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 “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
2. Manufacturer repair (Apple store)
3. Local repair/”mom and pop” shop
4. Mobile repair service that comes to you
5. Mall kiosk
There were four factors we considered:
4. Guarantee of workmanship
I had five iPhone 6s with cracked screens and brought one to each repair option without disclosing that I was a reporter from ABC News. The Wirecutter’s Senior Editor Dan Frakes examined all our 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. I read the booklet (44 steps), watched the video (45 minutes long) and commenced fixing the cracked screen. I was able to remove the screen from the bezel using the spudger tool provided and a lot of heat from my blow dryer, but after the first 30 minutes as I removed all the cable connectors that allow the glass from the phone to act as a touchscreen, camera, microphone and fingerprint sensor, I broke a cable. The microphone connector at the top of the screen was glued in and while I thought I had applied enough blow dryer heat, the paper-thin cable snapped as I tried to pry it out.
Becky’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.