The iPhone X went on sale today, and with it, Apple released some information about the phone’s repair pricing — and like the phone itself, it gets expensive. If you don’t have the extended warranty, a screen replacement will cost $279. That’s more than twice the price of an iPhone 6 screen replacement ($129) and about 65 percent higher than a new iPhone 8 screen ($169). The pricing was first spotted by MacRumors.
If that sounds high, you should be careful not to damage an iPhone X in any other way: all other out-of-warranty repairs will cost $549. Again, that’s a lot more than what other recent iPhones cost to repair. iPhone 8 repairs cost $349 and 8 Plus repairs cost $399. That means if you crack the glass back of the iPhone X (or the iPhone 8), you might just want to live with it.
Apple’s extended warranty, AppleCare+, often looks like a pricey upsell. But for iPhone X buyers, it seems like it might be a necessary safety net. Apple’s warranty costs $199 for the iPhone X (up from $129 for the iPhone 8 and $149 for the 8 Plus); but while the warranty itself is more expensive, warranty service fees (which apply only when Apple is repairing something with “accidental damage”) don’t go up at all. So an iPhone X can still get a $29 screen repair if it’s under warranty, and it can still get a $99 repair for anything else under AppleCare+, too.
Buying AppleCare+ is usually more of a gamble. On the iPhone 8, for instance, paying to replace your broken screen once out of warranty would be cheaper than having to replace your screen once with the warranty. The warranty would only be worth it if something else went wrong with your phone within three years — though that’s certainly a possibility (I’ve bought and used the warranty on iPhones before, like when my 5S’s camera stopped working).
For the iPhone X, on the other hand, you could crack and replace the screen twice under warranty ($257) and still pay less than a single out-of-warranty screen replacement ($279). And given that you’re already spending over $1,000 on the phone, that’s not a bad insurance policy, since it also fully covers repairs for when the device just stops working on its own.
While the repair prices look high, it’s not all that surprising to see them jump up so much. Apple has to go to Samsung to get the OLED panels on the front of the iPhone X. Because Samsung is the only company that can supply those screens, they’re going to be expensive. And because they’re likely being supplied in limited quantities — due to production complexities like carving out that notch — the price on these is going to be even higher.