Iphone 8: Glass Back Difficult To Repair And Costs More Than Screen Replacement
One of the few features that differentiate the iPhone 8 from the iPhone 7 is the new glass back. Yes, the glossy back is attractive, and Apple claims it is “durable.” But the company is yet to reveal precisely how it came to that conclusion, and whether it actually beats the Gorilla Glass featured on rival Samsung’s models.
How durable the glass actually is will be revealed when users inevitably start dropping their $500-plus smartphones.
Unfortunately, waiting to find that out is much too risky, as the cost to repair the glass back is significantly more expensive than repairing the cracked screen.
Breakdown of the phone
Repair site iFixit deconstructed the iPhone8, revealing why the repair costs have taken such a leap. Apple smartphones have not had glass blacks in the last four years, but the new plates have been installed to enable wireless charging.
iFixit’s teardown of the new model found that there is a metal sheet beneath the glass case with a hole in its center. This hole allows for the wireless charging coil to fit through. The metal sheet is strongly glued to the glass panel, which the repairers say might make replacements very difficult.
According to iFixit, ‘lots’ of glue, makes it harder to remove the glass back from the metal sheet without damaging other iPhone 8 components. AppleInsider also speculates that the high service fees are due to the difficulty of removing the glass plate glued to the metal shell.
As a result, successful at-home repairs are likely to be impossible, while in-store repairs won’t be easy. This also means that using more affordable third-party repairers, instead of AppleCare+, might not work.
If you’re an Apple newbie, here’s some information regarding Apple’s warranty plan.
AppleCare+ is an optional warranty plan that extends the warranty coverage of your Apple device to two years from the date you purchased it.
The plan also provides 24/7 priority access to AppleCare advisors for those two years and coverage of two incidents of accidental damage. Without the plan, iPhone 8 users will be limited to hardware repair coverage for one year and complimentary telephone support for 90 days.
Applecare+ for the iPhone 8
For the iPhone 8, AppleCare+ is $129, and $149 for the iPhone 8 Plus. As mentioned earlier, AppleCare+ includes two incidents of accidental damage coverage.
Each repair will cost you a service fee of $29 for screen damage, or $99 for ‘other damage’. Repairs to the glass back fall under ‘other damage’. Note that after the first two cases of accidental damage, the service fee will drastically increase.
Apple will charge $149 to repair a cracked iPhone 8 screen and $169 for repairing an iPhone 8 Plus screen. A shipping fee of $6.95 is also added if the device needs to be sent to an Apple repair facility.
Purchasing AppleCare+ along with a screen repair incidental fee will cost you $158 for your iPhone 8 or $178 for your iPhone 8 Plus. While, payment for a back repair is $349 for the iPhone 8, and $399 for an iPhone 8 Plus.
Purchasing AppleCare+ along with one “other damage” repair coverage costs $228 for the iPhone 8 and $248 for the iPhone 8 Plus. Repairing a shattered glass screen is much cheaper than replacing a shattered glass back.
Protecting your iPhone 8 device
Smashing one’s smartphone screen seems almost inevitable, which is one reason why the metal backs of previous iPhone models have been so popular. Apple claims the iPhone 8 has, quote, “the most durable glass ever in a smartphone”. But it still doesn’t mean the phone is even remotely as durable as previous models made of aluminum.
The expensive service fees displayed above show that finding out exactly how durable your iPhone 8 device is, is far too risky. Therefore, investing in a protective case seems the safest and cheapest form of protection.
However, having a thick or metal protective case will prevent the wireless charging feature from working. This will remove the benefit of having a glass back in the first place.
In conclusion, if you mind paying a service of fee of almost half the amount you paid to buy the device, perhaps reconsider purchasing the iPhone 8.