Having a broken iPhone can be extremely frustrating. Whether it’s a cracked screen, water damage, or other issues, most iPhone owners want to get their device repaired and working again as soon as possible.
Should I go to the Apple store?
One option is to take your iPhone to the Apple store or an Apple authorized service provider. Apple technicians are experts on repairing iPhones and will be able to diagnose the problem and provide reliable repairs using genuine Apple parts.
The pros of going to the Apple store are that repairs will be done properly and reliably. Apple technicians have the expertise, training, and parts to fully fix your iPhone according to Apple’s standards. Any repairs done at the Apple store also come with a 90-day warranty.
However, Apple repairs can be expensive. Out-of-warranty screen repairs start at $129 and go up depending on the model. Back glass repairs can cost $399 or more. Water damage, out-of-warranty battery replacements, and other complex repairs also cost several hundred dollars from Apple.
Third-party and independent repair shops
Another option is to take your iPhone to a third-party or independent repair shop. These shops may advertise lower prices than the Apple store and quicker turnaround times.
The advantage of third-party shops is the potential for lower repair costs. Screen replacements can be $50-100 in some cases. Shops may also be willing to try repairs that Apple would consider “out of warranty.”
However, there are some disadvantages too. Some shops may use lower-quality parts or not follow proper repair techniques. The quality of workmanship can vary greatly between shops. Any warranty provided likely won’t match Apple’s 90 days of coverage.
Mail-in repair services
Some companies specialize in mail-in iPhone repairs. You ship your iPhone to them, they replace the damaged parts, and ship it back to you fully repaired.
Benefits of mail-in services are convenience and potential cost savings versus the Apple store. You don’t need to visit a repair shop in person.
Drawbacks are the risk of damaging your iPhone further in shipping, lack of in-person customer service, slower turnaround time, and less recourse if you’re unhappy with the quality of the repair.
DIY iPhone repairs
Technically inclined owners may want to consider do-it-yourself (DIY) iPhone repairs. Parts like screens and batteries can be purchased from online suppliers along with the tools needed to open the iPhone and complete the repair.
Doing it yourself allows you to save money on labor costs. You also don’t have to wait around at a repair shop. However, DIY repairs require a lot of technical skill and patience. One small mistake can further break the iPhone or render it unusable. Most common iPhone issues like cracked screens are complex projects for amateur repairs.
Key factors in choosing where to get an iPhone repaired
If you need to get your iPhone fixed, several key factors should help determine the best option:
- Cost: How much are you willing to pay? Apple repairs are the most expensive, DIY is cheapest.
- Quality: Is it critical to use genuine Apple parts and technicians?
- Time: Do you need the quickest turnaround time possible?
- Convenience: Is a mail-in service easier or visiting a shop in person?
- Warranty: Do you want a long warranty period in case issues arise later?
Paying more for Apple’s reliable repairs often makes sense for users who want genuine Apple parts, experienced technicians, and a robust 90-day warranty. However, independent shops or DIY repairs can work well for less complex fixes or people comfortable with third-party components.
Tips for getting your iPhone repaired
Here are some useful tips for getting any model of iPhone repaired efficiently:
- Back up your data before getting any repairs. You may lose data if repairs go wrong.
- Find a shop with trained, experienced technicians, good reviews and fair prices.
- Understand all costs upfront. Some shops charge extra for parts.
- Ask about warranties on parts and labor. Longer warranties give you peace of mind.
- For mail-in repairs, pack the iPhone very carefully to avoid shipping damage.
- Consider DIY repairs only if you have technical skill and proper tools.
- Get a cost estimate before approving any repairs.
- Make sure to get the IP rating restored if doing a back glass or other repair.
Common iPhone repair issues
Some of the most common issues that require iPhone repairs include:
Dropping an iPhone and cracking the screen glass is one of the most common repairs. Apple charges $129 and up for screen replacement depending on the model. Independent shops often charge $50-100.
Over time, the iPhone’s battery capacity diminishes and needs to be replaced. Battery issues are straightforward fixes but require opening up the iPhone carefully. Apple charges $49-99 for official battery replacements depending on the model.
Volume button and switch repairs
The physical buttons on an iPhone – home button, volume buttons, mute switch – can stop working properly over time. Repair shops can often fix button issues quickly by cleaning or replacing the affected parts.
Back glass repair
Cracking the back glass panel is common on newer iPhones with glass backs. Replacing the back glass is complex but necessary in some cases to restore proper water sealing and allow wireless charging.
Water damage repair
Liquid damage requires opening the iPhone and cleaning or replacing key components. Water damage repairs can quickly become expensive. The repair cost may exceed the value of an older iPhone.
Speaker and microphone repairs
Some users find their sound quality dropping due to a damaged speaker or microphone. These components can often be repaired instead of replacing the entire iPhone.
Camera and lens repairs
Blurry photos and camera issues may point to a need for camera repairs. Some shops can replace just the rear camera lens instead of the entire camera module.
Choosing an independent iPhone repair shop
When choosing an independent iPhone repair shop instead of Apple, make sure to do some research first. Here are some tips for picking a high-quality third-party iPhone repair shop:
- Check reviews on Google, Yelp and other sites.
- Look for shops that use genuine Apple parts for repairs when possible.
- Ask about the repair technician’s training and certification.
- Inquire about any warranties and guarantees on workmanship.
- Evaluate the total cost with parts and labor.
- Look for convenient locations if you need a walk-in repair.
- Make sure to get a proper waterproof seal if doing any repairs involving opening the iPhone.
Taking these steps helps identify repair shops that provide reliable, high-quality iPhone repairs using proper techniques. An experienced technician working in a reputable shop is critical.
Mail-in iPhone repair services
For mail-in iPhone repairs, look for services that:
- Use original Apple parts when possible
- Offer free shipping labels for sending your iPhone to them
- Have repair centers based in the United States
- Provide tracking info so you can follow your repair status
- Offer a warranty on their repair work (1 year or longer is preferable)
- Have strong customer reviews and ratings online
- Provide options for add-on services like screen protectors
- Offer different shipping speeds at checkout
Mail-in services allow you to compare companies and read verified reviews more easily. Reputable national mail-in iPhone repair companies include Fixez, uBreakiFix Mail-In Services, CPR Cell Phone Repair, and iCracked.
DIY iPhone repairs: What you need
For do-it-yourself iPhone repairs, you need to purchase replacement parts and tools online or from specialty suppliers like iFixit. Here are some of the key items needed:
- iPhone repair tool kit with pry tools, suction cups and screwdrivers
- Replacement iPhone battery, screen, or other needed parts
- ESD-safe mat to prevent static discharge while working on electronics
- iSclack tool to open iPhone without damage
- Adhesive strips for re-sealing waterproof iPhones
- Nylon or plastic spudgers for prying apart connections
- iPhone-specific screwdriver heads
- Tweezers and other small tools
- Lots of patience!
There are also excellent online video tutorials showing how to replace iPhone screens, batteries and perform other common DIY repairs. iFixit and Fixez have step-by-step repair guides for many iPhone models and issues.
Pro tip: Back up your iPhone before any repair!
No matter where you get your iPhone repaired, one crucial tip is to always back up your data first. Back up to iTunes on a computer or use the iCloud backup option.
Backing up ensures you won’t lose any valuable data like photos, messages or contacts if something goes wrong during the repair. It provides important peace of mind before handing your iPhone over.
Encrypted local backups through iTunes are best to fully preserve your personal data and iPhone state in case of issues. Having a recent backup helps immensely with restoring your data if repairs don’t go as planned.
Fixing a broken iPhone can be frustrating, but understanding your repair options helps you get your device working properly again. Apple provides reliable repairs using official parts and technicians, while independent shops often offer cheaper and faster fixes. Mail-in services provide convenience for a potential middle ground. With some basic precautions, you can get almost any iPhone issue resolved quickly.