Despite a stronger design, the iPhone 5 is easy to scratch or break when dropped, and iPhone repair costs are skyrocketing thanks to expensive parts and shortages.
That’s according to a new report from MarketWatch, which examined the prices of the components that users are most likely to break.
It’s asserted by the publication that Apple attempts to keep the price of replacement components high so that third-party services can’t repair the iPhone 5 for cheaper than what Apple charges for screen replacements.
Apple currently charges users as much $229 to replace the display of the iPhone 5, though users who pay for Apple’s AppleCare service can have their screens replaced for $49. AppleCare currently costs $99. In addition to ruining the quality of video playback, shattered iPhone displays could result in a device that’s simply not even remotely useable.
Users aren’t able to turn to third-party vendors to cheaply replace their device’s screen either. According to ComputerOverhauls.com, who spoke to MarketWatch, the company can’t yet provide iPhone 5 repairs because Apple charges vendors too much to obtain the needed parts. The company continued that “Currently, the Apple Store is the least expensive option for repairing damaged iPhone 5s”.
Most repair companies now charge users $250 to repair their device, $50 more than the price users would to pay to purchase the the device when signing up for a two-year service agreement. Without a contract, that same iPhone 5 would cost a user $649.99.
A study by SquareTrade, a device insurance company recently concluded that one in three iPhones were damaged this past year. Reportedly, iPhone repairs have cost users $6 billion since Apple introduced the iPhone six years ago. Users can purchase third-party warranties from firms other than Apple.
Read: Top 5 iPhone 5 Warranty Options Compared
Repair firm iCracked, maintains that the pricing problem associated with internal components has only gotten worse with the iPhone 5.
It’s worth noting that users can purchase kits that allow them to replace components in some of Apple’s older devices on the cheap, and use tear-down guides provided by sites like iFixit to fix their devices at a reduced cost. However, most users don’t have the technical know-how and ability to perform extensive electronic repairs on their own.
For example, iFixit rates the difficulty of replacing the iPhone 5’s display assembly as “moderate”. Purchasing a display assembly will cost a user $199.95, plus the cost of the tools needed to get the job done, which will run users an additional $25.
All costs included, it’s simply more cost effective for users to purchase a warranty or buy a case that protects their iPhone 5.