ABC News(NEW YORK) — As millions of Americans damaged their smartphones, the cellphone repair industry reported $4 billion in revenue last year.
There are tons of repair options out there for fixing a cracked screen and ABC News’ Good Morning America teamed up with the technology gadget website, The Wirecutter, to see how some stacked up.
We looked at five options for fixing a phone:
1. Do-it-yourself kit
3. Local repair/”mom and pop” shop
4. Mobile repair service that comes to you
5. Mall kiosk
4. Guarantee of workmanship
ABC’s Becky Worley had five iPhone 6s with cracked screens and brought one to each repair option without disclosing that she was a reporter from ABC News. The Wirecutter’s senior editor, Dan Frakes, examined all of Worley’s phones to evaluate the fixes. It was by no means scientific, but it does give a good indication of some factors to consider when weighing repair options.
Companies like iFixit and iCracked offer comprehensive kits that give you a replacement screen, attached cables, tools and detailed instructions for doing this job yourself. Many have YouTube channels with video tutorials. Worley read the booklet (44 steps), watched the video (45 minutes long) and commenced fixing the cracked screen. She was able to remove the screen from the bezel using the spudger tool provided and a lot of heat from her blow dryer, but after the first 30 minutes as she removed all the cable connectors that allow the glass from the phone to act as a touchscreen, camera, microphone and fingerprint sensor, Worley broke a cable. The microphone connector at the top of the screen was glued in and while she thought she had applied enough blow dryer heat, the paper-thin cable snapped as she tried to pry it out.
Worley’s take: To save $30, I would have broken a nearly $600 phone. If you know what you are doing, the do-it-yourself option is great, but for a novice like me it’s a big gamble.
Manufacturer (Apple store)
Time: 95 minutes
Worley made an appointment at the Apple store in Berkeley, California. It took the technician 95 minutes to fix the phone and cost $129. When Frakes reviewed the phones, he noticed that the home key was over sensitive and went into an accessibility mode when it shouldn’t. So Worley took it back to the Apple store (again with a Genius Bar appointment made online) and they acknowledged the sensitive home key and replaced the…