Good news for iPhone users. It's about to get a little easier to have cracked screens replaced.
Apple is reportedly making its screen-repair machines available to third-party companies authorized to repair devices. 200 machines will go out to businesses soon and by the end of the year Apple says 400 of them will be in service.
This is welcomed news by iPhone users who've faced the challenge of getting a damaged screen replaced. Currently there are three options to have a screen replaced.
Return it to an Apple Store. This is the preferred method of the repairs but it is also the most costly. Apple technicians, using the company's proprietary machines will remove and replace a cracked screen in an hour or so if you take it into an Apple Store. The cost is $129 for iPhones 6, 6s and 7. For the plus size iPhones the cost is $149.
iPhones under the 2 year Apple Care warranty cost $29 to repair.
Another option is to take the damaged phone to an authorized Apple repair technician. These are found in many wireless carrier stores as well as at Best Buy. The cost is generally the same as you would pay at Apple.
The option many people take is having a third-party repair shop change out the screen. These shops charge a little less than Apple. I found most of the established stores charging from $100-$125 depending on the model. The repairs may be simple, but in my experience with two devices the repair shop could not fix the phones. In both instances the shop attempted to repair the device but later the screen cracked without being dropped. She shop replaced the screen 2 times before sending me back to Apple for a repair. I ended up paying twice to get the screen repaired; a total of $275.
Yet another option is to fix the phone yourself. DIY kits are widely available on Ebay and retailer websites. These kits include tools and replacement screen. This is not recommended since screens are very difficult to replace. The display must be attached to the phone and to several ribbon cables and wires. DIY is a very risky option as opening the phone will void any Apple warranty