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iPhone’s glass is broken. What to do?

UPDATE: I got my iPhone fixed by Mission: Repair and am very happy. See my review post.

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.


  • Carolyn |

    Man, I think you just have bad karma with Mac. I only started using Apple products in 2001: out of one of the first iBooks, a 12″ Macbook Pro, and now a 15″ MBP, I only had a problem with the iBook monitor going bad (and that was after dropping it on the floor for maybe the 5th time, around year 3 of its life), and a battery on the 15″ that wouldn’t hold a charge (but they swapped out right away). I’ve had iPods since the original vintage one with no problems, and even a used 23″ Cinema Display is all good. And my vintage 2G iPhone is still trucking along, even after dropping it multiple times (yeah, the incase rubber sleeve probably saved it) and pwning it every few months ๐Ÿ™‚

    So either I’m lucky, you’re cursed, or the truth lies somewhere between…

    I never believe in getting stuff repaired only from a manufacturer, but that’s probably the old PC user in me talking. Option 2 still sounds like the best deal. How bad is the crack? You should upload a pic ๐Ÿ™‚

  • libbyh |

    To be fair, I should mention the iPod Video and iPod Shuffle that I also own. Those never really go anywhere or get any use but also haven’t needed repairs. I’m sure I’m hard on my electronics since I work at home, school, coffeeshops, etc. and use them all the freakin’ time. But seriously, for as much as Apple stuff costs, I should be able to pack my stuff up and move it around without worrying about every little thing breaking all the time. I’m leaning towards iResQ. I don’t mind paying to fix something I broke; I do mind paying to replace it.

  • Repair iPhone Snafu |

    yeah i read about this iresq iphone snafu but i think it was blown entirely out of proportion – read about the repair iphone horror story here. i think this blogger crossed the line and didn’t give iresdq the chance to fix the problem before going all ape on them. my two cents.

  • Ryan Arter |

    Hi Libby, thanks for the thought, research and blog post. We hear this same type of story every day- we’re Accredited with the Better Business Bureau here in Greater Kansas City, and to be honest we’ve got the installation method on these iPhone 3G glass panels perfected. We use laser-cut adhesive strips to install the new glass and it’s the only way to go! Our repairs come out looking great, and we give a 1 year warranty on the new installed glass/digitizer assembly. Also, our price is $124 with return overnight shipping included (via FedEx overnight). If you have any questions, please give us a call 866-638-8402 or send me an email- you are welcome to ask for me directly if you have any questions. Best, Ryan @ Mission Repair.

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  • Jeremy Michelena |

    I dont truly know what you talking about right here. This cant be the only way to think about this can it? It seems like you understand a lot, so why not explore it a lot more? Make it more accessible to everyone else who might not concur with you? Youd get a lot more individuals behind this should you just stopped making common statements.

So, what do you think ?

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