Smashing the screen on your iPhone (or iPad or iPod, for that matter) is sadly a common issue. We’ve all been there: you drop your beloved phone or tablet, reach down and pick it up – of course it landed screen down – and inspect the damage, only to have your worst fears confirmed. The screen is shattered.
Well, chin up. It’s bad, but it’s not disastrous. You have options. In this article we round up the five best ways of repairing a damaged iPhone or iPad display, and explain the pros and cons of each. We’ll have that screen repaired in no time, don’t you worry.
Repairing iphone screen
The tips in this article, by the way, are all about mending iPhone displays that are visibly broken. If your iPhone’s screen just isn’t working or responding to your touch, try How to fix a frozen iPhone screen. If the glass back of your iPhone 8 has broken, on the other hand, our advice will be broadly similar but it will be more expensive than getting the screen fixed, with an excess fee of £79/$99 even if you’ve got AppleCare+.
Get Apple to repair the screen
Apple will come to the rescue and repair your cracked screen, but it won’t do this for free, even if you’re still in the warranty period, as accidental damage isn’t covered by the standard warranty.
If you went the extra mile and paid for AppleCare+ – read about AppleCare+ for iPhone here, and AppleCare+ for iPad here – then the cost won’t be too high. AppleCare+ includes repairs for up to two cases of accidental damage. But there’s still an excess fee. Users need to pay £25/$29 to fix their iPhone display no matter what model it is, with all other repairs costing a flat rate of £79/$99.
Assuming you haven’t got AppleCare+, the cost of your screen repair will be much higher – particularly in the case of the iPhone X. It’s best to get in touch with Apple and see what they’d charge in your case, but the company quotes the following prices for screen repairs. (Note that other damage will carry higher fees – around twice as much. See here for more details.)
- iPhone X: £286.44/$279
- iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus: £176.44/$169
- iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus: £156.44/$149
- iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5: £136.44/$129
Here are the non-AppleCare costs for iPad screen repairs:
- iPad mini, iPad mini 2: £196.44/$199
- iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4: £296.44/$299
- iPad 2, iPad Air, iPad 9.7in (2017): £246.44/$249
- iPad Air 2, iPad 3, iPad 4: £296.44/$299
- iPad Pro 9.7in: £356.44/$379
- iPad Pro 10.5in: £426.44/$449
- iPad Pro 12.9in (2015), iPad Pro 12.9in (2017): £566.44/$599
If this appeals you can read about Apple’s policies on iPhone screen repairs here, and on iPad screen repairs here, but many of us will be looking for a cheaper repair than this. So, what other options are available?
Go to a high-street retailer
The high street is where most of us will go when we break our phone or tablet screen because, generally speaking, people like the personal touch, which is something you tend not to get when using online repair services. Another point for the ‘high street vs online’ argument is that if anything goes wrong with a high-street repair then you know where to go to complain (unlike with most online services).
While we recommend some high street repair shops, you should be aware that there have been cases of iPhones that have been repaired with certain replacement screens becoming unresponsive to touch. This issue appears to have been exacerbated by an update to iOS – iOS 11.3 is thought to have rendered some iPhone 8 models that were repaired with non-Apple displays unresponsive to touch.
Apparently, some people who have had the screen on their iPhone replaced are experiencing issues since updating their iPhone to iOS 11.3. We cover this issue in more detail here: iOS 11 problems and fixes.
There are also reports that iOS 11.3 is also causing problems with some genuine Apple displays that have been used to repair broken iPhones.
According to an Engadget report, iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X models that have been repaired with official Apple display, are unable to adjust brightness automatically. This problem is actually affecting devices running iOS 11.1, iOS 11.2, and iOS 11.3, according to that report.
Companies who perform third-party repairs are suspicious that Apple is disabling functionality on purpose to stop third-party repairs.
Aakshay Kripalani, CEO of Injured Gadgets, a repair shop, told Motherboard: “Customers are annoyed and it seems like Apple is doing this to prevent customers from doing 3rd party repair.” The right-to-repair using a third-party is protected by law.