Hairline cracks on iPhone and Apple Watch no longer covered under warranty

Hairline cracks on iPhone and Apple Watch no longer covered under warranty


They’ll reportedly be considered accidental damage, meaning you’ll have to pay a fee.

Despite what the haters say, screen protectors are always a good investment.
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Bad news if you spot a tiny crack on your iPhone or Apple Watch display. They’re no longer covered under Apple’s standard warranty, according to a 9to5Mac report.

Technically, the standard one-year warranty has never covered “cosmetic damage” such as scratches, dents, and broken plastic on ports unless you could prove that it was defective materials or workmanship from Apple. However, single hairline cracks — as in, a crack that doesn’t spiderweb or have an obvious point of impact — have historically been considered screen defects. As such, repairs could be covered for free. (Though, in reality, your mileage may have varied depending on which Apple Store or repair shop you went to.)

Citing unnamed sources, the 9to5Mac report says Apple is now advising Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers to treat all hairline cracks as accidental damage. That, in turn, would require customers to pay for repairs. So far, that change purportedly only impacts Apple Watches and iPhones, with iPads and Macs remaining unaffected. The Verge reached out to Apple to confirm these details but did not immediately receive a response.

Outside of warranty, iPhone screen repairs range from $129 for the iPhone SE and older models to $379 for an iPhone 15 Pro Max. With Apple Care Plus, that price drops to $29 for all models. For the Apple Watch, Apple’s repair estimate site doesn’t specifically break down screen repairs, categorizing it under “other damage.” Those costs can range from $249 to $800, depending on the model. That cost drops to $69 to $79 with Apple Care Plus.

While this is a disappointing development, Apple in recent years has made some positive shifts regarding repairs thanks in part to pressure from right-to-repair efforts. In 2022, it released a Self Service Repair program that allows users to fix iPhone battery, screen, and cameras. (Though, the reality of using it wasn’t always so simple.) It also capped broken back glass repairs on the latest iPhone 15 Pro to $199, a nearly $350 decrease. In April, the company also announced that this fall, it will allow people to repair iPhones with used genuine parts on “select” iPhone models later this fall.

Victoria Song

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