iPhone repair: how to fix your iPhone

19 March 2014

Getting your iPhone repaired or replaced is usually a pretty simple process. First you’ll need to check if your phone is under warranty. After that establish if it can be repaired at all. Thirdly, decide if you want to go directly through Apple, through your carrier or through a third party repair service.

If you’re in a particular hurry, Apple even does an Express Replacement Service where a new iPhone is mailed to you in exchange for your damaged one.

The easiest option is always in-store

If you have an Apple store anywhere nearby your work or your home, it’s easiest to just wander on in and ask for assistance. Make sure you take your damaged iPhone with you, as well as a receipt if you have one.

Before you do make sure you back up any data on your phone (assuming it’s still working). There’s a good chance the store assistant will offer to send it off for repairs right then and there. If that happens, you want to make sure your data is safe.

If you’d like to arm yourself with a bit more info before heading in then read on.

Do you go through Apple or through your carrier?

If you have purchased your iPhone on a contract then you can get it replaced through your carrier. You’ll need to talk to your carrier about this by calling, visiting a store or checking out the online procedures. Each carrier does things a little differently, so you’ll need to do this part yourself.

Depending on the situation, Apple will sometimes repair an iPhone even if it was bought on a carrier contract. If you’re more comfortable with this arrangement then be sure to ask an Apple representative if it’s possible.

If you have bought your iPhone outright, either through Apple or through a third-party vendor, then you should be able to get your phone repaired through Apple or through that vendor. Try to do things through Apple directly if you can. There’s usually less hassle and a shorter delay if you do.

Check your iPhone's warranty

If your iPhone is covered by warranty then you shouldn’t have to pay a cent. The bad news is that any damage caused by you or a third party or incident over which Apple has no control will not be part of the warranty.

Warranties change depending on device and region, so there’s no universal guide. Apple has set up a system where you can check your warranty fairly easily.

In general, these things are not covered:

  • Consumable parts, such as batteries or protective coatings that are designed to diminish over time, unless failure has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship;
  • Cosmetic damage, including but not limited to scratches, dents and broken plastic on ports
  • Damage caused by use with another product ;
  • Damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, liquid contact, fire, earthquake or other external cause
  • Damage caused by operating the Apple Product outside Apple’s published guidelines
  • Damage caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorised Service Provider (“AASP”)
  • An Apple Product that has been modified to alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple
  • Defects caused by normal wear and tear or otherwise due to the normal aging of the Apple Product, or (i) if any serial number has been removed or defaced from the Apple Product

Statistically speaking, it’s more likely that you’ve dropped it and either cracked the screen or caused it to suffer liquid damage. These, among many other things, are not covered by the Apple warranty.

Can it be repaired at all?

Apple will service some phones out of warranty (OOW). An OOW servicing covers iPhones for which the warranty has expired, as well as newer phones that are still under warranty but have suffered damage that isn’t covered. Costs and repair times vary, so once again it’s best to ask a representative from either Apple or your carrier.

Some damage cannot be repaired by an OOW service. This includes catastrophic damage (when the phone is in multiple significant pieces) and damage caused by unauthorised modifications. You can check Apple’s repair terms and conditions for further details.

Express replacement

If you’re going the OOW route but you need a new phone as soon as possible, you can go with an express replacement service.

With the ERS, Apple will mail you a new phone as soon as you’ve paid for the service via credit card. You will then place your old damaged iPhone in the packaging that the replacement came in (box, accessories and all) and mail it back to Apple within 10 days.

ERS pricing differs based on model and region. If your iPhone is considered to be damaged beyond the regular terms of ERS then Apple will apply an extra charge based on the difference in value between your damaged phone and the regular ERS fees.

Image credit: Flickr users zooboing (changes made), and theHalo.



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