A post I wrote on my cracked iPhone screen over two years ago has received over 200+ comments from readers who had similar experiences damaging the glass on their iPhones.
In January of 2008, I shattered my iPhone screen and took a trip to the Apple Store to get it repaired. I paid $250 to exchange my broken phone with a refurbished iPhone. Apple does not repair cracked iPhone screens. Instead they classify your iPhone as damaged, give you a replacement iPhone, and ship your broken one off to be refurbished for the next poor sucker who drops his iPhone.
There are now third-party iPhone glass repair companies that will fix your iPhone for far less than the Apple Store. Of course, Apple might void your warranty if you use a third-party iPhone repair service, but that may be worth the savings, considering the high cost to replace your iPhone at the Apple Store.
Various accounts from commenters on my original post raise the question of whether Apple is being fair to its iPhone customers:
Apple will not even consider for a moment that this very serious and apparently common issue is worth investigating, it is far easier to class it as abuse while reaching their hands out and expecting me to fork over $300 for something that would cost them no more than $20-$30 to fix. So now here I am, with 3 iphones, 2 of which are broken.
My daughter tripped while hers was in her pocket the phone did not hit the ground but the screen shatter. (I saw it happen) The apple store wanted 200 for a new phone. She is 17 and bought it with her babysitting money, after doing quite a bit of online research chose the iphone over the blackberry. No where was it disclosed that the screen is so fragile.
My mother’s iPhone screen cracked not too long ago as well. We documented our experience with Apple’s service department.
In brief, Apple refuses to do repairs on broken iPhone screens because they fall under the category of “accidental damage” and therefore are not covered under warranty. Instead, the only option they give customers is to buy a replacement for $199, the same price as the new iPhone 3G coming out on July 11th.
Is Apple being unfair to iPhone users by not offering a reasonably-priced glass repair service? Readers report Apple’s replacement iPhones are now $199, down from the $250 I paid two years ago, but nevertheless an inflated price to pay for a relatively simple repair.
Given the high risk of cracking your iPhone screen, the lack of available insurance, and the high cost of replacing an iPhone, Apple must be making a killing off of iPhone users who have cracked their iPhone screens.
A couple of attorneys even left comments on my original post, speculating that the iPhone’s commonly cracking screen could be worthy of a class-action lawsuit.
Hopefully Apple’s upcoming iPhone will be more injury-proof.
What do you think?
Are cracked iPhone screens worth a legal battle? Do you think the iPhone screen is too prone to cracking, or is a touchscreen phone naturally more likely to crack because of its glass surface? Please share your opinion in the comments.