Apple to start in-store iPhone 5c, 5s screen and battery replacements

Apple may be ditching the refurbished answer to cracked screens for in-store replacements, according to a report.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

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Having a cracked iPhone screen may soon mean replacing the screen rather than have to pay out for a replacement device.

Today, if an iPhone owner finds their device suffering from a cracked screen, their local Apple retail store can only provide a refurbished replacement device. However, it looks like Apple may be taking a new tack for its latest generation of devices.

According to 9to5Mac's sources, Apple is gearing up to launch in-store repair and replacement services at its retail outlets that will enable staff to swap out cracked iPhone 5c and 5s screens.

So instead of having Apple staff help them backup, sync and set up their replacement handsets, customers could in future opt to wait around one hour for staff to replace their existing device's screen.

In-store screen replacements will cost $149 per device, according to the report, and staff will be also be able to replace a range of other hardware components, including volume buttons, vibrating motor, rear-camera, speakers and batteries. However, it seems unlikely that staff will be able to replace the iPhone 5s' sapphire crystal TouchID button.

ZDNet has asked Apple UK for confirmation of the initiative and whether it will be rolled out globally.

Customers with phones that are not under warranty will be charged $79 for a battery replacement — the same it costs now in the US for a service that is handled off-site — while a new home button on the 5c will cost $29. Non-US customers could expect to pay more, in line with the usual Apple pricing differences between countries.

If it comes to fruition, the in-store repair service would join Apple's new iPhone trade-in program, launched last month in Europe, which lets users hand over their old iPhones in return for a discount on newer models. 

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