Apple Stores Can Replace your iPhone 4 Back Glass Panel for $29

If you like to live life on the edge, say, by carrying around your iPhone 4 ‘naked’ without a case, you certainly will pay the consequences should you drop your phone on any hard surface. Even though it’s Corning Gorilla Glass that engulfs both sides of the iPhone 4, an awkward impact can shatter your phone.

Accidents happen to the best of us, so when my iPhone 4 slid off my desk and landed onto granite tile, I heard a gut-wrenching ‘pop’ and instantly knew something horrible had happened. The phone had previously survived multiple drops, but this time was a true ‘double face palm’ moment.

My worst nightmare–the back glass cracked–and would’ve exploded everywhere if it wasn’t for ZAGG’s invisibleSHIELD holding it together.  Aside from the damage incurred, the phone worked fine.

So a trip to the Apple Store ensued after making a reservation with a genius. Low and behold, it was only $29 CDN plus tax to replace the back glass panel. It would’ve been much more expensive if it was the front. I handed over my phone to the genius, and five minutes later, my iPhone 4 was back in my hands with a brand spankin’ new back panel. Awesome.

So if you run into an accident, visit your local Apple Store before trying out the waters on Craigslist. It’s cheaper, and you’ll get a better experience. Now, excuse me while I put the Bumper back onto my iPhone (temporary of course).

How have your experiences been when dealing with Apple Retail stores?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Warpdrive

    My wife dropped hers and smashed the front screen. At the same time mine had a home button that was acting up. Made an appointment at the Apple Store at Southgate, Edmonton. After I checked in I waited for 45 minutes, 35 minutes past my appointment time. Finally a nice employee asked if she could help me, must have thought I was scopeing the joint. Once they realized they forgot about me I got the very next bar opening and walked out with 2 new phones 10 minutes later. He told me the screen normally costs $250 to replace, but he was going to, “cut me a break today”! Lol.

  • There is a definite appeal to going around with no case. Really, most of us don’t even know what our iPhone’s really feel like because they’re wrapped in so much silicon. Like you said though, the consequences are inevitable.

    I wish I didn’t care so much about how my iPhone looked, it’s much more comfortable and convenient to go case-less. For the record I usually go case-less when in my office, and wrap up when leaving. I have carpet, so any drops I’ve experienced so far have been negligible.

    By the way, $29 is a decent deal. Much better than having to DIY in my opinion.

  • YMBz

    2 new phones or refurbished ?
    Cuz 2 days ago I went to the apple store due to a problem with the home button and in 10 min I was leaving the store with a new ” refurbished iPhone ” even thought I did my best to get a real new one ,, so that’s why I wanna clarify this ,, were your phones new or refurbished ? Thanks

  • Leadergo

    Gary, did they replace the philips screws with the new pentalobes when they replaced the back?

  • Anonymous

    I thought the Gorilla Glass was only on the front, and that the back was regular glass.

  • Nope!

  • Nope!

  • Cshupe2

    Ya I got this done couldn’t believe how cheap it was:s

  • Nick

    That is interesting because when I went to my Apple Store a few months ago in Ottawa, they replaced the back of my iPhone 4 for free. I dropped it a few months ago and they gave me an ‘exception’ from having to pay for the replaced part. The damage to the back of my iPhone 4 was much more severe than the damage of the one shown above.

  • Anonymous

    Yea well imho making a phone outta glass is an assinine idea anyways because of the exact situation as stated in this post (and by others who have shared similar experiences). Phones are going to get banged up so why not use a more durble material and if the glass was chosen to help with phone reception……..well……we all know how that turned out!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Ok so I smashed the back glass on my iP4 3 days after I got my hands on one. It was during the time when they first cane out and people were lined up around the building to get one. Ok so I smashed it. Like in the article my Zag invisishield held everything in place. At this time one could not even find craigslist replacement parts. I made an appointment at my local

  • MrAnonymous

    OR you can DIY at less than half the cost of irepair.ca. You can get a complete iPhone 4 Front screen (Retina LCD + Digitizer + Install Tools) for about $50 on Ebay with FREE shipping. I did a replacement on one of my iPhone’s and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

  • @aplepi:disqus Yup, I couldn’t believe the price too. It was a lesson learned, but I was taking the risk of going ‘naked’ anyways. 😉

  • Ladohierro

    I bought mine 2 weeks ago OEM on ebay just for 15 bucks, lol

  • Anonymous

    I’m shocked it didn’t cost $229 for a replacement, $29 is a good deal for a cracked back replacement.

  • Anonymous

    I’m shocked it didn’t cost $229 for a replacement, $29 is a good deal for a cracked back replacement.

  • Rio

    to be honest i dont know why people are complaining so much about the glass.

    When i drive i usually keep my phone between my legs and forget about it, so when i get up it falls. This has happen atleast 4-5 times and still no shatter, the worst i have is a tiny crack. So far in my opinion the glass has been doing great, i cant imagine what i would have to do to physically crack it.

  • Anonymous

    WOW, that’s great strategy.

    Then Apple’s fan will be more!
    And now the iPhone 5 will come soon: http://www.ifunia.com/news/two-iphone-5-models-scheduled-for-fall-2011-release/

  • Luke

    Does anyone know if they would replace the black back with a white back?

  • Nightfly

    Go to the Apple Store first. If this is your first damage to the glass their is a very good chance they will swap your damage iPhone for a fix one. Apple seem to be very liberal and fair with their warranty. Worst case scenario they fix your phone at heavily discount price. I use the Nemarket Ontario Apple Store and the service it great.

  • Ex

    They will not

  • Ras Lucas

    I don’t understand why people complain about iPhone 4 cell reception. For those that have used an iPhone 3G or 3GS. They know the 4 has significantly better reception than those two… Antenna gate is a myth…

  • Eric

    can i replace the back with a white one? why not Apple……

  • Eric

    can i replace the back with a white one? why not Apple……

  • Shone

    Same here, my wife broke blue one i got from ebay 12$. Ordered another white one and replace it by myself in 2 mins. Very easy…

  • Shone

    Same here, my wife broke blue one i got from ebay 12$. Ordered another white one and replace it by myself in 2 mins. Very easy…

  • CarGuyGTI

    Really, tell me why then while I am doing a speed test and touch “the spot” I can see an instant drop to 0 Mbps on my upload. Coming down from 1.4 and it never fails. Just by touching the spot with only my pinkie.

  • Muhigim

    I had the front replaced in Vancouver for free. The guy looked at me, asked me what happened to it and I told him I had dropped. He went in the back and brought me a new one for free

  • Anonymous

    Apple refurb might as well be new, they have a really great refurb process. Every Mac I’ve ever bought has been an Apple refurb and they all perform flawlessly.

  • Anonymous

    Actually if it’s your first time and you break the front glass they will replace the ENTIRE phone for free.  Or at least they did with me and a bunch of other people that I read about online.  I was going to go the self-repair route, but I found out they will do a courtesy replacement one time only.  After that it’s 229.00, at which point I’m wondering, if again, they would just replace the phone.  About a month before that I broke the back, which they quickly replaced for free as well.  I am very satisfied with their customer service.

  • Anonymous

    Actually if it’s your first time and you break the front glass they will replace the ENTIRE phone for free.  Or at least they did with me and a bunch of other people that I read about online.  I was going to go the self-repair route, but I found out they will do a courtesy replacement one time only.  After that it’s 229.00, at which point I’m wondering, if again, they would just replace the phone.  About a month before that I broke the back, which they quickly replaced for free as well.  I am very satisfied with their customer service.

  • Anonymous

    Actually if it’s your first time and you break the front glass they will replace the ENTIRE phone for free.  Or at least they did with me and a bunch of other people that I read about online.  I was going to go the self-repair route, but I found out they will do a courtesy replacement one time only.  After that it’s 229.00, at which point I’m wondering, if again, they would just replace the phone.  About a month before that I broke the back, which they quickly replaced for free as well.  I am very satisfied with their customer service.

  • Anonymous

    Actually if it’s your first time and you break the front glass they will replace the ENTIRE phone for free.  Or at least they did with me and a bunch of other people that I read about online.  I was going to go the self-repair route, but I found out they will do a courtesy replacement one time only.  After that it’s 229.00, at which point I’m wondering, if again, they would just replace the phone.  About a month before that I broke the back, which they quickly replaced for free as well.  I am very satisfied with their customer service.

  • Anonymous

    Actually if it’s your first time and you break the front glass they will replace the ENTIRE phone for free.  Or at least they did with me and a bunch of other people that I read about online.  I was going to go the self-repair route, but I found out they will do a courtesy replacement one time only.  After that it’s 229.00, at which point I’m wondering, if again, they would just replace the phone.  About a month before that I broke the back, which they quickly replaced for free as well.  I am very satisfied with their customer service.

  • Anonymous

    Actually if it’s your first time and you break the front glass they will replace the ENTIRE phone for free.  Or at least they did with me and a bunch of other people that I read about online.  I was going to go the self-repair route, but I found out they will do a courtesy replacement one time only.  After that it’s 229.00, at which point I’m wondering, if again, they would just replace the phone.  About a month before that I broke the back, which they quickly replaced for free as well.  I am very satisfied with their customer service.

  • Anonymous

    Actually if it’s your first time and you break the front glass they will replace the ENTIRE phone for free.  Or at least they did with me and a bunch of other people that I read about online.  I was going to go the self-repair route, but I found out they will do a courtesy replacement one time only.  After that it’s 229.00, at which point I’m wondering, if again, they would just replace the phone.  About a month before that I broke the back, which they quickly replaced for free as well.  I am very satisfied with their customer service.

  • fellowvancouverite

    where did you go in vancouver for this??

  • Linn Jensen

    so I just make a reservation and get it for 29$?

  • Shaun

    I actually called Apple after the back glass of my iPhone 4 shattered, and they informed me it would be $150. Is this true? People I know have the resources and knowledge to replace it for me, however it would void the warrenty and me? I’m a worrier.. so I worry that if I go ahead and have my friend replace it, something will happen to my phone and I will be stuck.

  • Dan C.

    Step out of a transport truck with the phone on your lap.. That’s enough to smash the glass

  • Dwitt1974

    Wow. Does the cost to replace the back glass on the 4S as low?

  • I’d say yes, since it’s the same piece.

  • Britany-dawn

    Were you covered with AppleCare?

  • No

  • Specialized617

    the part cost 9.99 and diy is easy as two screws

  • Dombrosky14

    just had my back glass shatter today after falling 3 ft from my desk top onto carpet in an OtterBox. I will never purchase an otterbox product again. paid $60 bucks for a case that couldnt stop my phone from breaking from 3ft on carpet?!?!?!gimme a break! awful!

  • xforeveryoung

    I cracked the back of my iphone today pretty bad ! Is thete any difference in cost by how bad the damage is ? Or is it just one price to get it fixed ?

  • It’s one piece for the glass, one price. If your camera is damaged that might be another story.

  • PegDaProblem

    I just got mine replaced today and it was $29 and took 10 mins. I contacted someone on Kijiji and they wanted $40 which at the time I thought was also very reasonable.

  • Yup. One of the fastest and cheapest replacements from Apple.

  • Jibran

    I want full panel off apple 4 back an frent white in colar call me 8121212186

  • Jibran

    I want full back an frent panal call me 8121212186

  • Jibran

    I want white panel off apple4 panne if it’s there so plz call me8121212186

  • Yayalove

    Do you have to make an appointment first before going in to any apple store ?

  • You should

  • Cary

    What if you don’t have a warranty on your phone? I’m assuming then you would have to pay the $199+. I have a white iPhone 4s from Norway that will be unlocked in about a month that I want to sell, but the back glass is cracked. It fell out of my pocket on the sidewalk.

  • killcodeXXX

    my Iphone just fell 2 feet then landed on my hardwood floor and the full front of it is shattered you don’t have to do a lot