out the motherboard(easy as cake) and the battery is just stuck down. Pop it out, pop in the new one…. bet i could do the whole process in LESS then 5 minutes… (of course i have done a LOT of them for friends) Putting in the bigger 1600maH battery, instead of the 1150maH stock one…
    Oh and Quit dropping your iPhones!! :)

  14. I had my iPhone 3GS lcd screen replaced by a Apple Genius because of a dead pixel.. And do you know what happen when I got my phone back? Dents on the bezel and back cover, I only found out next day, because my 3GS is always in a case.

  15. Just had this happen to me for the second time. They’re great phones, but this time it cracked when I dropped it in the grass. The first time this happened, I paid $200 at the Apple Store for a swap. However, this time, I found a more affordable solution. If you are in the Dallas area, I would recommend CrackedPhoneScreen.com. They will replace the cracked face for $89.99 while you wait. It took the technician a few minutes and the phone is as good as new. You can even mail them your phone and they will fix it and mail it back. Their number is (214) 550-0707 and their web site is http://www.crackedphonescreen.com

  16. Hello all, we perform these iPhone 3G screen repairs for $99 installed. Wil said it: “if your screen is cracked from a fall or impact you need not apply” when visiting an Apple Store. If you take your iPhone into Apple and they see your screen cracked, they will void the warranty on your iPhone. We are half the price and if you’re local to Kansas City, we will also do your repair while you wait. Otherwise, we perform these repairs within 1 business day from any location in the US. Thanks!

  17. Just called my local (Northern California) Apple store and their Genius told me that a cracked screen was NOT covered by warranty. There are a few known defects that present themselves in the form of a cracked screen that are covered, however if your screen is cracked from a fall or impact you need not apply.

  18. 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

  19. foodiedad

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

    • Unhappy

      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.

    • michael

      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

  20. Kenneth

    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!