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The Cracked Screen Dilemma

I have recently found myself with a rather peculiar quandary at quite literally my fingertips. A week ago, I dropped my iPhone 5 while standing on a concrete veranda. Now, many of you might say: “Well that’s ok! That’s the reason you have a [insert any of the 5,000 brand names selling iPhone covers] protecting your precious device, right?!” Wrong. My phone uses no prophylactic. I found the formfactor of the device charming enough to risk its ultimate demise from an unassuming but lethal drop in the midsts of a beer-tasting event (admittedly, tasting a little too much of the hoppy magic may have played a role in the iPhone’s fall to the abyss)

As you may have already gathered, when I picked my phone up, there was an all consuming crack originating in the lower right hand corner of the screen. Now, many of you who have experienced a cracked phone in the past may interject here and say “No problem! It only costs like seventy bucks to get the screen fixed.” To you I say: nay! This held true for all earlier versions of Apple’s flagship product, but not for the iPhone 5. In an attempt to make the fifth iteration of the monster-selling phone thinner, Apple partially integrated the touch sensors into the display glass saving valuable millimeters but also turning the thus far dumb and cheap display glass into an expensive piece of technology. Having found that out, I went on an exploratory mission. I confirmed that I was obviously ineligible for a reduced-price upgrade at AT&T, and also that I did not purchase an Apple Care plan at 3AM on the day of the iPhone 5’s release when I bought the thing. My options were limited. The Apple Store quoted me a price of $229 to fix the phone’s screen on the same day. Any other repair shop was either more expensive or much slower.


Now... here comes the dilemma. Do I spend $229 on now seemingly outdated technology and get the phone repaired? T-Mobile is selling the tech-media darling HTC One for a mere $100 without contract. The Galaxy S4 is not far away ($150). However, having recently converted all devices over to Apple, I was in a pickle (pun). My iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro work seamlessly together. In addition, the iCloud is fantastic, although I constantly seem to be running out of space. The Apps, some of them exclusive to iOS (notably Mailbox App) are also a huge draw. While the two Android phones carry intrigue in their own light, the cost to switch is tremendous. I haven’t even touched on the completely egregious contract termination fee that AT&T would charge: $255 + Tax. Not sure what “tax” is charged on this as they are literally selling me nothing, in fact, they are un-selling me something, but that’s neither here nor there.

So here I am, surely not alone. To review, if you find yourself in a situation, where you shatter the screen of your still fresh iPhone 5 and failed to protect it with the Apple plan, your options are fairly slim:

1) Pay $229 to fix the screen and you are at the same point you were before the regrettable drop.


2) Pay $250 to terminate your contract, switch providers and buy a new phone.

Here is one more thing to consider: If you go with an Android device on T-Mobile, let’s say, you can use it to tether with your iPhone. This will basically maintain all of the iPhone’s functionality besides the cellular usage. Of course, you will still have to deal with the annoyance of the cracked screen and losing a portion of the complete integration amongst your iOS devices. Oh, and I forgot... You are now carrying two phones (Blackberry, anyone?)


Image Source: Doctor Popular Flickr

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