Yes, I dropped my iPhone today. Yes, that drop, from less than 3 feet, cracked the glass. Yes, I wanted to cry.
Now what do I do? I went to the Genuis Bar at the Briarwood Apple Store right away, and they told me, as I expected, that they could get me a replacement iPhone for $299. You read that right. They didn’t offer to repair my phone; they offered to replace it, maybe with a refurbished one, for the same price I originally paid. I asked if there were repair options, and they said not with them. Paying $299 would also get me a new warranty that lasts until August. As is, my warranty is void since the break was accidental. So,
Option 1: Pay Apple $299 and hope they give me a new one instead of a refurb.
I looked around online for other options. Since my warranty’s void anyway, I’m not that concerned about a warranty-saving repair. This guy’s site – http://3gcrackedglass.com – is pretty much right on about repair options and prices. The two sites I see mentioned most often when I search for repair info are iResQ and Mission:Repair. iResQ is supposedly an Apple Authorized repair provider, but they have some service and PR issues. Apparently that particular problem was resolved. So,
Option 2: Pay iResQ $129 or Mission:Repair $137 to fix it and ship it back overnight
Of course, I could always just live with the cracked screen, making
Option 3: Put the iPhone back in its case, and live with a cracked screen.
I had an InCase skin on my iPhone for awhile. I took it off because it made it really hard to get the phone in and out of my pocket. It also made it bulky. Oh, and, I was a little irked at having to pay $30 for an accessory to make the iPhone marginally more durable. The other $300 cell phones I’ve owned didn’t need cases to be durable. If I’d had my case on today, my screen may not have cracked. I take responsibility for dropping my phone. I still think it’s ludicrous to offer only replacement and not repair. I get that Apple makes a load more money doing it that way, but the process is infuriating and wasteful.
Mini rant about Apple
In the last 2.5 years, I’ve spent about $4100 on Apple hardware – 2 laptops and an iPhone. My MacBook required two new logic boards, three new keyboards, and a new hard drive. My MacBook Pro requires new fans and probably a new logic board. None of those 8 repairs were my fault. My laptops have spent about 2 weeks at Apple service facilities and require another 5-7 day stay to fix the fans. My iPhone has worked fine since I bought it in August, but the fact that it cannot withstand a rather routine and expected fall made me furious today. I’ve been patient with my other Apple hardware. I’ve sent my computer in for repair and tried to work on my dissertation using backup data and backup computers. I’ve been through the ringer with their hardware, and I’m exasperated. I don’t want to be a whiner, and I don’t want to minimize my role in breaking my iPhone. But, I don’t think I can recommend Apple products anymore. They either come broken like my MacBook, break almost immediately like my MacBook Pro, or require unreasonable gentleness like my iPhone. At twice the price of comparable laptops and cell phones from competitors, I expected more. Sigh. I’m no longer convinced that the software advantages Apple platforms provide make them worth the hassle or cost. I’m left thinking maybe I should have stuck with my Dell and my BlackBerry.
Oh, and the total cost of ownership for Apple products are even higher. Every laptop needs $30 adapters to work with external monitors, and apparently every iPhone needs a $30 case to protect it. Yes, needs. So add 1.4% to your laptop bill for each adapter you need, and add 15-20% for a case for each iPhone. And those are just the beginning.