The iPhone 12 is here. It offers 5G, a complete redesign, and an all-new size with the iPhone 12 mini. But before you rush out to get your hands on the new device, you should know that repairing it in the event of an accident is likely to be expensive.
Asking “How much will it cost to fix?” is one of the last questions you might think to ask when buying a new smartphone. But most of us have experienced a cracked iPhone display before, so the cost of a repair is something we should definitely consider.
In this article, we’ll delve into all the new complications and prices that come into play when repairing an iPhone 12. This might be the year to finally purchase AppleCare+ after all.
- 1 Will Apple Repair My iPhone 12 Under the Warranty?
- 2 How Much Does It Cost to Repair an iPhone 12?
- 3 Do I Need to Get AppleCare+ for the iPhone 12?
- 4 What About Third-Party iPhone 12 Repairs?
- 5 The iPhone 12 Could Be the Most Expensive iPhone Yet
- iPhone Buying Guide: Comparing the iPhone 12, mini, Pro, and Pro Max
- iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro: Should You Upgrade?
- What’s Missing From the iPhone 12 Lineup?
Will Apple Repair My iPhone 12 Under the Warranty?
Apple covers each of its products under a one-year limited warranty. This means Apple should repair your iPhone 12 for free if something stops working during the first year it was purchased.
Your iPhone 12 is even covered under this warranty if you didn’t buy it directly from Apple.
However, this limited warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage.
That means you need to pay for the repair yourself if the screen gets cracked or if the iPhone stops working after getting dropped. You even need to pay for the repair yourself if an iPhone 12 suffers liquid damage, despite the iPhone’s water-resistant rating.
How Much Does It Cost to Repair an iPhone 12?
The cost to repair an iPhone 12 varies depending on your particular model and depending on the nature of the damage. You can replace a broken display or a faulty battery, but anything else usually requires an entire replacement device. Apple lists the iPhone repair prices on its website, but we’ve added them all below for extra clarity.
Repairing an iPhone 12 Display
The iPhone 12 display is the strongest display ever in an iPhone—so hopefully it won’t crack very easily. The downside to this is that shatterproof displays are more prone to scratching.
If you are unlucky enough to crack your iPhone 12 display, you’re in for a costly repair. Below are Apple’s iPhone 12 screen repair prices compared to the iPhone 11 and the iPhone SE (2nd generation).
|iPhone 12||iPhone 11||iPhone SE|
|Pro Max Display||$329||$329||–|
None of these repairs are cheap.
The iPhone 12 Pro range matches the screen repair costs of the previous generation, at $279 or $329 for the Pro Max. But at $279, the regular iPhone 12 costs $80 more to repair than the iPhone 11 used to.
Even the iPhone 12 mini costs a whopping $100 more than Apple’s budget smartphone, the iPhone SE (2nd generation), at $229 and $129 respectively.
Repairing an iPhone 12 Battery
The iPhone 12 didn’t see much of a boost in terms of battery performance compared to the iPhone 11. If you opt for the smaller iPhone 12 mini, you’ll experience even shorter battery life.
Fortunately, Apple’s battery replacement costs are reasonable and consistent across the entire iPhone lineup.
|iPhone 12||iPhone 11||iPhone SE|
|Pro Max Battery||$69||$69||–|
Replacing the battery for any iPhone 12 or iPhone 11 device costs $69. The budget iPhone SE (2nd generation) costs even less at $49.
Replacing an iPhone 12 Device
Apple tends to avoid modular repairs for most components in the iPhone, which means any damage outside of a broken screen or a faulty battery is likely to end up as a replacement device.
A service replacement iPhone is a brand new iPhone or an iPhone refurbished by Apple to meet the exact same standards as brand new. It doesn’t come with any accessories or packaging and you can only get a service replacement if you still have your original iPhone to give back to Apple.
A replacement iPhone 12 doesn’t cost as much as one off the shelf, but it’s still very expensive.
|iPhone 12||iPhone 11||iPhone SE|
|Pro Max Replacement||$599||$599||–|
Replacing an iPhone 12 Pro or Pro Max costs the same as it did for the iPhone 11 range: $549 or $599 respectively.
However, a regular iPhone 12 replacement now costs $50 more at $449, with the iPhone 12 mini coming in at $399, the replacement price of the regular-sized iPhone 11.
Once again, the budget iPhone SE (2nd generation) is by far the cheapest with a replacement cost of $269.
Do I Need to Get AppleCare+ for the iPhone 12?
If you’re concerned about the potential service costs for repairing an iPhone 12, you should consider purchasing AppleCare+ protection. This doesn’t eliminate all expenses, but it does make it cheaper if you ever need to repair accidental damage.
What Is AppleCare+?
AppleCare+ is an insurance and extended warranty service offered by Apple. You can choose to pay upfront for 24 months of coverage (from the original purchase date) or you can sign up for unending monthly payments instead.
AppleCare+ extends your limited warranty from the one-year warranty Apple gives you for free. It also gives you priority access to repairs and technical support from Apple’s advisors.
These services come at no extra cost, after purchasing AppleCare+.
As always, the limited warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage—like a cracked screen or a drop. But AppleCare+ covers you for up to two incidents of accidental damage each year, both subject to an excess fee.
That means, if you already have AppleCare+, Apple will repair your iPhone 12 screen or replace the device entirely if you accidentally damage it. And you only need to pay the excess.
If you’re in the US, you can also pay for AppleCare+ Loss and Theft, which means Apple replaces your iPhone in the event of loss or theft. This is subject to a higher excess because you can’t return the original device.
AppleCare+ Repair Prices
Below are the upfront costs for two years of AppleCare+ for the iPhone 12, along with the excesses for each repair type.
|AppleCare+ Loss & Theft Premium||Display Excess||Replacement Exess||
Loss & Theft Excess
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||$199||$269||$29||$99||$149|
|iPhone 12 Pro||$199||$269||$29||$99||$149|
|iPhone 12 mini||$149||$219||$29||$99||$149|
AppleCare+ costs $149 for the iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini. It costs $50 more for the iPhone 12 Pro or Pro Max. To get loss and theft protection, add another $70 to the premium.
Regardless of which iPhone you have, the AppleCare+ excesses are the same, costing just $29 extra for a screen replacement and $99 extra for any other repair.
Is It Cheaper to Buy AppleCare+?
If you ever need to repair accidental damage on an iPhone 12, it is always cheaper to have bought AppleCare+ and pay the excess.
For example, an out-of-warranty screen repair on an iPhone 12 costs $279.
But the cost of AppleCare+ plus the screen excess for an iPhone 12 is only $178. Also, any additional screen repairs only cost an extra $29.
The catch is that you need to purchase AppleCare+ within 60 days of the iPhone purchase. You can’t wait to see if you need it and buy it then.
This means you might pay for AppleCare+ and never use it. Which is, of course, far more expensive than not paying for it at all.
Like all insurance, it’s something of a gamble.
What About Third-Party iPhone 12 Repairs?
You might be thinking you could save some money by getting a third-party repair if you break your iPhone 12. Well, with this generation of iPhone that’s harder to do than ever before.
Apple has never been kind to third-party service providers, making it difficult to open the device and replace the components. But the iPhone 12 seems to be the most difficult yet.
This is because it looks like Apple has serialized every component in an iPhone 12, which means replacement parts need to be registered on Apple’s official servers before they can start to work.
It’s not possible for third-party service providers to do that.
The result is that a third-party repair could leave your iPhone 12 completely unusable—even if they used official Apple parts and replaced a minor component.
Check out this YouTube video for a demonstration of exactly what happens:
The iPhone 12 Could Be the Most Expensive iPhone Yet
Although there aren’t drastic differences between the repair costs of an iPhone 12 and an iPhone 11, Apple has been subtly raising these price of repairs for a few years and it’s starting to show. Especially now that third-party repairs aren’t an option.
If you ever need to repair your iPhone 12—and you don’t have AppleCare+ already—you should brace yourself for a very expensive visit to the Apple Store.
The worst aspect of these expensive repairs is that they come on top of an already expensive device. After all, the iPhone 12 is more expensive than it seems.
Dan is a freelance writer based in South West England.
He spent two years supervising repairs as a Genius Admin for Apple Retail and uses that knowledge to keep our troubleshooting guides up to date.
Long before that, Dan turned to Apple products from a musical background. Having owned iPods for years, he bought a MacBook to learn sound recording and production. It was using those skills that he gained a first-class Bachelor of Science in Sound Technology.