Each new iPhone appears to be getting more and more expensive, and so does the cost of their repairs. For some iPhone models, the cost is so high that it's similar to how much a brand new iPhone cost just a few years ago.
Here's how you can repair your iPhone and how much you'll have to pay.
How to repair your iPhone through Apple
Repairing through Apple is likely the easiest and fastest option. It also maintains your warranty. However, it comes at a high cost, potentially close to $1,000 if you don't have AppleCare+ (see below).
Here is how much it costs to repair through Apple directly or an authorised repairer.
ModelScreen RepairOther DamageiPhone XS Max $518.95 $928.95 iPhone XS, X $448.95 $858.95 iPhone XR $318.95 $618.95 iPhone 8 Plus $278.95 $618.95 iPhone 8 $248.95 $548.95 iPhone 7 Plus $278.95 $548.95 iPhone 7 $248.95 $508.95 iPhone 6s Plus $278.95 $518.95 iPhone 6s $248.95 $468.95 iPhone 6 Plus $248.95 $518.95 iPhone 6 $218.95 $468.95 iPhone SE, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c $218.95 $428.95
*Pricing correct as of 15/05/2019, please see the Apple servicing page for up-to-date pricing. These prices include a $19.95 shipping fee (in-store repairs will be less this amount).
If you're experiencing battery issues, iPhone battery replacement prices are available here (Apple will only replace batteries in devices that are otherwise intact).
Other damage includes damage to the rear of the iPhone. Apple will typically replace the entire phone with a refurbished device in these situations. Apple refurbished devices are usually indistinguishable from a new device.
Repairing through Apple does have its benefits. Notably, there are many retail stores across Australia, where you can book a repair within several days or you can walk in and try to see if a repair is possible the same-day. Otherwise Apple offers a straightforward mail option.
Is AppleCare+ worth it?
AppleCare+ is essentially an insurance product. If you purchase it, you're banking on an expectation that you're going to need to pay for a repair in the next two years. Otherwise, it may be an unnecessary expense.
In Australia, we benefit from the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) guarantee. It goes beyond a manufacturer or retailer warranty. It's particularly relevant for premium or relatively expensive items. For instance, a cheap $100-$200 phone may have a 1-year explicit warranty and that could be reasonable under the ACL guarantee considering the cost of the device. Meanwhile, a $2000 iPhone may also have a 1-year explicit warranty, but the ACL guarantee can stretch that warranty out to 2-3 years because the higher price for a premium product raises expectations that the device will last longer.
Under AppleCare+ for the iPhone, you can repair your device on two occasions at a discounted rate. The pricing is:
ModelScreen RepairOther DamageAll iPhones with AppleCare+ $45 $149
If you have history of breaking iPhone devices, AppleCare+ could be appealing. Otherwise, you may think the risk of going without is worthwhile.
Third party repairers
The cost of repairing a broken iPhone through Apple can be shocking and going to a third party for cheaper pricing is tempting. But it does have risks.
First, Apple is notorious for refusing to fix devices that have been opened by third parties. Let alone actually repaired by them. If you decide to get a third party repair and it goes badly, you may be stuck with a completely dead phone.
Second, third parties typically use cheaper and unauthorised parts. That means the display may not be the same quality and the touch screen may not be as accurate. You'll also void the original Apple warranty and ACL guarantee, so it's important to go with a repairer you trust.
Finally, third parties cannot fix some parts of the iPhone. Face ID and Touch ID repairs cannot be done due to Apple's security measures. On later model iPhone devices, e.g. iPhone 7, the Touch ID scanner is linked to the display. Meaning if you replace the screen, it's likely the fingerprint reader will no longer work.
If you can accept these risks, and find a repairer you trust, a third party may be a good way to go save some money.
Choosing to repair or not
While it's unfortunate that phones and their repairs are getting more expensive, they are undoubtedly more powerful. And if they do break at 1.5 years old, it may be more palatable to pay the repair cost and aim to get at least another 1.5 years out of the iPhone.
The decision will come down to your list of priorities. However, Apple do make it easy to quickly fix a broken iPhone - and part you from your cash.