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Did You Contribute to America's $8.3 Billion Screen Repair Tab?

by Suzanne Kantra on March 14, 2024

Your heart sank when you heard that tell-tale crunch – another cracked smartphone screen, another repair bill looming. If you feel like your pockets are constantly being drained by phone repairs, you're not alone. A new study by Allstate Protection Plans reveals Americans have collectively spent a mind-blowing $149 billion on smartphone repairs and replacements since the introduction of the smartphone.

Phone repair concept showing a damaged phone next to a stack of cash.

The price of staying connected

Our smartphones are more than just communication tools – they're essential to getting through the day. It's no wonder many of us choose to fix our damaged devices rather than replace them entirely. However, the costs of these repairs are soaring.

The Allstate Protection Plans study found that Americans shelled out $8.3 billion for screen repairs alone in 2023 – nearly triple the $3.4 billion spent in 2018. And cracked screens aren't the only culprit. The most common types of damage include:

  • Damaged screens (67%)
  • Wi-Fi or connectivity issues (28%)
  • Touchscreen problems (24%)
  • Water damage (21%)

Read more: Drop-Proof Your Samsung Galaxy S24 with This Holster Case

DIY repairs: risky business

With the rising costs of professional fixes, more and more people are turning to DIY smartphone repairs. Online tutorials and cheap replacement parts make it seem tempting. However, in my interview with Richard Perez, an operations manager for uBreakiFix by Asurion, he warned attempting your own repairs has risks.

"Repairs that are simple for trained technicians – or even just “techy” people – can be quite challenging for average consumers, and they might end up unable to complete the repair," Perez told me. "If you don't properly ground yourself, static electricity from your hand could fry your phone's circuitry...or you could potentially damage your device to the point of no return."

If you choose to perform a DIY repair, run the numbers to find out how much you'll actually save, especially when you consider the costs of any specialized tools. "If you don't have knowledge or experience working with electronic devices, it might make more sense to skip the at-home repair and visit a professional repair shop where you can get a free diagnostic and a warranty on the repair work," says Perez.

Read more: How Much Your iPhone Screen Repair Should Cost

[Image credit: phone and cash image generated by OpenAI's DALL·E]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.


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