With its new unibody design and metal backing, the iPhone 5 is built to be a bit more durable than its glass-backed predecessor. And it looks like it could be more repairable as well.

According to a new report this afternoon, Apple may be providing its retail employees with the tools needed to fix broken iPhone 5 displays in-store, a stark departure from previous policy…

iMore has the scoop:

“iMore has learned from sources within Apple retail that broken iPhone 5 displays may soon be getting replaced in-store. This would be a change from Apple’s current iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 practice, which consisted of swapping the entire iPhone out for a new or refurbished one. Sources within Apple retail have told us that equipment used to remove the screens has started appearing in their stores.”

The site says there’s no word yet on how much such a service would cost, or whether a person will need the $99 AppleCare+ plan to take advantage of it. Though it’d likely cost less than a new phone.

iMore has been extremely accurate with its Apple intel over the past few months, so we’re inclined to believe the story. That, and Apple retail employees have been replacing 3G and 3Gs screens for years.

If true, at least it will make up a bit for the fact that it’s going to be nearly impossible to replace the iPhone 5’s back with ease. Thanks to the unibody design, some of its parts are directly attached to it.

What do you think? Good news, or it doesn’t really matter?

  • I always hated it that Apple shipped your iPhone to some place to be repaired.This will surely make quite a few customer a lot happier.

    • Bob

      You need a hermetically sealed lab to do proper repair work on iPhones.

  • SquareTrade > AppleCare+

    • well I used to justify applecare+ because for $50 I’d get a brand new (or refurbished) phone on the spot. all of my problems would go away – water damage on speakers, broken glass, etc. but now that it’s just a repair job, I might switch to SquareTrade.

      • Thorasgard

        I dont understand your issue. Doesn’t AppleCare cover those problems as well? Not their fault if you fail to bring your other problems to their attention.

      • I guess its more of a personal stigma against repairs. In the past few years, whenever my local Apple Store has made a repair job, the issue returns in a few weeks or a related one pops up. Happened with my MacBook Pro logic board (“repaired” 3 times until it was out of warranty and just bust), my first iPhone’s battery failure, and my MacBook Air’s trackpad repair leading to a keyboard malfunction. I have really rotten luck. But with the AppleCare+, when I broke the glass I got a new phone for $50. Worked fine and looks great enough to sell. If SquareTrade is doing repairs for cheaper than AppleCare repairs, why wouldn’t I choose them? Unless many people have had crappy experiences?

  • Good news …Why wouldn’t it matter? 40% of people break their screens at some point.

    • Blake

      Where did you pull that statistic from? Your rear-end?

  • I will just have to keep my prices for repair better than Apple’s… 😉


  • John Holsinger

    Apple Store swapped out the back of my cracked 4S in store, in 5 minutes. Cost $29 just last month. They’re already there…

    • Did you even try to read it ? The front of the iPhone 5, not the back of the iPhone 4, at the end they even say that Apple has changed the front of the 3G and 3Gs for years now.

  • AltF5

    That’s because all you need is a pentalobe bit driver, and a suction cup now.
    See step 5, over at iFixit, with the iPhone 5 Teardown in progress. Easy as cake for all of us facing a cracked screen issue in the future, for iPhone 5s.

  • So they are pretty much saying these screens are going to be breaking alot… I would have really liked to see a phone with a little more protection built in like water proofing or water resistance.. and more durability when it comes to drops… well have to see with this unibody design it may be able to take a nice hit. Im waiting for the first drop test to be posted on youtube!

  • Depends on the cost.