PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Ever drop your smart phone or iPad, cracking the screen?
If you don’t have insurance and your upgrade is months — or possibly years away — fixing it can be very costly.
Justun Corfield of Etna remembers exactly how and when it happened.
“Dropped it,” Corfield said. “I got out of my work truck and forgot it was on my lap and it hit the ground.”
Not only does Corfield have a broken smartphone, his wife’s iPhone and his daughter Kailey’s iTouch– all have shattered screens.
Their devices function fine, but it’s a nuisance and the broken glass can be dangerous.
Case-in-point, Corfield’s shattered phone nicked his ear.
“Put it up to my ear and went like this to hold it while I was doing something and cut my ear,” he said.
Corfield and his family aren’t alone.
Many people continue to use their shattered devices because they don’t have the extra cash to get them fixed.
Apple charges at least $200 to fix a shattered screen.
And if you don’t have phone insurance, it can cost hundreds of dollars to get a new one if you’re not due for an upgrade.
But, if you can wait, there are some less expensive options.
One is to take it to an independent repair shop, like one at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills.
DigiExpress promises a fix in 90 minutes or less.
“We see a lot of broken screens on the iPhone, the iPod touch four, the iPad2 the iPad 3,” DigiExpress owner Mike Polimadei said. “People drop it and they crack the screen but it’s still functioning.”
DigiExpress charges about $100 for a shattered iPhone screen, less than that for an iPod touch.
But if $100 still seems too steep, there’s another option: fix it yourself.
There are plenty of repair kits out there ranging in price from $12 to $65, most with the same parts and similar tools.
And there are just as many online videos with step-by-step instructions.
To find out just how user friendly these kits are KDKA bought one and took it to the Corfield family back in Etna.
It came with replacement glass and tools.
And we fired up the laptop and picked one of the YouTube videos.
The instructions seemed reasonable at first.
“Yeah, yeah it doesn’t look too hard,” Corfield said.
But it didn’t take long for Corfield to become frustrated.
“I don’t think I would do this,” Corfield said.
There are a lot of steps, tiny screws, sharp edges and delicate parts.
And just about every video we tried, issued warning after warning to be careful not to cut yourself or damage other parts of the phone – like the WiFi cable.
Corfield decided it wasn’t worth the risk.
“If you just had to pop the glass off,” he said. “That would be easy, but I don’t know about all this. I’m not due for my upgrade yet, as soon as I get my upgrade, I’ll get a new one.”
And his daughter Kailey doesn’t seem to mind waiting either, as long as her iTouch still works.
“I’m gonna text Hannah mom,” she said.