Breaking an iPhone screen is never a fun experience. Although almost any electronics repair store will help you fix your iPhone, the work isn’t free and you may walk away with a much lighter wallet. So here are all of your repair options, along with the prices you can expect to pay for an iPhone screen replacement.
I’m going to settle one thing now; Apple has a stranglehold on iPhone repairs. You do not have need visit an Apple store to replace an iPhone screen, but the company goes out of its way to make other options less appealing. So buckle up for a little disappointment.
To note: All prices listed in this article are specific to the United States.
Official repairs are expensive without AppleCare+
For some reason, Apple does a pretty good job of marketing its repair service. Everyone knows they can walk into an Apple Store, drop off their broken device, and (usually) pick it up within 24 hours.
You can even send an iPhone to Apple for repair! Of course, snail mail is rarely needed, as Apple offers its repair service through certain “Apple Authorized Service Providers” like Best Buy. These “authorized” vendors follow the same repair process as Apple, so you can get quality service even when you don’t live near an Apple Store.
But Apple overcharges for repairs. If you don’t have an AppleCare+ subscription, you can expect to pay several hundred dollars for a screen replacement.
Here’s what Apple charges to replace some popular iPhone screens:
- iPhone 13 Series: $229 – $329
- iPhone 12 Series: $229 – $329
- iPhone 11 Series: $199 – $329
- iPhone X series: $199 – $329
- iPhone 8 Series: $149 – $169
- iPhone 7 Series: $149 – $169
- (See the complete list of Apple screen replacement costs for more information.)
With an AppleCare+ subscription, these repairs cost just $29. I highly suggest paying for AppleCare+ (which costs between $3.99 and $13.49 per month) if you’re super clumsy or buying an iPhone for a kid.
Remember that these prices apply to all Apple Authorized Service Providers. If you walk into a Best Buy looking for a screen replacement, you’ll pay the same price Apple charges in its stores. The upside, of course, is that Best Buy and other authorized locations follow the same repair process as Apple’s “Genius Bar.”
One final note: some carriers, including Verizon, are happy to trade in broken phones. Trading in your broken iPhone for a new device can be more cost effective than paying for repairs at an Apple Store, especially if you have a newer iPhone model.
Third-party repair stores are affordable but limited
If you’re just looking for a screen replacement, you can save money by avoiding “authorized” service centers. Third-party repair stores charge very little for screen replacements because their prices aren’t dictated by Apple.
Every small business is different, so I can’t tell you what your neighborhood repair shop charges for an iPhone screen replacement. That said, their prices are lower than Apple’s, often by $100 or more. And because small repair shops like to build relationships with their community, they’re often willing to make deals with new or repeat customers.
Unfortunately, only authorized Apple service providers can order official iPhone parts. Some independent stores collect official parts from other iPhones, but there’s still a good chance you’ll end up with an unofficial replacement screen. (Not a big deal for older iPhones, but unofficial screens on newer iPhones are much less durable than the “real one”.)
Apple also likes to restrict certain repairs to the software level. Performing certain repairs without Apple’s calibration tools (which independent stores can’t access) will actually disable features like Face ID. But that’s just a problem with brand-new iPhone models — historically, Apple lifts screen repair restrictions a few months after each iPhone is released. (You can now replace the iPhone 13 screen without consequence, for example.)
You can still fix your iPhone at home
You can’t save money without putting in the work. Replacing your iPhone screen at home is usually less expensive than visiting an Apple store or independent repair shop. And yes, there are a ton of resources to help you get the job done.
The best resource, in my opinion, is iFixit. The iFixit gang regularly publishes repair guides and sells replacement parts for popular products. You can even purchase one of iFixit’s screen replacement kits, which includes all the parts and tools you need to fix your broken iPhone screen.
But Apple does not sell official parts to iFixit. So you are stuck using third party materials. It’s a frustrating situation, because the only “official” at-home repair option is Apple’s self-service repair program, which stinks.
Unless you’re looking for something new, I suggest avoiding Apple’s self-service repair program. It’s a great idea on the surface (official parts, repair guides, and calibration tools), but it’s only a few dollars less than a trip to the Apple Store. (Apple also sends out those massive Pelican crates for self-service repair orders, which is completely overkill and not very helpful for customers.)
So, if you want to replace your iPhone screen at home, iFixit is still your best option. Just keep in mind that iFixit kits for new iPhones are still a bit pricey, and in some cases they may be more expensive than a trip to an independent repair shop.
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