Options for a cracked iPhone screen: 3g or 3gs

You love your iPhone. It’s packed with cool, easy-to-use features and it looks great. Then one day, it slips out of your hand, hits the sidewalk, and your once-beautiful iPhone has unsightly cracks on its glass face. What are you doing now?

You couldn’t do anything. In most cases, the LCD screen (the picture) under the glass is fine and the touchscreen functionality still works, so you can use it that way until the next version of the iPhone comes out and you feel the need to to update.

If you’re like most iPhone owners, this “do nothing” approach isn’t a great option. You have an iPhone because you have style and it doesn’t look fancy anymore. So how do you fix it? There are many options.

First, you could buy a new iPhone. Just walk into an AT&T or Apple store and walk out with a new iPhone. This is definitely the simplest and fastest option. It is also the most expensive. You may have bought your iPhone for as little as $ 99, but you had to sign a 2-year contract to get that price. Now that you are under contract, they will charge you around $ 500 for a replacement phone.

Another option is to have Apple repair it for you. This option is less expensive than buying a new phone, but it is still one of the most expensive ways to repair your phone. It also requires you to be near an Apple Store. The cost of choosing this option for your broken screen is $ 199 plus sales tax.

By far the least expensive option is to go to eBay and buy a replacement glass screen for around $ 20- $ 30 and install it on your phone yourself. A simple eBay search of the terms “iPhone touch screen” will reveal a number of different companies that sell touch screen glass (3G and 3GS glass are different, so be sure to get one for your version of iPhone). Then a quick trip to YouTube and a search for “how to fix an iPhone screen” will yield a video showing you how to do the repair.

Be careful: This repair is not trivial. It requires a heat gun to remove power from your phone, broken glass, and if you’re not careful, it can be completely destroyed. If you choose this option, make sure you are comfortable with repairing small electronic devices and be very careful.

A much simpler and safer option for the self-repair person is to purchase a complete display assembly, not just the touchscreen glass. There are two options with this route: Get the assembly with the LCD screen (about $ 100) or without the LCD screen (about $ 60). Using any of these options means you don’t need to use a heat gun to replace your glass and you should be able to do the repair yourself in about 10-15 minutes. A video is worth 10,000 words, so again, head over to YouTube and do a search for “iPhone Screen Assembly Repair” and you will find several videos using this method.

The last option is one of the safest and still very profitable: having a third party repair the iPhone for you. If you live in a decent-sized city, do a search on Craigslist and you’ll find someone within walking distance who will do it for less than $ 100. They should be able to do it for you in about 15 minutes while you wait.

If you don’t live in a big city, there are some companies that offer mail-in repairs. Again, this will generally cost you less than $ 100, but you will have to be without your phone for about a week (a couple of days each way for shipping and another day for repair). A simple Google search for “iPhone Repair Mail” will reveal a lot of companies that offer repair.

So don’t drop your iPhone just because you dropped it and smashed the screen. Save yourself several hundred dollars and have it repaired. If you’re the handy electronic gadget type, DIY options are your best route. Not that efficient with a screwdriver and little flat cables? Then find a local store to help or mail it in for repair.

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