Authorised Apple Service Providers take an average of 3 to 7 days for your iPhone to get repaired, depending on the kind of incessant abuse it's had to endure. If you choose to go this route, you'll have to part with your beloved device for a while.
Before you send your phone to the Apple Authorised Service Provider, you'll have to make sure to
1) Backup all your data
2) Remove your Apple ID on the device.
3) Turn off “Find My iPhone”.
4) Restore your iPhone to factory setting.
5) Bring along the sales receipt.
Apple's limited warranty does not cover any accidental, mishandling, liquid damage or tampered by any unauthorised third party. Under the limited warranty, consumers are allowed to do the 1-1 exchange policy with a new or reconditioned device.
For those who have brought AppleCare+ for their device, the warranty will be extended to 2 years and with two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of S$42 for screen damage or S$148 for any other damage.
If you are out of warranty, you'll have to pay the full repair fee to get the damaged parts repaired or a replacement fee to get a refurbished set.
Price differences between Apple Support and Apple Authorised Service Provider
During our onsite visit to A.Lab at Plaza Singapura, we were quoted a different price from Apple Support. For example, screen repair for the iPhone 7 Plus/6S Plus/6 Plus costs S$219 at Apple Support, but S$250 at A.Lab. As such, you should do some due diligence checks before heading down to avoid any issues.
Alternative Mobile Repair Centre / 3rd Party Repair Shop
Going through Apple’s official support or authorised service provider isn’t necessarily the best way forward. For those with a cracked iPad or iPhone screen, liquid damage or are simply out of warranty, it may be financially more prudent to head down an alternative repair centre or 3rd third repair shop. In most cases, it will cost less than half of Apple’s official charges.
Alternative repair place come in all shapes and sizes and with different skill levels, so for the sake of this article, we will be referring to those trusted and reputable service shops such as iRepair Singapore with Casetrust accreditation and some other choice like Breakfixnow, Atomware, and iPhix, GW Mobile and iPhonefix to name a few. Each of them operates slightly different.
So how does it work? In general, all repair centre will do a registration and a check on your iPhone details and functions. Alternative repair centre will differ in terms of their customer service system and how they handle your repairs. iRepair Singapore for instance has an e-system with automatic SMS notifications that boosts their work efficiency and so on.
Following which, the technicians will do a preliminary diagnosis to check what is wrong with your device, a quotation will be provided. iRepair SG does provide advanced Face2Face repair for you to see the repair in real time to assure you of their trustworthiness.
The duration of repair will depend largely on the severity of the damage. Easy cases such as a cracked screen or battery replacement can be repaired within 30 minutes whereas severe issues such as a motherboard damage might take a few business days.
A warranty period is often provided to guarantee that the component that was fixed will work. The warranty period lasts from 1 to 3 month depending on the repair shop you go to. Warranty normally covers whichever part that has been replaced, so its good practice for you to check your phone’s function before leaving the centre.
Which Should You Choose?
Reliability / Warranty
Without stating the obvious, Apple’s authorised service providers are definitely going to replace your iPhone parts with original Apple components. However, a number of third party repair shops also claim to use original components, which supposedly work just as well.
To verify the trustworthiness of these repair shops, you can check customer reviews on their Facebook page and on forums. For instance, iRepair Singapore (which also comes with Casetrust accreditation).
Nevertheless, Apple’s authorised service providers will most likely still remain a safer bet.
Official Apple support will take a longer time than heading down to a third party repair shop. The queues at Apple’s authorised service providers are much longer, especially during peak hours.
You will also need to make two trips, one to send the phone in to verify if it’s free of tampering, water damage or accidental abuse and the other to collect it. If your phone has any of the issues mentioned, your warranty will be void.
Alternatively, third party repair shops have shorter queue so the wait is shorter. Basic repairs can be done in an hour, but issues with the motherboard may take 3 to 5 days. The best thing for most alternative repair shops is that all your data will remain intact when basic repairs are carried out which means less of a hassle for you.
If you are covered with Apple’s limited warranty, then definitely getting your device fixed by an authorised service provider will be your best bet since it’s free of charge but be prepared to survive a few days away without your device.
However, if your device's warranty has run out, then authorized service providers are definitely going to charge a much higher price than third party repair stores.
If you'd like to check the alternative iPhone and iPad repair prices or for other brands like Samsung, Sony and LG, visit the iRepair website, iRepair Singapore Facebook page or iRepair SG Google+ for more information.