Is It Worth Fixing a Cracked iPad Screen? | ZUGU Case

FREE Shipping (orders over $40) Learn More

Is Getting a Cracked iPad Screen Repaired at AppleCare Worth It?

Updated: 31 October 2023

The unthinkable has happened — you’ve dropped your iPad 10.2 on the concrete floor without even an iPad 10.2 case to protect it. Now, your iPad screen is cracked, and there’s a hairline of fractured glass running straight across the front of your device. Or maybe you watched horrified as your iPad Pro slipped out of your bookbag at the top of the staircase in Flinn Hall and bumped along all 67 steps down to come out at the bottom rather worse for wear. 

Either way, the question is the same. Is taking a cracked iPad to Apple Repair worth it? 

The Price Tag for Your Cracked Screen Repair

If the crack is purely cosmetic, and you don’t have your device insured with AppleCare coverage, the answer is usually no. Replacing the screen on your brand new 12.9 inch M2 iPad Pro (5th or 6th generation) will set you back $699, and if you’ve got an 11-inch iPad Pro, the price will not be much lower at $499. A 10.2-inch iPad can have the screen replaced for just $249, but that’s still a big chunk of change, way more than the cost of an iPad case 10.2. 

If you signed up for AppleCare when you bought your iPad, you’ll be able to get your screen replaced for just $49, which is far more reasonable. Buying the AppleCare coverage itself will cost you $99, so if you’re likely to crack your screen, you can think of it as having paid part of the repair cost ahead of time. The coverage lasts two years, and after that, you’re on your own.

Alternatives to Apple Screen Repair

Have you got a cracked screen on your iPad Pro but no AppleCare coverage or $649 in spare change to repair it? If it’s just a cracked screen and the digitizer and touch screen work fine, you can just keep on using your iPad. Visually, your device is no longer perfect, but a cracked screen doesn’t necessarily affect function. 

There was once a time when you could replace the damaged screen on your iPad with a new piece of glass. Unfortunately, today, that’s no longer the case. Since the launch of the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4/5, and the iPad Pro, screen glass can no longer be removed as a single component, and replacing a damaged screen now requires a new full unit that includes the inner LCD.

This is because Apple now makes their screens as a laminate, the idea being that this allows the latest models to become even more slender than the previous iteration while also reducing reflections and glare. However, this means that the iPad’s cover glass, touch sensor, and LCD are now bonded together and have to be replaced as a whole, at greater expense to the user.  

You can also bring your device to a third-party repair service. These are usually considerably cheaper than Apple Repair when it comes to fixing screens, but there are several important factors to bear in mind. 

Firstly, remember that Apple does not supply genuine components to any third-party repairer. Genuine parts are only available to Apple and Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASP). Furthermore, Apple and AASPs will only hold those parts while your device is still formally supported by Apple. Secondly, bear in mind that if you do decide to use a third-party repair service while your device still has its warranty, the warranty would then be deemed void. 

If your iPad has become old enough that Apple no longer offers its own repair service, then genuine parts will not be available. In this instance, any third-party screen repair service offering to mend your tablet will almost certainly be using aftermarket parts. 

These are generic components built by unendorsed manufacturers to fulfill the same basic function. However, repairs using such components are likely to result in impaired iPad functionality, with features such as security features, TouchID, and Apple Pencil not working properly or being permanently disabled. 

Frustratingly, even though it may only be the glass that needs replacing on early iPad models, repairing the cracked screen is still unlikely to be viable. This is mainly because the installed version of iOS will not be supported for an update, and as the iPad will most likely have to be reset during the repair process when you restart your device afterward, you’ll probably find there are far fewer compatible Apps available to download — almost to the point that your iPad is close to useless.

Dare to DIY?

For those tech-savvy few with the skills and confidence, DIY repair is another option. This is great for keeping repair costs down — just so long as you know what you're doing and don’t make matters worse! 

Nevertheless, it would appear that the number of iPad users who do have the ability to repair their own devices has increased in recent years. The demand for component parts, along with tools and instructions, has risen to the point where, in 2022, Apple launched its own Self-Service Repair Store. This online facility now provides repair manuals, genuine Apple parts, and tools, allowing those with the skills to repair their Apple products and devices themselves. 

For older models, you can buy yourself a screen repair kit that includes suitable generic parts not produced by Apple fairly inexpensively. These kits usually come with replacement parts, all the tools needed, and detailed instructions that walk you through the process step by step. 

If you’re the sort who loves to tinker with electronics and built your own computer when you were in 7th grade, this might be a great new project for you. If you’re not so handy, be aware that the process is fairly involved. There’s no way to just remove your broken screen and put on the new one: you’ll have to tear down your iPad, layer by layer, and then put it back the same way it was. However, it’s important to note that if not done correctly, your iPad may never work again. 

Use an Apple Authorized Service Provider

For the vast majority of iPad users who don’t have in-depth experience in repairing electronic devices, there are Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASP). This is the safest and smartest solution for fixing a chipped, shattered, or cracked iPad screen — especially if your device is out of warranty. 

An AASP must demonstrate a proven history of delivering a high-quality service and also undergo a comprehensive certification process. Once qualified, an AASP is endorsed and authorized by Apple to deliver repair services for all Apple products the company still supports, within and outside warranty periods. These service providers operate independently but with approval from Apple — this means they are obliged to only ever use technicians certified by Apple, and they’re supplied with all the requisite Apple components necessary for extending the proper support service to owners of Apple devices. 

Over the last four years, Apple has almost doubled the number of AASPs with access to genuine Apple parts, tools, and training to create more than 3,000 Independent Repair Providers across the United States. There is also a global network of more than 5,000 Apple Authorized Service Providers that supports more than 100,000 active technicians. This means that right now, in the US, eight out of ten Apple customers are located no further than 20 minutes from an authorized service provider. 

Avoiding a Cracked Screen

When it comes down to it, there’s no great option for dealing with a cracked screen. And when the damage has been done, no matter how frustrating hindsight may be, it’s clear that prevention is always better than cure. 

Knowing how costly a screen repair can be tends to make one thing stand out — the importance of keeping that screen intact in the first place. Sure, accidents happen, and a cracked screen isn’t necessarily your fault — but there are things you can do to make it that much less likely.  

One surefire way to keep your iPad safe is to buy a screen protector and a drop-tested case to keep on at all times. A naked iPad feels extra sleek and elegant, but it’s also extra vulnerable to damage. A classy protective case — as seen in the ZUGU Case collection — can help keep your screen intact and your device looking pristine and brand new for long after the honeymoon is over. 

Looking for ultra protection for your iPad? Consider investing in a quality case from ZUGU Case — perfect for devices like the latest M2-powered 12.9” iPad Pros. This provides robust protection with its rugged TPU + PC shell that has been specifically designed to shield your iPad from drops and major impacts. This case currently costs roughly 10% of the price for replacing a cracked iPad screen and is worth the small investment purely for the peace of mind you’ll get from knowing your iPad is safe and secure.

That’s why it’s important to do your research and go with a case that can guarantee full protection for your iPad — like the ZUGU Case. The gold standard in drop protection is Military Drop Test Standards (MIL-STD 810G 516.6), and to pass certification for this, an iPad with its case has to be dropped a total of 26 times, 48 inches each time, onto steel backed by concrete. iPads protected by ZUGU Cases come out of this test with no damage whatsoever to the screen or any other part of the device body.

In fact, we’re so confident that your iPad won’t suffer a cracked screen while in a ZUGU Case that if it does, we will pay your AppleCare+ bill for you. 

Protective cases come in handy for other reasons, too. They function as stands so that you can keep your iPad at your ideal viewing angle when watching movies or lectures on your device. The ZUGU Case includes magnets that are strong enough to stick it up on the refrigerator — great for when you’re following the tutorial of a new recipe in the kitchen. 

But when it comes down to it, avoiding that $699 bill is the biggest reason most of us will have for putting a case on our iPads. 

So, don’t test your luck. Taking an iPad to Apple for repairs is an experience you’re better off without, so get your iPad a sturdy ZUGU Case and keep it protected, functional, and looking brand new.