This morning I took my iphone 5c to the genius bar and they refused to repair my cracked screen of the iphone initially agreeing to repair and then backing off citing water damage.

My iPhone is in standard 1-year warranty yet, so I don't understand what the connection between water damage and a cracked screen is.

Can someone explain Apple's reasoning or decision?


Just like an automotive repair service, some damage costs more to repair than it would cost to make a new vehicle. In car terms, your phone is "totaled" and the physical damage to the screen alone lies outside the warranty.

  • You could buy a new phone from the vendor and then submit that cost to your insurance company if it covers the accidental (or not) damage to your property for reimbursement.
  • You could ask Apple why they aren't offering you a "partial repair" - where you acknowledge that some damage is present and want a limited repair and then forgo the warranty on the repaired phone. My guess is they decided that all Apple repaired phones need to pass all tests and they literally can't even know how much liquid damage has spread without entirely reworking the phone.
  • You could seek repair from a company or person other than Apple.

Liquid damage is expensive to even diagnose since the small cracks in an iPhone ensure that water can and will go everywhere. If corrosive salts are coating the electronics you now have a safety and reliability concern. The cost to inspect and test every single part is akin to painstakingly refurbishing a 1971 Hemi 'Cuda convertible that you found rusting in a field. In that case, there were external factors that made the cost to refurbish the product economically or socially pleasing.

  • This is what Apple essentially warned me with respect to my cracked iPhone 6. They couldn't verify liquid damage without taking the screen off. If they took the screen off and found evidence of liquid damage, the technician would refuse repair and try to put the cracked screen back. They did however off a new device swap for basically half the cost of the original. – skube Jul 25 '16 at 22:34

There might be corrosion inside the device making it a pain or very expensive to replace parts which can potentially start to rot. Once the water indicator in your device (sim card slot) has been colored ree, it will void all warranty.

You can still try to call Apple and explain the problem and try for the best


bmike pretty much approached the reason. Here's the actual reason in simple terms: When Apple does a repair, they give you back a product that they guarantee is working. They stand behind it. Even if it's out of warranty, they give you a 90 day warranty. With liquid damage, for the reasons bmike stated in his answer, they CANNOT guarantee that you have a fully working to factory standards and longevity phone. For this reason they decline to do the repair.


This is illegal, if they refused to repair it because of ‘water damage’. Apple lost a huge lawsuit in Australia wherein they had to admit that their moisture sensors can turn red/pink just from humidity and not necessarily because a device has actually been in water. Because of this admission they are required by law to repair or replace any device which is malfunctioning under warranty regardless of the color of the sensor. If you do some google-fu, you can find documentation of water damage not voiding warranty on Apple’s own site.

  • 1
    Do you have a source that says that actual water damage (e.g. corrosion) is still covered? – cpast Dec 16 '14 at 0:55

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