Don’t Cry Over Cracked Glass: It Will Soon Be Easier to Fix Your iPhone

These, and a list of expletives I can’t reprint here, are just some of things you’ve probably exclaimed after breaking your iPhone’s screen.

I should know. I’ve cracked four of my own iPhone screens, and one of my friends’. I’m like the Michael Jordan of iPhone screen breaking (I blame ADD).

Historically, cracking your screen has meant you’ve either had to take your phone into an Apple Store, or an off-the-radar third-party vendor—likely some guy with a kiosk at the mall. The problem with this latter option is that any damage caused in the repair could void your iPhone’s warranty.

This is going to change by the end of 2017. Apple says by that point they’ll have put their proprietary screen repair machines in 400 authorized third-party service centers in 25 countries. “Authorized third-party” centers include Best Buy and some lesser known retailers. The upshot? Getting your screen repaired at these places won’t put your iPhone’s warranty in peril.

It’s been speculated that Apple’s decision to open up access to their screen repair machines has to do with a number of states passing “right to repair” laws. This legislature is aimed at dissolving tech companies’ control of where their devices can be fixed in an “official” way.

This is great news for the accident prone iPhone owners among us. While Apple claims the latest iPhones’ screens are much more shatter resistant than those of models past, in my experience, they’re still pretty easy to break. At present, screen repairs run $149 without an AppleCare+ warranty, $29 with one.

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