Marketwatch recently took a look at the rising price of iPhone 5 screen repairs, pointing out that the US$229 Apple sometimes charges to repair a broken iPhone 5 screen is often more than the cost of the device itself, with a two-year contract of course.
At the root of rising iPhone repair costs are more expensive components coupled with a lower supply of said components.
The replacement components for the iPhone 5 are much more expensive than similar parts for prior models -- so expensive in fact that many independent repair services cannot compete. "Due to the high cost of replacement parts, we are not yet offering iPhone 5 repairs," according to a statement on ComputerOverhauls.com, an online repair shop. "Currently, the Apple Store is the least expensive option for repairing damaged iPhone 5s." Other services charge as much as $250 for the repair.
The article also relays that the iPhone 5 is actually easier to fix than previous iPhone models. Replacing a display on the iPhone 4S, for example, involves 37 steps.
Oh cruel irony.
All told, AppleCare+ for iPhone owners is steadily looking like the smart play. I opted not to get AppleCare when I picked up my iPhone 4S. Then, 15 months later, the screen cracked after I clumsily let it slip out of my hand.
With AppleCare+, which costs $99, Apple extends warranty coverage on the iPhone to two years, a plan which covers two incidents of accidental damage along with a $49 service fee. Damage not caused by human error or clumsiness is not subject to an additional service fee.