If you have an iPhone, you know how infuriating it can be to break a screen. I have been a loyal iPhone user for over five years now. I have always prided myself on how many times I had dropped my phone, yet never broke the screen. Then last week it finally happened to me; my iPhone slipped face first onto the concrete and the screen shattered. Not only can a fix be expensive (usually as much as you paid for the phone in the first place), but also time consuming. iPhones were designed to be able to take a few hits. The type of glass currently used by Apple is called Gorilla Glass, and is designed to withstand drops and scrapes. This glass is strong and also flexible; however no glass is indestructible.

Apple now offers in-house repair services for broken screens at their Apple store locations. The base price for this repair is $149, and comes with a few perks. First off, there is typically only a half-hour wait time, assuming you have made an appointment. Once repaired, the screen then gets a 90-day warranty. The whole process is pretty painless, yet this is the priciest option.

The less expensive option would be to go to an iPhone repair shop. Most cities have a few to choose from.  The typical cost from a 3rd party repair company is about $100. There are a few risks associated with getting repairs from anyone besides the manufacturer. Make sure you go to a reputable repair shop that has good reviews. Getting your phone repaired by an unskilled person can cause multiple other problems, and may result in having to replace your whole phone altogether. Another concern about getting a third party fix is that there is usually no warranty offered on the replacement screen. If money is a concern though, this is definitely cheaper than going through Apple.

There are inexpensive do-it-yourself repair kits available, some being sold for as low as $12. The iPhone has a gang of tiny screws though, so while it is possible to make a repair yourself, know that you are in for the long haul. These fixes will usually run you at the very least an hour of two. This type of repair is only possible only if the plasma under the screen is not damaged. Just remember to keep track of all those little pieces!

Maybe the easiest way to deal with a shattered screen is to avoid it from the get-go by covering your phone with a protective case. There are a few choices of cases that can protect against shattered phone screens, such as the OtterBox, their “Defender” series in particular. These are thick cases designed to protect an iPhone from cracking when dropped. OtterBoxes typically sell for about $50-$60. There is also the choice of Lifeproof cases. These run for about $80, but protect your phone in multiple ways. This case is waterproof, shockproof and is designed to stand up against the elements. Lifeproof also touts that their products are military-grade. However, all of this protection does come at the cost of making your phone heavier and more bulky, due to the materials used in these cases.

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