So I dropped my iPhone and the screen shattered. Now what? What should I buy and how does it affect my ATT contract?
July 2, 2009 11:05 AM   Subscribe

So I dropped my iPhone and the screen shattered. Now what? What should I buy and how does it affect my ATT contract?

So I got an iPhone 3G around Thanksgiving of 2008. Yesterday it fell out of my suit jacket and landed on the concrete, shattering the screen. It still works because I was able to back it up/sync the contacts after this happened.

However, what do I do now? Its within a year of purchase but is this covered under anything? I don't think it was insured because I'm pretty sure ATT doesn't let you insure it. Could it be fixed if the glass is totally wrecked and potentially the LCD stuff underneath it?

I really wasn't a massive fan of the thing anyway. The lack of background apps, shitty call quality, and the fact that you type on a piece of glass have had me thinking about getting something else anyway.

If i was on ATT looking for another email-capable, QWERTY keyboard, GPS capable, background app capable, better-camera-than-iPhone type of phone what would it be? Bold or 8900? Are these two all there is on ATT at the moment? When is the 3G new Curve hitting ATT?
posted by decrescendo to Technology (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I would point out that you can probably get it fixed. My boss dropped his blackberry one too many times on the floor, destroying the glass. He found someone to fix it, cost him about $100 Cdn (my memory's fuzzy, but I think it was that), and it worked pretty much fine.

No idea where, but he just googled and found somewhere.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:16 AM on July 2, 2009

You can get it fixed. Go to an Apple store. If it's not under warranty I think they will charge you $200. Anyway, no harm in trying to see if it will be covered for free. Or you can DIY.
posted by chunking express at 11:17 AM on July 2, 2009

Apparently Apple stores have a gizmo that can replace your screen on the spot. Worth a call.
posted by adamrice at 11:17 AM on July 2, 2009

Response by poster: Well until I fixed it could I just buy a cheap GSM phone and pop in the SIM? Would I have to tell ATT anything?
posted by decrescendo at 11:17 AM on July 2, 2009

Yes you can just move the SIM between phones, assuming the new phone isn't locked to a different carrier.
posted by chunking express at 11:19 AM on July 2, 2009

I've had to handle about 4-5 broken iPhones for executives who delegate such peon tasks to me. I've had them all replaced by the Apple store without even questioning it. They've all been <1 yr old though, so that might matter.
posted by geoff. at 11:23 AM on July 2, 2009

This happened to me, here are your options:
1. Have apple fix it. If it's still under warranty, it's $200
2. New iPhone. You'd probably be semi-subsidized which means that every model is about $200 more than the unsubsidized version.
3. Fix it yourself. This is what I did. Watch this and see if you're up to the challenge. My phone's glass was the only thing that broke and I accidentally broke the LCD while replacing it. Treat the LCD VERY gingerly! You can order the parts from the store linked to in the video or scour eBay for cheaper versions.
4. Wrap it in packing tape and carry around an awesome-looking gnarly iPhone that still works. I did this for a week or so and it was a good conversation starter.

Good luck!
posted by nomad at 11:23 AM on July 2, 2009

Assuming AT&T and Apple won't fix it for free or cheap, go to Ebay: iphone screen repair. Between $70-$80.

I just sent a Garmin GPS with a cracked screen to one of these guys, haven't gotten it back. I created an Ebay account just for this, actually. Make sure you pick someone with lots of positive feedback, like this guy.
posted by exhilaration at 11:23 AM on July 2, 2009

$149 - I have used these guys and they were good.
posted by caddis at 11:44 AM on July 2, 2009

I just read this on Tidbits: How To Replace A Cracked iPhone 3G Screen

See this article by Jeff Carlson.

posted by reflecked at 11:46 AM on July 2, 2009

Yes, you can switch SIMs. You can buy a cheap GSM phone at the AT&T store, put your iPhone SIM in it, and then (within I think 30 days) return the AT&T phone once your iPhone is fixed. This scheme was suggested to me by an Apple store employee. (Shortly afterwards, an AT&T store employee suggested how I could screw over the Apple store instead. Strange bedfellows.)

Also, according to the above-linked articles, the Apple store can fix screens on the spot.
posted by sesquipedalian at 12:56 PM on July 2, 2009

A coworker had his LCD fixed by $79. Good as new and cheaper than Apple.
posted by junkbox at 1:19 PM on July 2, 2009

I realize it's a different animal, but when I broke my Blackberry Curve's screen, I ordered the parts from China for $5, used a YouTube video and did it myself. It seems daunting at first, but all I needed were some eyeglass screwdrivers and it was brand new.

And then about a month later, I accidentally threw that phone in the toilet, and had to get a new Blackberry... so... yeah. Hey, but on the plus side from that experience, after pleading my case of idiocy and making the call center tech laugh, I did get a new Blackberry at the 1-year plan cost instead of paying for at the sans contract price of like $400.

So either of those are options I guess. But in the interim, buy a cheapy standard flip phone (off ebay or whatever), try to get one that's already set for AT&T and transfer SIM cards.

As far as transferring to a Blackberry and how it would affect your current plan with AT&T, give them a call and ask a hypothetical about the situation.
posted by jerseygirl at 2:01 PM on July 2, 2009

I wonder, does that Apple Store tool work for iPod touches, too? I'm going to need to replace my screen after taking a nasty fall the other night.
posted by emelenjr at 3:11 PM on July 2, 2009

I dropped mine a couple days ago. Not sure where you are located, but this guy in Los Angeles fixes glass for them on the spot, 80 for 3g and 100 for 3gs.

Ipod Repair Clinic
posted by mattsweaters at 6:21 PM on July 10, 2009

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