I dropped my iPhone and smashed the screen

The iPhone’s screen is com­plex, but there are op­tions for re­plac­ing it your­self

Mac Format - - TO THE RESCUE -

Drop­ping your iPhone face down onto a hard floor always in­duces that aw­ful sink­ing feel­ing. But, there are a num­ber of things you can do – once you’ve re­cov­ered from the shock.

If you have Ap­pleCare, you may be able to get it fixed or get a re­place­ment. Also, the Ap­pleCare+ iPhone pro­gramme al­lows for two in­ci­dents of ac­ci­den­tal dam­age per pol­icy and charges an ex­cess of £55. Or, check your home in­sur­ance. Does it cover ac­ci­den­tal dam­age for your iPhone? If so, what’s the ex­cess on the pol­icy? If it’s less than £150, it might be worth claim­ing.

Call in the crack team

An­other op­tion is to take it to a com­pany who fix cracked screens. The prob­lem with this ap­proach, how­ever, is you have no con­trol over what your orig­i­nal screen is re­placed with, or how well the re­pair is car­ried out. Both re­place­ment screens and work­man­ship are vari­able. If you know some­one who has had an iPhone screen re­placed and they’re happy with it, go for that. If not, do some re­search be­fore you hand over your iPhone. In the US, Ap­ple has be­gun rolling out iPhone-screen re­place­ment pro­grammes in-store in some of its re­tail stores, but this isn’t avail­able in the UK yet. How­ever, you could, of course, re­place the screen your­self. All you need is a re­place­ment front panel and LCD (buy them in one unit), the tools for the job, in­struc­tions, and a steady hand. There’s a good in­struc­tion video at cnet.co/1kUHmXW, and, of course, ifixit.com can help.

How­ever, this sort of DIY job will void your war­ranty and it’s un­likely to re­sult in a pris­tine iPhone. On top of that, the qual­ity and cost of re­place­ment a front panel/LCD varies enor­mously. A front panel and LCD assem­bly for an iPhone 5s, for ex­am­ple, will cost at least £50.

A Ge­nius so­lu­tion

Our pre­ferred op­tion for re­pair­ing is to take the iPhone to Ap­ple and book an ap­point­ment at a Ge­nius Bar. When we did this last sum­mer, our smashed iPhone 5 was re­placed with a new 64GB iPhone 5 (of­fi­cially Ap­ple only prom­ises a re-con­di­tioned model) for £179. And, they made sure the new iPhone was set up and ready to go be­fore we left the store. Given the likely ex­cess on a home in­sur­ance pol­icy, and the cost and un­pre­dictabil­ity of re­pair­ing the screen your­self, we’d say that was rea­son­able value.

The fi­nal op­tion, par­tic­u­larly if the screen is cracked rather than to­tally smashed, is to do noth­ing. If you can still use the iPhone, there’s no real rea­son, other than cos­metic, to re­pair or re­place it (but use a screen pro­tec­tor to save your thumbs get­ting nicked!)

Fi­nally, get pro­tec­tion. If your case doesn’t have pro­tec­tion for the screen, buy a sep­a­rate screen pro­tec­tor and use it. That way, the next time you drop your iPhone, the re­sult might not be so cat­a­strophic.

As heart­break­ing as this sce­nario is, there are plenty of op­tions avail­able to re­store your iPhone’s lovely screen.

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