How good is the insurance you may have with your iPhone?
It may be very good. However, in 99% of cases, the insurance will not cover broken screen-glass which is the most common repair needed. If you find yourself with a broken glass, and now you’re using your iPhone through the cracks, and you have just been quoted an almost obscene price to repair it, please stop, take a deep breath and consider some options.
1. You can simply pay the price being asked by the manufacturer.
If you take this route, you will be paying an amount of money roughly equal to the value of your used phone, in many cases. A better option may be to simply buy a used iPhone from someone who deals in used phones. Be sure to get a warranty covering parts and labor of at least 10 days, if you do this.
How will find a used iPhone? Your best bet is to search Craigslist. It may be tempting to buy from an individual. If you do, meet them in a very public place with good lighting, such as in front of a police station. A safer option may be to find a reputable iPhone repair shop which has a used iPhone for sale. A real shop will offer a real warranty including parts and labor for a period of at least 10 days, and up to 90 days.
How will you know the shop is reputable? Google the shop. Check Yelp and Yahoo. Ask the shop for 3 references. You should find over-whelming positive results. If you come across a negative review or two, remember, no one is perfect (provided there are a lot of positive reviews with the negatives). Once you find the right shop, they should give you a credit for your old phone.
2. You can fix it yourself.
How? You’ll find instructional videos online. Please be very careful. In many cases, the person who made the video of the repair would like to sell you the parts for a lot more than they are worth. For example, the glass for the 3G and 3GS is less than $5 at true wholesale prices. Should you pay $25 or $35 for the same part, probably not. In the case of the iPhone 4, some people are selling the glass alone. They don’t tell you the glass (which is the digitizer) is normally bonded to the LCD. Even if you can get the broken glass off your LCD, you cannot make a proper repair. The only way is by buying the iPhone 4 or 4S digitizer and LCD as one unit.
Very few people are able to repair the iPhone 4 after watching a video. New technicians learn while being watched by an experienced technician for eight weeks. The iPhone 4 interior is packed with delicate connectors. Make one wrong move and you no longer have a phone – you’ll have a paper weight because it is so easy to damage the mother board, which is the heart of the phone. There are 18 screws to remove. Each must go back in the right place. If one screw is placed wrong, the phone won’t work. The 3G and the 3GS models are easier, but you can still destroy your iPhone with one false move.
3. You can probably find a local or mail-away independent iphone screen repair repair person or shop.
If you take the precautions mentioned earlier, chances are good you’ll find a reputable person who is interested in your repeat and referral business. Be bold. Ask questions like, how many repairs have you done? Go to the shop. If, upon seeing the shop in person and talking in person, you get cold feet, run. Your intuition is probably right. The consequences of letting the wrong person into your phone are too big.
If there is not a real and reliable shop close to you, consider mailing your iPhone to a reliable shop for repair. Be sure to use a shop who’s mail service is predictable, fast, affordable, and guaranteed. How long will you have to be without your phone? The shop you select should be able to guarantee your repaired phone to be back in your hands in five days from the day you put it in the mail, provided the shop is in the same state, and they should guarantee this by using first class mail. Watch out for large fees for fast shipping.