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Apple will finally offer same-day repairs for some broken iPhone 12 models

Published Feb 17th, 2021 7:31AM EST
iPhone 12 Broken Back
Image: Apple Inc.

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  • The iPhone 12 phones are even more durable than their predecessors and competing devices, according to recent drop tests.
  • However, accidental damage is still possible and can affect both the screen and rear panel, as both of them are made of glass.
  • Apple has reportedly developed a new repair method that would allow authorized service providers to replace broken rear glass and fix other key hardware issues without replacing the full device.

The iPhone 12 phones can withstand accidental drops better than their predecessors and a lot better than Samsung’s Galaxy S21 phones. That was the purpose of the new design. The flat edges and flat display help the iPhone 12 handle accidents more gracefully than previous models — and the iPhone 11 models were already pretty sturdy. But that doesn’t mean all accidental damage can be avoided. There might be cases where users will have to bring their devices in for extensive repairs, like replacing the broken back of the handset. A new leak indicates that Apple has taken steps to perform such a repair on the same day, which would make iPhone 12 repairs even faster.

Apple sent out an internal memo to Apple Authorized Service Providers that MacRumors got access to. The note explains the new repair methods that are available for iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12.

Rather than replacing the full device for a few specific problems, Apple will offer same-day repairs. The list of iPhone issues that would trigger a whole unit replacement includes the logic board, Face ID system, and enclosure of the device. Starting February 23rd, technicians will be able to repair these problems on iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 without replacing the full device.

The way this works is very simple. Apple will use a new “iPhone Rear System” component to replace the faulty or broken parts. This iPhone Rear System will practically be a brand new iPhone, save for the display and rear camera systems that will be “recycled” from your current device.

The iPhone Rear System would not include just the external glass panel, but also the battery, logic board, wireless charging coil, and Face ID system. The display and rear camera module would be transplanted from the faulty or broken device to the new one. While Apple won’t issue a full device replacement, the iPhone Rear System is still pretty close to that.

However, for the new same-day repair process to work, the iPhone’s display and rear camera system must be free of damage and functional failures.

The new repair method will be available everywhere the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 are sold. But the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are not eligible for similar repairs.

It’s unclear how the new repair procedure will impact the cost of repairs. “Other damage” costs for a broken iPhone rear panel are relatively high. That’s $399 for iPhone 12 mini and $449 for iPhone 12 if the phone is out of warranty, and $99 under AppleCare+.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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