It’s almost inevitable that your iPhone—during its lifetime—is going to need repairs in one way or another. That’s not a statement against the durability of Apple products. But owners tend to take their iPhones everywhere they go, subjecting them to harsh conditions and potential accidents. The smartphone is such a big part of our culture now the odds are simply stacked against it staying in pristine condition forever (or until upgraded).
So, what do you do if your iPhone needs a virtual Band-Aid® or full-scale surgery? It depends on the severity of the injury. Before you do anything, if the phone seems to be having some kind of system error, power it down and start it back up to see if a reboot does anything to help the problem. If that doesn’t do the trick, or if you have an obvious problem like a cracked screen or a battery that won’t hold a charge, it’s time to seek professional help.
Your first inclination may be to take your phone to an Apple Store for Apple-certified repairs. However, there are new repairs shops opening in various locations that can provide you with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and expert service. The beauty of these kinds of iPhone repair centers is that they generally have multiple locations, so you won’t need to go out of your way to find a genuine Apple Store or make an appointment to have your phone checked out. Simply type “iPhone repair” into any search engine and see what pops up near you.
Another great thing about iPhone repair centers is that they can normally diagnose and fix your problem faster, and the fee is usually the same, if not cheaper, depending on if your phone is covered by Apple warranty or the AppleCare+ plan, if you purchased it. Apple’s standard iPhone warranty is one year, meaning warranty service repairs can be done for 12 months from the date of purchase of your phone. If you can’t remember if you opted for AppleCare+, you can visit Apple’s website and enter your iPhone serial number to check.
A third option is to mail your phone back to Apple for repair. If you’re okay with your phone being gone for seven to nine days, that might work for you. On the other hand, if you want your phone back in action in a matter of hours versus days, an iPhone repair center is still going to be your best bet.
Depending on the repair you need and the coverage you have can make a big difference on what you’ll spend. For example, screen repair with AppleCare+ coverage is $29 versus what you would pay if your iPhone is past its warranty date—which could be anywhere from $129 to $329, depending on the iPhone model you have. Other kinds of repairs with AppleCare+ will cost you $99, while repairs outside of warranty can run from $149 to $599.
Give a non-Apple iPhone repair center a try and see what they tell you. You might be surprised by what you hear.