April 24, 2015

Does your iPhone Really Need a Protection Plan?

Eric Griffin

Picture this: you just bought a brand new iPhone, and the sales rep tells you that to replace the phone would cost $600, but phone insurance that covers accidental damage is only $10 a month. It seems like a no-brainer….but does your iPhone really need a protection plan?  Is phone insurance really worth the cost?  We’ll dive into the numbers and find out.

The cost of iPhone repairs can add up very quickly: A study from a major 3rd party smartphone insurance company, SquareTrade conducted in 2014, shows that damaged iPhones have cost Americans $10.7 billion since their inception in 2007. In the last two years alone, consumers have spent $4.8 billion on iPhone repairs and replacement parts. The number is truly shocking, but in reality it’s like comparing the size of Earth to Jupiter.

iPhone Sales US vs repars

Another big argument for getting iPhone insurance is the “dreaded” cracked screen. We’ve all experienced it, or know someone who has, at some point in our life. The reports confirm our fears — as many as 33 percent of iPhone users have reported having a cracked screen. However, it doesn’t mention the number of phones you’ve had in that same amount of time. How many phones have you had since 2007, and did every phone’s screen crack? Probably not.

The older the iPhone, the less it’s worth. Smartphones become obsolete almost before they are out of the box, and devalue as fast as driving a new car off the sales lot. Below is the screenshot from buy/sell iPhones service, Glyde that illustrates how significant the difference between the models is. The condition of the device (no scratches versus normal wear) will factor into the final estimate.

The less it’s worth, the cheaper the parts. The following formula has proved to be true over time: the older the iPhone, the cheaper the parts. For instance, here are the price quotes from repair company Ubreakifix on replacing the screen:




iPhone 6

Glass Only


iPhone 5C

Glass Only


iPhone 5

Glass Only


iPhone 4S

Glass + LCD


iPhone 3G

Glass Only


Of course, using a third party repair service will most certainly remove the original Apple warranty, but does it really matter if the device is older than a year old?

The insurance service fees can add up over time to the cost of a new phone or more, plus count in the additional service fees for accidental damages. Consumer experts all agree — insurance or extended warranties are simply not worth it. A Consumer Reports poll shows that only 15 percent of buyers got a new phone because the old one broke, and only 2 percent because the phone was lost or stolen.

A better idea yet is to get a piggy bank…



No matter how you look at it, even though the insurance might give you a sense of security, but in return hardly any protection — it doesn’t reduce the risk of damaging the phone, or the wallet. A $650 pricetag for the brand new iPhone is high, but considerably low in comparison with the cost of a car or a house — the accidents are not likely to bankrupt or worse, hurt you.

Damaged iPhone is a HUGE inconvenience. The repair company iCracked reports that the average repair cost is between $80 and $120 — and that anywhere from 8 to 10 percent of the company’s customers have breakage coverage. Occasionally, convenience outweighs the plans. There are just not enough of Apple stores nearby to meet consumer demand and unless Apple starts sending their technicians to wherever you are, like iCracked, the trend of convenient repair services will continue to grow.

Preventive care is always a good idea. Preventive care reduces the risk of accidental damage and slows down the process of price devaluation over time. Keeping your iPhone healthy will go a long way. That includes two things:

  • Avoiding the high risk scenarios: car and toilet seats, kids reach etc.

  • Protective casing, from everyday scratch resistant invisible wraps, to impact and industrial grade protectors.

Or you could ignore all the above, and leave your phone as is. There is still a chance of your phone surviving just fine till the next big thing from Apple. But if you really want to know if you need “preventive care”,  just take a good look at all the scuffs and scratches on your current phone and also learn more about the hidden privacy IOS settings.

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