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iMore reported back in September that Apple retail stores would soon gain the capability to replace the glass in front of the screen in the store.

Has anyone had a repair quoted or performed for an iPhone 5 where Apple didn't replace the entire unit?

I've heard of out of warranty replacement phones for $229. Also, I know that there are 3rd party services that will do this repair. I'm asking about replacing just the glass in an Apple retail store.

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3rd party places will nearly almost always use inferior OEM replacement screens and digitizers, resulting in poor touch conductivity. Beware of anyone doing work that isn't either Apple or an Apple authorized repair service (even then I've heard of shady things going on). It might also be the case that Apple may initially swap out the broken phones with a new one, and then refurbish the old one on their own time and put that model back in rotation. That would keep customer wait times down and makes the most sense over the "we'll fix while you wait" notion. –  cksum Feb 19 '13 at 22:52
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4 Answers 4

$150 without being covered by Apple Care warranty is a sweet deal. Our company purchases back the broken LCD from repair shops around the USA and this is really going to be stiff competition. There isn't anyone offering iPhone 5 LCD replacement for under $150 in any retail repair shop around the US. Their all between $160-$200. In the past Apple's repair prices haven't seemed like a business model they wanted to focus on. I'm left scratching my head at what this could mean for their future plans to compete with the boom of iPhone repair shops. I suppose it might not be as big of a deal since there are only so many Apple Genius Bar locations nationwide.

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It's possible if you encountered a particularly daring (and technically adept) AppleCare technician, but in my experience Apple does a straight swap for the entire phone. There are not alot of FRU's in the iPhone outside of the SIM and SIM caddy.

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There are repair places that get parts. I had the earpiece speaker replaced at a local place. He said that they used Apple sourced parts. I stayed and watched him do it. It was no more than 10 minutes start to finish. The article in the original question specifically says this is a change from prior practice of swapping the entire phone. –  Tim B May 25 '13 at 12:01
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To more directly answer your question, look at step six of the iFixit teardown. The entire front "display assembly" is replaced.

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you can’t replace only the glass because the digitizer and LCD screen are fused to the glass. It’s not a little piece of glass that was probably made in China for under a dollar. It’s a special piece of glass combined with electronics that was made in China for quite a bit more than a dollar.

Iphone 5 screen lcd digitizer black

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