Yes, it happened again.
I thought that I was pretty cool when I replaced the cracked screen on my iPhone myself a few weeks ago. I told my wife and father who doubted me to shove it — I won:
They said it couldn’t be done. My dad and wife. They watched a Youtube video with me about how to replace the screen on an iPhone SE. The directions were ridiculous: tiny screws and difficult to reach circuit board plugs; removing and reattaching home buttons and selfie cams. If I was alone I would have said f’ck this and paid the $80 for a professional to fix it. But I wasn’t. They were there with me saying that it couldn’t be done.
I’m an ENTP. Someone saying that something can’t be done is a glaring and unavoidable invitation for me to do it. It’s just the way I’m programed.
Anyway, I did it and I gloated about it — flaunting my victory in their faces.
Then a week later I dropped the phone and broke the screen again.
Go ahead, laugh.
What the f’ck.
All of the other smartphones that I have ever used I have never cracked a screen before. All of my Blackberries, my old Samsung, all off them still have their original screens completely intact. Yes, I’ve dropped them, I’ve crushed them, I’ve mauled them…
Then I get this iPhone and two relatively minor drops resulted in two cracked screens.
But that’s not all. iPhone screens don’t merely crack, they explode — like the windshield of a car. Spiderwebs everywhere. But unlike the windshield of a car, the broken pieces splinter off, getting stuck in fingers and eventually revealing the innards of the phone, making a screen replacement inevitable.
And it’s not just me. Apparently, 23% of iPhone screens get cracked and 15% of all iPhones in daily usage have broken screens. So you pay $1,000 for something to look cool and then lose it all to a slight bobble a week later … A broken status symbol is no status symbol at all: it’s a revelation of your foolishness.
But I have to ask, if nearly a quarter of a product gets broken in the exact same way maybe there is something wrong? Why do iPhone screens crack so easily? According to FastCompany:
Americans spent $23.5 billion replacing broken smartphones in 2014–an untold chunk of which goes to iPhone screen repairs, which cost Apple about $40 in parts but cost you roughly $110 to $130 (or $80 to $100 if you have AppleCare).
Putting aside the fact that Apple is likely making a lot of money off iPhone screen repairs (and even more from warranties, which represent revenues in the $1 billion to $2 billion range), why hasn’t it prioritized durability in its industrial design, as some of its competitors have? Because if Apple focused on building a more rugged product, it could likely make an unbreakable–or at least far less breakable–iPhone screen.
Anyway, I was defeated. I’m taking the phone into a repair shop to have the screen fixed this time. The only question is how many more times am I going to have to do this?