Breaking an iPhone screen is never a fun experience. While nearly every electronics repair store will help you fix your iPhone, the job isn’t free, and you could walk out with a much lighter wallet. So, here are all your repair options, plus the prices you can expect to pay for an iPhone screen replacement.
I’ll get one thing out of the way right now; Apple has a stranglehold on iPhone repairs. You don’t need to visit an Apple store to replace an iPhone screen, but the company goes out of its way to make other options less appealing. So, buckle up for a bit of disappointment.
Note: All prices listed in this article are specific to the United States.
Official Repairs Are Expensive Without AppleCare+
For whatever reason, Apple is very good at marketing its repair service. Everyone knows that they can walk into an Apple Store, drop off their broken device, and (usually) pick it back up within 24 hours.
You can even mail an iPhone to Apple for repair! Of course, snail mail is rarely necessary, because Apple offers its repair service through select “Authorized Apple Service Providers” like Best Buy. These “authorized” providers follow the same repair process as Apple, so you can receive quality service even when you don’t live near an Apple Store.
But Apple overcharges for repairs. If you don’t have an AppleCare+ subscription, you can expect to pay several hundred dollars for a screen replacement.
Here’s what Apple charges to replace some popular iPhone screens:
- iPhone 13 Series: $229 – $329
- iPhone 12 Series: $229 – $329
- iPhone 11 Series: $199 – $329
- iPhone X Series: $199 – $329
- iPhone 8 Series: $149 – $169
- iPhone 7 Series: $149 – $169
- (Check the full list of Apple screen replacement fees for more.)
With an AppleCare+ subscription, these repairs cost just $29. I strongly suggest paying for AppleCare+ (which is between $3.99 and $13.49 a month) if you’re super clumsy or if you’re buying an iPhone for a child.
Bear in mind that these prices apply to all Authorized Apple Service Providers. If you wander into a Best Buy looking for a screen replacement, you’ll pay the same price that Apple charges at its stores. The benefit, of course, is that Best Buy and other authorized locations follow the same repair process as Apple’s “Genius Bar.”
One last note—some carriers, including Verizon, are happy to take broken phones for trade-in. Swapping your busted iPhone for a new device may be more cost-effective than paying for repairs at an Apple Store, especially if you own a newer model of iPhone.
Third-Party Repair Stores Are Affordable but Limited
If you’re just looking for a screen replacement, you can save money by avoiding “authorized” service centers. Third-party repair stores charge very little for screen replacements, as their prices aren’t dictated by Apple.
Every small business is different, so I can’t tell you what your neighborhood repair shop charges for an iPhone screen replacement. That said, their prices are lower than Apple’s, often by $100 or more. And because small repair shops like to build relationships with their community, they’re often willing to cut deals with first-time or repeat customers.
Unfortunately, only Authorized Apple Service Providers can order official iPhone parts. Some independent shops salvage official parts from other iPhones, but still, there’s a decent chance you’ll end up with an unofficial replacement screen. (Which isn’t a big deal for older iPhones, but unofficial screens for newer iPhones are much less durable than the “real thing.”)
Apple also likes to restrict some repairs at a software level. Performing certain repairs without Apple’s calibration tools (which independent stores can’t access) will actually disable features like Face ID. But this is only a problem with brand spankin’ new iPhone models—historically, Apple lifts screen repair restrictions a few months after each iPhone’s release. (You can now replace the iPhone 13’s display without consequence, for example.)
You Could Always Repair Your iPhone at Home
You can’t save money without putting in the work. Replacing your iPhone screen at home is usually cheaper than visiting an Apple store or an independent repair shop. And yeah, there are a ton of resources to help you get the job done.
The best resource, in my opinion, is iFixit. The gang at iFixit regularly publishes repair guides and sells replacement parts for popular products. You can even buy one of iFixit’s screen replacement bundles, which includes all the parts and tools you need to fix your iPhone’s broken screen.
But Apple doesn’t sell official parts to iFixit. So, you’re stuck using third-party materials. It’s a frustrating situation, as the only “official” at-home repair option is Apple’s Self Service Repair program, which stinks.
Unless you’re looking for a novelty, I suggest that you avoid Apple’s Self Service Repair program. It’s a great idea on the surface (official parts, repair guides, and calibration tools), but it only costs a few dollars less than a visit to the Apple Store. (Apple also sends out these massive Pelican cases for Self Service Repair orders, which is completely over the top and not very useful to customers.)
So, if you want to replace your iPhone’s screen at home, iFixit is still your best option. Just keep in mind that iFixit kits for newer iPhones are still a bit expensive, and in some cases, they may be more expensive than a visit to an independent repair shop.