Everything You Need to Know About Fixing Your iPhone Screen

Everything You Need to Know About Fixing Your iPhone Screen

The sheer moment of paralysing terror as your iPhone slips from your fingers. You might be having a boogie, snapping a sunset selfie, or just absolutely cooked chucking a whizz in the bathroom down at the pub. It doesn’t matter.

We all know that moment. And we all know the way that we hold our breath as we fish the iPhone from the cold tile floor and examine the screen.

Because truthfully, the Apple iPhone’s screen breaks way too bloody much.

Maybe you’re in this boat now or maybe you’re prepping for the next time the boat leaves port. Well, the good news is that we’re living in the time of the Right of Repair Movement. The people have stormed the walled gardens of Apple and said “No longer will we pay $500 for a repair job. You will give us cheap iPhone screen repairs!”

And Apple said “No”.

But who cares? We have consumer choice! And this article is everything you need to know about fixing your broken and cracked iPhone screen.

Is it worth it? How much will it cost? Can I repair it myself? Are there options other than our benevolent Apple overlords?

Let’s sort your iPhone screen repair!

But mate, for Pete’s sake… just invest in a screen protector next time.

Assessing the damage of your iPhone screen

So you’ve just regretfully smashed your iPhone screen like it’s clobbering time? Next comes the soulful assessment of your iPhone’s display.

First, avoid the urge to give it a quick once-over and shove it back in your pocket. Whether your iPhone screen is broken, chipped, or seems completely fine, you still want to assess it properly because these things can snowball.

Lay that sucker down on a solid surface and get some light on it. Examine your Apple iPhone’s screen and see what category the damage falls under:

  1. Minor damage - There might be some small cracks, however, the screen still lights up and the phone works as it should.
  2. Moderate Damage - Some heftier cracks, perhaps resembling a spiderweb, but the screen still lights up and the phone works.
  3. Significant damage - A lot of cracks and fragmented glass. The screen lights up but is responding poorly or miscalculating your touch.
  4. Major damage - The phone looks like Clive Palmer sat on it. The iPhone display is either not turning on or is showing a lot of static when it does.

Once the damage has been assessed, you can move on to phase two: resume, repair, or replace. HOWEVER, regardless of the damage, now is a perfect time to do that long-overdue backup of your phone’s data, contacts, photos, and everything else.

A cracked iPhone screen is one thing; lost access to your entirely digitised life is way more devastating.

Resume, repair, or replace: replacing the screen or getting a new iPhone?

‘Resume’ refers to carrying on with business as usual. If the damage is not significant enough to justify an iPhone screen replacement, you may be able to abstain until further breakages occur or you decide to upgrade your phone.

That said, at the very least cover the screen with some packing tape or a screen protector. Cracks beget cracks and structural damage to your Apple iPhone’s screen can also lead to moisture and dust infiltrating the inner circuits of your phone. No bueno!

‘Repair’ and ‘replace’ refer to just that: repairing the iPhone screen or straight up replacing the whole phone. Nine times out of ten, it’s entirely viable to repair your iPhone’s screen. On the odd occasion, you might have damaged the internal circuitry, but usually, it’s cheaper to bear the inconvenience of waiting for a repair and there’s little reason to replace or upgrade your phone.

Ultimately, consumer choice wins the day and you can balance your own costs on repairs vs. replacement, however, please, do consider your environmental impact.

So, yes, yay for consumer choice. But considering it’s cheaper to get an iPhone screen repaired and in a world of moral relativism is still arguably 100% the RESPONSIBLE choice as a consumer, I think you can see the conclusion I’ve subtly led you to.

So… now that you’ve decided to just fix your iPhone screen (heehee), let’s talk business.

How much does it cost to repair an iPhone screen?

repair iphone screen

Below, I’ve smooshed together a cute little table for your perusal. But as a general rule for iPhone screen replacement costs, anyone with AppleCare+ will be pretty chuffed by the universal $45 price tag (provided it’s only the screen that needs replacing and there’s no internal damage). Once you throw in the initial cost of AppleCare+, that’s usually between $200-$300 for more modern iPhones and $150-$200 for older models.

Outside of warranty, the prices for iPhone screen repairs are pretty comparable between Apple and third-party repairers. Third-party repairers can be more expensive, however, in a lot of cases, they can also be cheaper than going through Apple. This is particularly true for older-generation iPhones.

The best way to gauge the cost for out-of-warranty iPhone screen replacement and repairs is simply to do the legwork! Apple provides a static pricepoint according to your iPhone model, so use our table below and phone around to your local phone shops to see if anyone can out-price them.

Comparison of Estimated Costs for iPhone Screen Repairs

Covered by AppleCare+

Out of Warranty

iPhone Model

AppleCare+ cost

Screen replacement cost

Total

With Apple

With 3rd Party Repairer

iPhone 13 mini

$169

$45

$214

$359

$335 - $529

iPhone 13 

$169

$45

$214

$439

$365 - $499

iPhone 13 Pro

$239

$45

$284

$439

$569 - $569

iPhone 13 Pro Max

$239

$45

$284

$519

$579 - $579

iPhone 12 mini 

$169

$45

$214

$359

$229 - $269

iPhone 12

$169

$45

$214

$439

$249 - $350

iPhone 12 Pro

$239

$45

$284

$439

$249 - $350

iPhone 12 Pro Max

$239

$45

$284

$519

$299 - $540

iPhone 11

$169

$45

$214

$309

$179 - $190

iPhone 11 Pro

$239

$45

$284

$439

$169 - $220

iPhone 11 Pro Max

$239

$45

$284

$519

$199 - $380

iPhone SE (2020) (2nd generation)

$129

$45

$174

$219

$109 - $129

iPhone SE (1st generation)

 *

 

 

$219

$119 - $119

iPhone XR

*

 

 

$309

$159 - $229

iPhone X

*

 

 

$439

$149 - $180

iPhone XS

*

 

 

$439

$149 - $179

iPhone XS Max

*

 

 

$519

$169 - $260

iPhone 8

*

 

 

$249

$99 - $139

iPhone 8 Plus

*

 

 

$279

$110 - $150

iPhone 7

*

 

 

$249

$99 - $139

iPhone 7 Plus

*

 

 

$279

$109 - $140

* Costs unavailable at time of writing

How long does it take to repair your iPhone Screen?

It depends on the damage done to the iPhone and where you’re getting it repaired.

Best case scenario, you’ll have your iPhone screen repaired and back under your fingers within the day. Apple says if you make an appointment at the Apple store, the repair itself takes less than an hour. This is usually true but factor in the time to book an appointment, drive to the store, wait for repairs, grab a snacko, and head home for some serious swiping, and it’ll be a day affair.

If the damage to your iPhone’s screen is more severe and has affected the internal workings, Apple will need to send the phone off for repairs (or possibly a replacement). This obviously drives up the price of the iPhone screen’s repairs, but it also leaves you without your phone for  3-5 business days. Potentially longer to an upwards of 10 days.

Repairing your iPhone screen through a third-party repairer is pretty comparable. Less than a day if they have the parts on hand, 24 hours if they can get the replacement screen quickly, or 3-5 business days with an upwards of 10 for more serious repairs.

Where to fix your iPhone screen?

The first port of call - especially if you’re inside your Apple One-Year Limited Warranty and the screen has broken due to a manufacturing error - is to go straight to Apple. Book an appointment at the Genius Bar with your Apple ID, expect your Genius to run late for the appointment, and get your iPhone screen fixed quick-smart! However, do remember that your limited warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage.

If you shelled out for AppleCare+, then you should definitely head straight to the Geniuses. Reap that lower repair cost and make that extended coverage count!

However, if you’re outside of your warranty, you have a dilemma…

If for some reason the iPhone display has died due to a manufacturing error, you can argue for a free repair. Australian Consumer Law dictates that all products sold in Australia must be of “good and merchantable quality”. If it’s the case that your iPhone is still reasonably new (e.g. 12-24 months old), the display should work by fair Australian standards irrespective of the warranty. Contact the Office of Fair Trading first, get some ammunition (and legalese) in your corner, and then head down to the Genius Bar to outplay the resident masterminds.

But if the breakage is simply accidental, you may want to consider shopping around for third-party repairs. Depending on the damage, third-party stores often offer cheaper iPhone screen repairs. You do run the risk of them not using genuine Apple replacement parts which voids the warranty, however, that’s a moot point if you’re outside your warranty.

If the idea of using generic replacement parts concerns you, then you can seek out an Apple-certified third-party repairer. They’re certified to use Genuine parts but may still be cheaper than the Apple store.

What to look for when going with a third-party repairer?

For absolute peace of mind, do seek out those Apple-certified third-party repairers. They’re trained by Apple through a stringent authorisation process so you know you’re getting gold-standard repair methods and replacement parts for your broken screen.

Beyond that, most trustworthy third-party repairers are totally viable for an iPhone screen replacement, particularly for minor damage. But do your due diligence - a savvy consumer is a happy consumer!

Shop around, read those Google reviews, ask one of your mates that has also definitely shattered and cracked their iPhone screen where they got it repaired… If the feedback is good and the vendor doesn’t also look like they sell black market ciggies, it’s probably a win. iPhone screen replacements really aren’t the top tier of complexity for phone repairs.

And when in doubt, head down to your local phone shop! It’s smart to head to Apple for an iPhone screen repair if you’re getting the best service and price. Otherwise, it’s smart to support your local businesses and get the friendliest smile.

And on a final note, a brief shout-out for sustainable tech and the circular economy. Should you - as the savvy and intrepid consumer you are - opt to replace your iPhone instead of repairing the screen, don’t chuck your old phone in the bin! Try to sell that sucker at one of the buyback programs (e.g. Rebold Buyback) or pass it along to a recycling or repair shop near you. A broken iPhone screen doesn’t have to be the end of the world but neither does it have to be toxic landfill.
As for getting an iPhone replacement, check out the refurbished iPhones on Rebold – always cheap and more environmentally friendly!

Reuse, refurbish, and recycle. And call your mum! She misses you.