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Broken iPhone Screen – Sell, Fix, or Replace?

Broken iPhone screen.

I’ve never broken an iPhone this badly before. I’ve scratched and dented several phones in the past, but this time I tempted fate and left the phone bare without a case. I survived 6 months or so, but it finally came back to bite me. So now I’m wondering what my options are to remedy this problem.

What if I want to fix it?

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. Asked for help from anyone who’s done this before.
  2. Talked to some Apple Store employee friends of mine.
  3. Googled “broken iPhone screen” and read through forums.
  4. (Almost) submitted Apple Support “Express Lane” request.

Asked for help

I showed off my sad screen on Facebook and asked if my friends had ever dealt with this problem. A pretty good conversation ensued and I got some decent recommendations. Some friends had good experiences, some had bad ones. In general, I don’t feel overwhelming confidence about a third party glass repair.

Apple Store employee friends

These guys are my go-to’s for iThing questions. They’ve come through in the clutch before and I trust their advice. According to one of them, I can get the phone replaced for $229, even without Apple Care and all that. That’s certainly more than replacing the glass at a mall kiosk, but it would mean a fresh start. I think I’ll probably go that route. But I am my father’s son and I must do my research. (A little “PK” inside joke there.)

Google

Support forums—even Apple’s—are mostly barron wastelands of internet filth. I have very little confidence in the information posted there and even less patience for the experience of reading through them. But it can’t hurt to check. Maybe there’s a really fast and easy answer that Google has identified as the hands-down best result. But alas, there is not.

Apple Support request

It turns out that Apple actually has a section of their website where users can submit support requests. I’m legitimately surprised by this. I was under the impression that your options were to visit an Apple Store or go screw.

I filled out the form, ran the automated diagnostic on my phone, and priced out the support request I was hoping for. Lo and behold, my Apple Store employee friends seemed to be right—$229 for replacement (plus shipping and tax). Finally some official Apple answers.

What if I want to sell it?

That’s a viable option. Maybe I can just pass it on to one of those buy back services and pick up a shiny new one. I’m not sure whether or not that makes financial sense. I think if I just bought one out of pocket, I’d have to pay the full price, $749.

I’ve used Gazelle before to sell back some old iPhones (which I actually kind of regret now). In searching around this time, I came across SellCell.com and their listing for my phone’s stats [full disclosure: they paid me to link to them]. They appear to be a sort of marketplace for buying and selling phones and devices. They led me to a few other vendors which offer to buy my cracked phone.

The best offer I found was $212.50 for the broken phone. Not bad. I’d rather use a service like SellCell or Gazelle than deal with things like eBay. Just feels more trustworthy to me, I suppose.

I don’t think I’ll fix it

I don’t really trust myself enough to do the work. And the reviews of the $99 kiosk fixes don’t leave me feeling very confident. I’m sure some others out there have had success and think I’m a weirdo for shying away from it but oh well. Looks like I need another trip the my local Apple Heaven/Store.