iPhone X screen repair proves pricey and challenging

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Many know the pain and agony that comes with cracking a $1,000 smartphone - including I-Team reporter Jason Knowles. Knowles discovered obstacles to getting the cracked screen fixe (WLS)

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
Many know the pain and agony that comes with cracking a $1,000 smartphone - including I-Team reporter Jason Knowles.

When Knowles dropped his iPhone X he first called his carrier, Verizon, thinking he could get the screen replaced for a fee of $29 under its Total Mobile Protection program by Asurion.

But several representatives from Verizon and Asurion said it couldn't be done because they didn't have the capability to replace the iPhone X screen.

Verizon told the I-Team its "Total Mobile Protection (TMP) program has a commitment to provide its customers with device repair/replacement services that meet the highest level of quality. Sometimes this may mean that we are not able to provide a local repair option on certain models, including newly launched devices, because parts are unavailable."

Knowles was able to replace his phone a day later to the tune of a $199 deductible. But what about customers who don't have insurance?

"You could be paying more than you'd think," said Anga Harbst, an iPhone X owner. "That's a bad surprise, of course."

Knowles also called five third-party repair shops in the area. They too said the fix could not be done because of "limited stock" and the "high price" of parts. One store said the parts alone cost $300-400. Tech experts said parts are costlier and harder to get for the iPhone X due to its thinner, better, richer screen with different technology.

Apple told the I-Team that Apple stores and other Apple-authorized repair shops do have the parts and can fix the iPhone X screens for $29 for customers with Apple Care insurance and $279 for those without. Apple Care insurance for the iPhone X costs $199 for two years. Apple's site showed about a dozen authorized locations in the Chicago area.

Sandy Nash said her husband will now be more cautious.

"So one of the things he'll do is get a screen protector with his case just so he doesn't have to deal with Apple Care and replacing his broken phone," she said.

And anyone can get Apple care in addition to or instead of a carriers' insurance plan. Like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint use Asurion but some plans may also include Apple Care. All of the major carriers redirected the I-Team to Apple for questions about part availability.

The bottom line for iPhone X owners is that you may want to consider purchasing insurance or Apple Care in case you'll need an otherwise costly repair. Those who do choose to get phone repairs done at a third-party repair store should check references for that store and check its record with the Better Business Bureau.
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