A survey conducted by warranty provider SquareTrade of 2,000 iPhone users found that, based on the sample size, Americans have spent an estimated $5.9 billion on repairing and replacing broken phones over the past five years. That amount includes cost of repairs for minor issues and replacements for phones that were broken beyond repair as well as insurance deductibles on phones that were still under a warranty.
Accidental drops were the most common reason for the broken iPhones, while being submerged in water (tub, sink, toilet, etc) was the second most common reason. Falls from elevated surfaces and liquid spills were also often reported. While most people who ended up with broken phones opted to repair or replace them, 11 percent continued using phones with cracked screens and six percent taped them as a temporary repair, likely trying to avoid the cost of replacing the phone before it was time to upgrade.
Taking care of our gadgets is an important part of extending their lives, reducing the amount of e-waste we create and keeping our environmental footprint in check, but accidents do happen. Using a bumper or any type of protective case on your iPhone or other smartphone can prevent a lot of breaks and cracked screens. Luckily, the iPhone 5 will feature a metal back instead of glass, which will hopefully cut down on some phone breaks, though the front glass and screen is still vulnerable. The best course is to protect it with a case.
If you find yourself with minor damage, opt for repair over replacement. There are even some simple repairs you can do on your own. Here are two easy repairs you can do at home. For the more advanced tinkerer, there are iFixit guides for repairs and replacements, like this one on how to replace the front glass yourself.
If DIY isn't your thing, iRepairDoc offers same day repairs for your iPhone and there's always the option of going to an Apple Store if there's one near you.