As much as Apple likes to market its toughened, glass displays by telling consumers each new iteration of iPhone is made with the “toughest glass yet”, it’s an unfortunate fact that your iPhone screen will crack under the right (or wrong) circumstances.
At the end of the day, glass is glass. If it’s flexed too much, impacted too severely, or hit with a material higher than it on the hardness scale, then you will run the risk of a splintered screen that needs to be repaired. However, is a screen repair on the iPhone even possible?
Can a Cracked iPhone Screen Be Fixed?
The answer to whether or not a broken iPhone screen can be repaired isn’t as straightforward as you’d think. For one, there is no way to “repair” an iPhone screen in the traditional sense of the word. If a screen is cracked, it needs to be replaced, not patched.
For your iPhone to qualify for a screen replacement, it needs to meet these requirements:
- No damage apparent to the battery or logic board of your iPhone
- The metal/plastic enclosure hasn’t been bent, warped, or severely damaged
- The iPhone is still in one piece (it hasn’t been catastrophically damaged)
If your iPhone meets those standards, then it’s worth investigating a screen replacement. Bear in mind, you have a few different repair routes, all with different price points, and different options depending on the type of damage done to your iPhone.
Types of iPhone Screen Cracks
There are many ways to describe the damage done to your iPhone. Depending on the severity of the damage and the type of damage, you may have different options for repair.
Hairline Cracks/Deep Scratches
Mostly cosmetic, easy to hide.
Sometimes our iPhone is barely cracked and we find a thin, hairline cracks on the screen or a particularly deep scratch. You may opt to ignore this damage until it grows worse. If you choose to ignore it, consider investing in a super-thin, invisible screen protector to smooth out the damage.
It can be cosmetic but may require replacement.
This type of crack is a little harder to ignore, but for those consumers that don’t mind a little personality to their iPhone screen, you could very well put a thin screen protector over the damage and continue with your life. Bear in mind that cracks like this will worsen over time, so you may want to simply deal with the damage at the forefront.
The Shattered Screen or “Spider web”
Requires replacement, though repair may not be viable.
This is the worst of the worst physical damage that can happen to your iPhone screen. A complete, catastrophic break that completely “spider webs” the glass on your display, making it unreadable. Not only is your screen unsightly, but you also face cutting your fingers on the broken glass embedded in your display.
It’s best to store your iPhone in a bag for safekeeping and take it directly to a repair shop. Depending on the damage, you may also want to try applying packaging tape to the screen to keep the glass shards from falling off.
Broken Glass Back
Ranges from cosmetic to catastrophic, may or may not be replaceable.
Depending on your iPhone, you may face the dreaded shattered back glass, which is a total bummer. After all, the damage is mostly cosmetic and doesn’t affect the functionality of your iPhone, yet it’s unsightly and potentially hazardous to your fingers. Historically, these iPhones feature glass backs:
- iPhone 4
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Max
- iPhone 11 Pro
As you can see, Apple took a substantial break after the iPhone 4S glass back before they reintroduced the feature to their iPhone 8 models, where it’s continued to be a facet of the iPhone ever since. Experts guess that a glass back aids in wireless charging, which is now a standard feature of the iPhone.
Luckily, there are always avenues open when it comes to replacing your iPhone screen. You may want to try replacing the screen yourself, going to a professional (be it a certifies Apple service provider or third-party repair shop), or forego replacement altogether for a trade-in.
If you plan to take matters into your own hands and commit to doing your own iPhone screen replacement, then ensure you understand the process and use a reputable dealer for your repair parts. IFIXIT is a credible company that dives deep into electronics repairs. One of their specialties is in iPhone breakdowns and iPhone repairs. They’ve taken this reputation a step further and now offer “iPhone Screen Fix Kits”, which they sell right on their website.
It looks like IFIXIT.com sells iPhone screen replacement for even the iPhone 4S, so even if you’re the owner of a vintage iPhone you have a DIY repair option should the need arise. Kits range from $39.99 to $184.99, depending on the model of iPhone you’re repairing. The newer your iPhone, the more expensive the screen replacement kit is.
Be sure to check out an iPhone screen replacement tutorial before you start so you can visualize each step of the process. Also, bear in mind that certain facets of your iPhone will not function (such as True Tone) with a replacement screen.
You have two valuable options if you choose to have your iPhone screen repaired by a professional. Both come in at different price points and have altogether different customer experiences.
Apple Retail/Apple Mail-in Repair/Apple Certified Service Provider
Credible, certified repairs with substantial warranties attached.
If you live near an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Certified Service Provider, then taking your iPhone to one of these brick-and-mortar spots can be one of the most straightforward methods of getting your iPhone screen replaced. Apple has a clear pricing breakdown on its website, with or without AppleCare+:
As you can see, AppleCare+ (Apple’s extended warranty program) can save you a lot of money should you need to have your iPhone screen replaced. Out-of-warranty costs can go from reasonable to downright expensive, depending on the model of iPhone you own.
Third-Party iPhone Repair
A third-party repair shop is always an option should you find yourself out-of-warranty or simply don’t want to go through Apple. Truthfully, if you have a newer iPhone, you’re better off investing in AppleCare+ and going straight to a certified Apple repair option.
However, if you have an older iPhone, then a third party repair is probably more cost-effective. Check out thumbtack.com to find iPhone repair shops near you. Repair prices at a third party shop will vary, depending on your region and the market, but screen replacements can be as cheap as $65:
Check with a local, credible repair shop (with plenty of good Yelp reviews) to see what exactly they’ll charge you.
Let’s say your iPhone was already feeling a bit long in the tooth—the new cracked screen is just the cherry on top of a terrible sundae. If you’re uninterested in having your iPhone screen repaired, then there are alternative options that go beyond chucking your old iPhone into the trash or the junk drawer in your kitchen.
At Buyback Boss, we’d even give you up to $450 if you trade in a cracked iPhone 11 Pro Max:
And no matter the make, model, or condition of your iPhone, we’ll make sure to recycle or refurbish it. Before you get made that you dropped and damaged your iPhone get an instant quote from us to see how much cash we’ll give you in exchange. You’ll be surprised how much your cracked iPhone is worth!
We keep things simple at Buyback Boss. You can trade-in your iPhone in just three simple steps:
Get an instant offer for your iPhone
Quickly see if a trade-in is worth it with our instant quote. Just answer a few questions for us and you’ll know exactly how much your iPhone is worth.
Ship Your iPhone
Find an old Amazon box and pad it full of soft material, like the circular flyers you get in the mail. Ship out your packaged iPhone using our prepaid shipping label and get ready for cash.
As soon as we receive your iPhone we’ll do a quick inspection and send money your way via a check or through PayPal. That’s all there is to it!
Find a Solution for Your Cracked iPhone
As the saying goes, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” The same is true for a cracked iPhone. While we don’t condone squeezing the juice out of your iPhone, we do recommend that you make the best out of a bad situation.
There are many options for fixing even the worst damage to your iPhone. Sometimes the best fix is to simply trade-in your iPhone for something new. When that’s the option you’re looking at, we’ll be around to help you make your trade-in as easy and lucrative as possible.