So we’ve all been there, that moment your iPhone slips from its snug home in your hand and falls in slow motion to the ground. You scramble, like Gollum after the ring that’s just been thrown into the fiery pit but you can’t get there in time. Precious!
This happens a lot, but the good news is there are a whole host of options out there for you if you have cracked your screen. The same can be said for most minor damage done to a MacBook or an iOS device.
Option one is the most obvious; you can take it back to Apple. You can make an appointment with someone who’ll take a look at it and go through your options. For how to make an appointment online and other useful tips check out 10 Apple URLs Every User Should Know. Most likely though, you will need to pay to get it fixed, your Apple guy or girl will tell you how much. It’s probably more expensive than option two, which we’ll get to in a moment, but there are a few benefits:
1. Because Apple, being the manufacturer, handled the repair it won’t interfere with your warranty.
2. If the repair happens to be done outside warranty then there should be some sort of guarantee on the repair (six months for example).
3. They won’t break anything and if they do they’ll replace any damage.
4. They’ll use original parts, so you won’t be replacing the damaged screen (or other damaged components) with inferior quality replacements.
Option two is a bit more exciting; you can try and fix it yourself. A great companion for a project like this is ifixit.com, a website that will provide you with step by step guides for almost any repair you can think of. They also provide equipment lists so that you can find the equipment you need to complete the repair safely. The upsides of an iFixit accompanied project are:
1. Taking apart things is fun and hey, you’ll learn something.
2. It’s considerably cheaper.
3. Depending on your situation it may be more convenient to do it this way (if you’re too far away from a store for example).
4. While you’re tinkering you can customise things, you could even light up the Apple on the back of your iPhone with an LED light. That’s if you don’t mind it munching on your battery among other problems.
There are some things to remember, however, before you start opening up your iPhone. It’s a good idea to do some research of your own on exactly what you’re getting yourself into. In addition to the written iFixit guides there are some great tutorials on YouTube that make useful watching. If you have a friend who has repaired their iPhone or equivalent before, ask them to come and supervise. Remember to:
Take into account the degree of difficulty of the repair first before jumping in. For example, from the iPhone 4 and up, if you have cracked the back screen of your iPhone it’s quite simple to fix. The front screen, however, requires taking out a lot more components and is a little trickier. Following guides closely is a good way to see how difficult the repair will be. Guides will also point out efficient ways to work, like keeping those tiny screws in the order you took them out (some of them are slightly different sizes).
Consider that opening up your iPhone yourself voids your warranty, so if there are any legitimate problems later on they probably won’t be covered. For instance, if you replace your screen then there is a problem with the camera, even if the problem is unrelated it might be difficult to get it covered under warranty. The same goes if a third party that is not authorised by Apple conducts any repairs on your Mac or iOS device.
Be safe. Safety is also important, playing around and opening up any electronic devices can be dangerous because they, well, use electricity. Remember to use tools that are designed to be used on Apple devices, improvising could leave you looking like Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons. An electrostatic discharge mat is a good idea, along with making sure you’re well grounded.
Spending the time to do your own research on the safety methods and gear needed will also go a long way to preventing any mishaps.