Apple's Tight Control Over Components Keeping iPhone 5 Repair Costs High

iphone_5_display_assembly_whiteMarketWatch takes a look at the state of the repair industry for the iPhone 5, noting that costs for display replacements remain very high eight months after the device's launch in the United States. The report points to Apple's tight control over components as being the major contributor to high costs, even as the device's new design makes it simpler to replace the display than on previous models.

There is a tight control on iPhone 5 components in the market, [repair firm iCracked founder AJ] Forsythe says. “Market forces determine the price,” he says. “Apple sells about 300,000 iPhones a day and, as the repair market grows, prices will get lower.”

“Apple controls everything from the manufacturing to the gear for the iPhone 5,” says Jeff Haynes, editor at deal site TechBargains.com. As the iPhone 5 is larger than the 4, the cost for replacement parts rises, he says.

The display is the most frequently cited repair item on the iPhone, given the frequency with which users break the glass front of the device, and it is also the most costly component.

For the iPhone 4S, repair firm iFixit currently sells the display assembly for $95, with users needing to follow a difficult 37-step guide to perform the repair. On the iPhone 5, iFixit is charging $200 for the corresponding part, with the white version not even available at this time. But for those who can get their hands on the part, the replacement process requires only a 23-step guide judged "moderate" in difficulty.

The report notes that many repair firms have even not yet begun offering iPhone 5 display replacements, due to both the shortage of parts in the market and the high costs. Apple itself frequently performs repairs by swapping out the user's device, then putting the damaged device through a refurbishment process and reselling it at a discounted price.

Recognizing the prevalence of accidental damage issues with its mobile devices, Apple rolled out an AppleCare+ extended warranty plan alongside the iPhone 4S in October 2011. The $99 plan extends warranty coverage to two years and includes coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage with $49 deductibles. The plan is not, however, universally available throughout Apple's global sales footprint yet.

Apple is said to be planning to revamp its AppleCare offerings later this year, with Apple reportedly moving to perform more repairs on iPhones rather than simply swapping them out. The company is also said to be transitioning AppleCare into a subscription agreement that would cover multiple devices owned by a customer, rather than having to purchase coverage separately for each device.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

acorntoy Avatar
127 months ago
Is there any reason why Apple still clings to the "non-removable" battery concept while nearly every other phone allows user access to the battery?

What year are you in? :-P

Lately Samsung has pretty much been the only manufacturer to let you access the battery, other phone makers are moving away from it.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
acorntoy Avatar
127 months ago
Why would you pay $200 to ifixit when you could just pay $229 to Apple?

And it's and off-warranty fix so it doesn't matter if you have a warranty or not.

Ifixit seems incredibly overpriced, I think it was last year I noticed they were charging $39 for a 4S back when Apple only charged $29.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AT06 Avatar
127 months ago
AppleCare + accidental damage cover = I don't care if it costs a lot to repair
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maxosx Avatar
126 months ago
What year are you in? :-P

Lately Samsung has pretty much been the only manufacturer to let you access the battery, other phone makers are moving away from it.
Rumor has it, the removable battery is so easy & fast to change, ex-iPhone users go into a state of shock. Followed by sheer bliss. ::D
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
saud0488 Avatar
127 months ago
ifixit is a horrible example. They sell the same non-oem part from china that you find on ebay. 95 bucks for the same 27-30 dollar part on ebay.

I love their guides but have only ever bought one thing from there (and I realize I overpaid).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maxosx Avatar
126 months ago
And HTC users, and LG users and SONY users and motorola users.You completely missed the point of my post, manufactures no longer care about removable batteries, nor does the average consumer.

+ if the battery doesn't SUCK you shouldn't need an extra battery to get through a day of use. If you do just buy an external battery pack. Same exact thing, just more universal. It isn't that hard.
Simply introducing a little humor.

I have no idea why you seem to think you can speak for all users and the corporations that build the phones. Replaceable batteries have been a big asset for years. Back to the heyday of Blackberries, all of us that travel extensively would carry a second battery.

Fact is, I travel internationally and during a 13 hour flight it's really handy to have a second battery. Plus it's far smaller and lighter to carry than an external battery solution.

It's all about how much one uses their phone.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
top stories 28jan2023

Top Stories: iOS 16.3 Released, iPhone 15 Pro Rumors, macOS Tips and Tricks, and More

Saturday January 28, 2023 6:00 am PST by
Following last week's hardware announcements, this week saw the actual release of several of the new products as well as operating system updates bringing new features and bug fixes across Apple's platforms. This week also saw some fresh rumors about the iPhone 15 lineup and Apple's upcoming AR/VR headset, while we shared some tips to help you get the most of your macOS experience, so read...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...
iPhone 15 General Mock Feature

Kuo: iPhone 15 Models to Adopt Wi-Fi 6E

Thursday January 26, 2023 5:09 pm PST by
The upcoming iPhone 15 models that are set to be introduced later in 2023 will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note about Apple's work on a Wi-Fi chip, Kuo said that the company will upgrade the iPhone 15 to Wi-Fi 6E. Apple is already using Wi-Fi 6E for the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models introduced last year, along with the new Mac mini and...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...