I've had my 3rd generation iPad for only five months, and I've tried hard to keep it in pristine condition. I always had it in its case, and was very mindful of what I did with it.

Unfortunately one momentary lapse of concentration is all it took for this to happen:

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It only fell three feet, and it was still in its case, but none of that made any difference :(

What are my options now? How much will Apple charge me for repairing it? Will a third party do it cheaper? If I'd bought Apple Care, would this type of accident have been covered?

Thanks for any advice!

  • In line with Apple's support policy (throw a lot of money at your problem to keep you a happy customer), I had my iPhone replaced, outside of warranty for a mistake on my part for breaking the screen entirely for free.
    – sjbx
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 16:30
  • How did you manage that?? Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 16:41
  • I think I got them on a good day but I've had similar experiences with my MBP.
    – sjbx
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 19:24

7 Answers 7


The normal AppleCare plan does not cover accidental damage as it follows the general warranty conditions that cover normal use generally wear is only covered if it's both impeding a normal function and not something that would be expected to be consumed.

AppleCare+ does cover this - you would have had to buy the AppleCare plus insurance and there would be a fee ($49) in the US to pay for the accidental part of the repair. Also, the insturance plus AppleCare is not available worldwide (or nearly as widely) as the normal AppleCare plans.

Apple fixes all iPads at the factory so you would see aflat priced exchange part, so call or visit Apple or an authorized repair agent for pricing on that exchange where you live. Basically, they are getting a new iPad into your hands that might be new or might be refurbished - but it will have a new battery and a new serial number and come directly from the factory to you.

I had this exact same thing happen - my iPad slipped out of my bag and landed after a two foot fall onto a corner. I had the + coverage and was very glad to see the several hundred dollar cost end up hitting my wallet for $49 on top of the $99 I spent originally.

  • Thanks for the information. I don't think Apple Care+ is available in the UK. Do you know how much they normally charge for repairs? Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 16:51
  • No - the prices are fixed on a per-country basis and do occasionally go down over time, so even if I knew todays price, it will likely be out of date when prices get adjusted.
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 19:36

Ok, so I finally found out my own answer. It seems there are three options:

Official Apple Route

I travelled to the big Apple Store on Oxford Street in London, hoping to ask a member of staff what I could do about a cracked iPad.

When I got there the helpful staff member told me I needed to book an appointment with a technician. "Ok, let's do it", I said. "No, you have to book the appointment online", he replied. I was a bit incredulous. "Even though I'm here now, in the store?", I asked. "I'm afraid so", was his response. This seemed pretty silly to me, and to make matters worse, he said the earliest availability to see a technician was in a week's time.

So I duly went home, and booked my appointment online for a week's time.

Seven days later I trundled back into London, once again with my broken iPad in tow. I got to the store at my appointed time and asked a staff member where I needed to go to see a technician. They told me to talk to one of the Apple staff upstairs.

Up I went, and I found a bunch standing around chatting to each other. Eventually one of them decided to help me. The first thing he asked me was why I needed to see the technician in the first place, and so I told him the sorry story of my two month old iPad. One three feet tumble onto my bathroom tiled floor and it was cracked. Without looking at my iPad, or even mentioning a technician, he just told me that they could only fix it if I paid. And the cost for any fix, big or small, was £256.44. (That's $406 US dollars, American readers!)

I was a little taken aback. Why did I have to wait a week to see a "technician" for this? It was also very expensive, and I remarked that it seemed pricey. (I could buy an iPad Mini for that price!) "Yes", he agreed, "do you want to go ahead?". Apparently that was all the help they could offer.

Needless to say I was pretty upset at having to go through all this rigmarole only to be told by a member of the floor staff that there was nothing they could do. I could have saved myself a trip into London for one thing.

On the whole, it was a pretty terrible customer experience which left me feeling incredibly frustrated.

Bottom line: You pay £256 ($406). That's it.

(Note: Apparently Apple Care+ DOES cover these sorts of accidental mishaps. You pay £79 for two years, and £39 for each incident.)

Third-Party Route

I've since found a few third-party repair companies that offer to repair broken iPad screens for various sums - between £70 and £110. So I'm considering them. (Some of them offer 12 month guarantees for the work they do, which is pretty good.)

DIY Route

I've also discovered that you can buy repair kits for between £30 and £40 that would allow you to do it yourself. From the videos I've seen, the job looks fiddly, but not impossible.

This appears to be all the options available to someone who's accidentally broken their iPad glass! :(

  • 1
    Ask them if they will cover internal damage / what warranty they can provide and how they will fix the deformation of the Aluminum and whether they can test that the device works before charging you for the repair. To fix this sort of damage, Apple takes everything back to the factory and refurbishes everything to ensure it's not damaged and builds up a repaired device from only the parts that can be verified are as good as new. I might just cover that corner with protective clear tape and not fix it based on how good I feel with the workmanship of the glass repair tech.
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 19:35
  • 2
    They provide a 12 month warranty, which is pretty cool. Everything apart from the glass seems fine, too. Right now my iPad is a resale value of 0 (according to Apple's website), so I'm pretty gutted to be honest. Plus what Apple are asking for replacement is outrageous. Here's the company: ifixphone.co.uk/ipadrepair/ipad3/glass-repair.html Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 19:40
  • IF the problem is only the glass, then £99 is plenty, in the USA you could probably find it for even less. Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 21:46
  • 1
    DIY is not easy for iPad. proceed with extreme caution. It's not impossible. I have done it about a dozen times. Go ahead and order a wifi antenna while you're at it.. the chances of you breaking that while removing the broken glass is extremely high (especially your first time) in America I can get the glass for about $50 and the wifi antenna for about $5 and it takes about an hour to get it open and about 5 min to swap the parts and another ten to put it back together... little tip: fill a sock with rice, heat it up and place it on the ipad to loosen the glue Commented May 31, 2013 at 20:10

It might be a bit late but squaretrade.com appear to do far better deals than applecare.

  • ProtectYourBubble.com seems to be the place here in the UK. I'm not usually one for dropping things, but I think I might get insurance for once in my life. Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 2:57
  • In hindsight, Protect Your Bubble seems like a complete waste. You end up paying essentially what you'd pay Apple anyway. Don't bother. Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 21:15

I have an iPad 2 in similar condition, but with the glass even more shattered. This seems to be a very common thing though as I've noticed there are a lot of shops in the USA that are now offering to fix iPads and iPhones. They seem to specialize in glass/digitizer repair. The prices range from $150-$200 USD depending on the model. I'm probably going to take mine to one the kiosks at the local mall (Tysons Corners in Virginia.) The reason is because I have seen them diligently fixing iPads and iPhones as if they were watchmakers.

Apple seems like they generally charge $200-$250 USD to replace an iPhone and $300-$500 USD to replace an iPad if you don't have AppleCare+. So these third party repair shops seem like a good deal if you don't have AppleCare+.

Source for Apple's iPad repair costs: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3029844?start=30&tstart=0


If you decide not to fix it the Apple route, keep in mind this will preclude you from warranty service through Apple for the lifetime of the unit.

If you find accidents happen for you around expensive technology, you may consider getting insurance, and a rider that would reimburse the cost of repairs, if damaged.


The third party route is probably a good option. If any of you are based in the UK there is a site called Repairs UK which repairs them for under £90 and is better than Apples price :)



Type in your location at iCracked, and they'll let you know if they have technicians in your area that can come out and do the job for you.

They even offer a 99-year warranty for any repair work that they do.

Their direct-to-you repair service is brand new, launching across the United States today.

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