iPhone 5s (smashed screen 001)

Well, it had to happen someday. Call it a stroke of bad luck or inattention on my part, but it only took a fraction of a second for my shiny new iPhone 5s to slip out of my hand and fall on the concrete face down, just a few short weeks after purchasing the device! For the record, I am the type of person who handles my devices with utmost care so you could imagine my sorrow and feel my heartache.

Now I’m left with a pricey device that has a damaged screen with nasty cracks appearing all the way down to the steel Touch ID ring. A quote my nearest Apple Store gave me for an out of warranty screen replacement was just unbearable. And, it would take them at least a week to, or even more, to service the device, which was unacceptable to me.

Worse, iFixit at the time didn’t yet sell an iPhone 5s screen replacement kit. In addition, history has taught me all to well to avoid inexpensive screens sold on eBay. More often than not, these third-party components don’t hold a candle to Apple’s Retina screen in terms of color accuracy, overall image quality and touch sensing.

Luckily for our U.S. readers, after introducing in-store iPhone 5c screen repairs back in January, Apple Stores in the United States can now replace your damaged iPhone 5s screen in a matter of an hour…

AppleInsider is reporting that Apple’s U.S. stores kicked off on-site iPhone 5s screen replacements yesterday.

Apple’s Geniuses are using this sophisticated machine to precisely align replacement displays, which allows customers to have their damaged displays “assessed and repaired in as little as one hour”.

iphone repair machine

Apple uses this machine to install replacement displays on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c, though reportedly its availability “is not yet guaranteed at all locations” in the United States.

Citing multiple reports, the publication writes:

Users with damaged iPhone 5s screens were able to visit an Apple Store and — in most cases — have the broken component swapped out for a new part within an hour. Previously, customers had to ship their 5s to Apple for servicing and replacement, a process that could take up to five days.

The price paid by customers is dependent on a number of factors, including how the screen was broken and whether or not the device is protected by AppleCare+ (accidental damage is not covered under Apple’s free limited one-year warranty)

You can expect to pay about 149 per repair. This compares to the $269 fee quoted for off-site replacements. Again, the in-store iPhone 5s replacement program seems to be limited to U.S. Apple stores.

Smashed iPhone 4S white
I also dropped my iPhone 4s on the Christmas Eve of 2011. I know, don’t start.

Having been located in Europe, I really, really wish Apple offered on-site iPhone 5s screen replacements over here. Eventually, Apple might roll out the initiative to its retail stores worldwide.

I was planning on keeping using my iPhone 5s for beta software testing after the iPhone 6 comes out. Otherwise, I’ll just have to buy a cheap Retina display knock off on eBay, replace it myself and sell the device online to recoup at least some of my investment.

Pictured top of post: my very own iPhone 5s, as it is today.