back to article Hey, you know why it's called the iPhone X? When you see Apple's repair bill, your response will be X-rated

With its iPhone X about to figuratively hit the streets, Apple has today revealed what it will charge when the new handsets literally hit the streets. The Cupertino iGiant said it will cost $279 to repair a damaged screen for the new flashy handset if it is not covered by an Apple Care plan. Damage to any other part of the …

  1. Lee D Silver badge

    Honestly do not get it.

    That repair costs more than any phone I've ever owned.

    The phone costs more than anything I've ever owned with the exception of 1 car and 2 houses (not simultaneously!).

    Just... but... I can't... and it's just... the worst possible option.

    Literally a "designer" brand. All looks over substance. Have never owned one of their products. Ever. (But manage several hundred, begrudgingly, and only as far as you can "manage" any of their junk).

    Also, if the screen doesn't have all that stuff listed in it, why is it MORE EXPENSIVE than the models that do?

    1. K Silver badge

      In my humble opinion, the costs have nothing to do with actual parts, overheads and margins - Its more about selling more handsets. Lets face it, you see that price, your more likely to just purchase a shiny new one, which at the end of the days adds even more to Apple's bottom line.

      This is the evil twin brother of 2 for 1... Buy 2 screens, or buy a new phone!

      Personally, Apple calls its self a "responsible" company, I'm not an environmentalist by a long shot (Global Warming, WTF is that?!).. But even I think Apple is f*cking evil on this front!

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        First adopter risk

        I’ll expect those prices will come down in time. They are currently driven by cantimg to reserve all the parts for new retail models not spares and repair.

        I also bet there are only 1 or 2 service centres that have the skills and tools to repair them.

        Haven’t seen an iFixit tear down yet but I bet it will be even harder to fix than previous models.

        1. Not also known as SC

          Re: First adopter risk

          "I’ll expect those prices will come down in time. They are currently driven by cantimg to reserve all the parts for new retail models not spares and repair."

          Look at the prices for the other models. My 6s could cost $150 for a screen and $299 for other damage. That's still not cheap compared to the price of the phone and I think I'll have to agree with 'K' above, its all about getting people to buy new phones.

        2. macjules Silver badge

          Re: First adopter risk

          Not only that, they also admitted to not running QA, in order to meet demand quotas. Think I’ll stick with my 6s for a while longer.

          1. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: First adopter risk

            "Not only that, they also admitted to not running QA, in order to meet demand quotas. Think I’ll stick with my 6s for a while longer."

            I'd like to see where Apple is admitting this. Even if it were true, I can't see any company admitting this. And if there is a problem that wasn't caught by QA, that's why you have a year warranty. I'd expect that the customer detects anything within a year that QA would have caught.

            1. Lee D Silver badge

              Re: First adopter risk

              1) I object to being a QA tester for any company I buy products for.

              2) Standard EU warranty is a LOT LONGER than 1 year, no matter what Apple might try to tell the courts.

              3) Apple have admitted - in court no less - that their products are only designed to last a year (hence why they only want to give one year's warranty... shame that argument got thrown out).

              That said, I don't know if Apple stop QA or not, but certainly their hardware fares less well in the field than ANYTHING ELSE that I use in volume.

              By "field", in my case it's a school.

              By "hardware", I include anything from iPhones to iPads and Macs.

              By "volume", sure it's only a few hundreds of devices in my case but the statistics show.

              In a year of Chromebook use by children, I got two screen breakages that cost £25 each to repair after one was stood on and one ended up under a pile of cricket equipment.

              In a similar year of iPad use, I got upwards of 30 screen breakages costing £70-80 each to repair, and which mostly COULDN'T be adequately repaired without leaving the device vulnerable, as well as several DoA or random deaths. And those devices cost twice as much, and if we'd paid Apple prices, 4 times as much as a Chromebook to us.

              Given that they were both given to the same children, in the same site, for the same amount of use, and the Chromebook had "nothing" in the way of protection while the iPads had the best cases we could possibly find (thick rubberised things that made it hard to type on the screen), I think that kind of speaks for their quality control and "design" (as in "making things fit for purpose" not "what fancy shite can we make this out of so it sounds good").

              Additionally, out of the staff, we had zero breakages of Android phones, Window phones (not my decision!), etc. that were used for/taken on trips every week. However, I repaired/replaced the headmaster's iPhone no less than 7 times in the same period, despite the fact he lives on-site and it never really went anywhere.

              Apple QA - if it exists - is damn near atrocious. Don't even get me started on how many of their crappy lightning cables (official Apple, as supplied with the iPads) break each year and how much they cost to replace versus either - the cheapest unbranded Lightning-like cable on Amazon, or the cheapest micro-USB for other devices from Amazon.

              I don't even get a hardware failure rate of 0.1% on PC's, over 4 years (I have the stats on my helpesk, would you like to see? Most of those are storage failures!). I've already got a 10% failure rate on Macs (drive failures and mysterious just-not-turning-on), 8% on iPads (breakages, screen failures, button failures, not turning on, failing to accept charge, etc.), and almost 100% on iPhones (mostly accidental breakage because you didn't treat it like cotton wool despite it being an item you carry everywhere and hold in your hand), Android phones 0%, Windows phones <1%. Hell, even the old server equipment that we've kept from our purchase of ex-2012-Olympic stock fares better and mostly they only suffer storage failures!

              Different use case, blah, blah, blah, but a Mac isn't as robust as a PC, an iPad isn't as robust as a Samsung tablet / cheap Chinese Android costing £20 / Chromebook, an iPhones you might as well just smash the screen when you buy it to save you the heart attack later.

              1. Bob Dole (tm)

                Re: First adopter risk

                Given that they were both given to the same children, in the same site, for the same amount of use, and the Chromebook had "nothing" in the way of protection while the iPads had the best cases we could possibly find (thick rubberised things that made it hard to type on the screen), I think that kind of speaks for their quality control and "design" (as in "making things fit for purpose" not "what fancy shite can we make this out of so it sounds good").

                I bought a couple iPads for my kids several years back - one is a second gen iPad, another is a third gen. I also have four iPhones in my house, two 5s and two 6s. Every single one of them is covered with a case from LifeProof.

                The iPads have been thrown (literally) down stairs and submerged for an unknown amount of time in a bathtub. I even found one that had spent the night outside after a rainstorm. Two of the phones have been fished out of toilets. One fell out of an open window of a moving car and subsequently hit concrete and was run over multiple times - don't put your phone on the dash when you have an open window ... All of these devices have been jumped on, thrown and abused by children ranging from 2 years old to 15.

                I've never had to replace a screen, nor have they needed any other type of repair. To date, I have replaced 2 of the cases because a toddler decided the soft parts were good tooth sharpeners.

                The moral of this is simply: there are good case options. Yes these aren't cheap but they are far cheaper than replacing devices or sending them out for repair.

            2. macjules Silver badge

              Re: First adopter risk

              Report is here and here

              Quote:

              Another report, from Bloomberg, claimed that Apple was forced to remove some quality control elements from its production line in order to increase output to an acceptable level.

              FTFY

          2. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: First adopter risk

            "Not only that, they also admitted to not running QA, in order to meet demand quotas."

            So they're copying Microsoft in more ways than skipping 9 in their numbering series!

            1. Radio Wales

              Re: First adopter risk

              At least M$ thought up a respectable excuse by avoiding confusion with the 9X previous series.

              I have noticed that APP£E have always sucked up the magic X when and wherever they could.

              I'll take odds on the next release being a variation of X to prolong the beloved number for as long as possible - XI or XE or somesuch (as long as it's not Xeon).

      2. Tim Seventh

        "Buy 2 screens, or buy a new phone!"

        Meanwhile Australia: $419 for screen repairs, $819 for other damage

        $819

        Only $180 from a new iPhone X!

        1. Adam JC

          Re: The Need For Speed

          Those are AMERICAN dollars (AUD), not USD.

          $419 AUD = $320 USD

          $819 AUD = $628 USD

          Still expensive, but the AUD price of an iPhone X is $1579 AUD ($1211 USD) - Seems the ozzies are paying a hefty markup!

          1. Naselus

            Re: The Need For Speed

            "Those are AMERICAN dollars (AUD)"

            I think you mean AUSTRALIAN dollars, unless you're buying a very different AUD from the rest of the Forex.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      It's not about the screen probably....

      It's about selling the "care" plan, I daresay. If most folks bought the care plan, I'm laying odds, most of those "owners" would never need a repair. It's playing with the odds. So the care plan is pure profit. They do the same thing (with seriously heavy pressure at closing the deal) with new cares and their "care plan". Pricey but most buyers never use it so "profit".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re. why is it MORE EXPENSIVE

      when you google the answer about dog's balls being licked by their rightful owners, you will know why ;)

  2. thesykes

    At those prices

    It's a good job iPhone screens never break....

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: At those prices

      You forgot the joke icon... you still have time to edit!!! :D

    2. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: At those prices

      There's always insurance. Our youngest rolled over in bed and her phablet iPhone flew up and hit the corner of her fiance's laptop (they are both geeks). Their insurance paid for the repair. Insure your phone when it costs that much. Mine cost less than £60 on special in Argos. Sim only deal.

      Would I get an iphone if I could afford to have and run one? yes. In the meantime I'll make do.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: At those prices

        Insure your phone when it costs that much. Mine cost less than £60 on special in Argos

        Wait until you see the cost of insuring an iPhone X. In the longer term, the insurers have to cover the actual cost of spares and repairs and make a profit, so the cost of insurance will be proportional to the repair/replacement cost. I suspect with the vast replacement cost, that'll be more significant driver of the premiums than the repair element. Expect a significant insurance excess if the price is anywhere reasonable. AppleCare on an iPhone 8 is almost as much as the outright purchase price of my phone (a 5.5" screen, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage octa-core device that works perfectly well).

        That's such poor value that I'm with Lee D, this isn't a product I'll ever buy.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: At those prices

        Or you just claim on your house contents insurance. For many no special cover required.

        Still, pay extra for pointless cover if you wish.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems proportionate

    If you are happy to pay $1000 for a phone, you should be happy to pay $300 to fix said phone in the event of a catastrophic accident. Or sign up to Apple Care, you tightwad.

    There's a reason every Apple product comes with a complimentary tube of lube.

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Re: Seems proportionate

      Not any more. Now a tube of iLube costs $79.

      1. Louis Schreurs BEng

        iLube costs $79

        now waiting for YouLube

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: iLube costs $79

          "now waiting for YouLube"

          Sponsored by Claims Indirect.

    2. Radio Wales

      Re: Seems proportionate

      I came across this confidential memo addressed to APP£E from USG:

      A new government initiative for companies with interesting financial incomes allows for excused account status providing they can produce new 'smart' items to capture and continually update the Fizzogs of their owners and log their financial status and current locations in data bursts directly to the NSA from anywhere in the world.

      Unfortunately, we are unable to fund research, development and running costs for this project and must leave it up to the manufacturer to recover the additional costs from the end user.

      Field studies indicates that they will not object as long as you impress on them that it is 'Too expensive for them to afford'.

      Reply from APP£E ran: We have completed this challenge and named the resulting surveillance device: iPhone X. Details attached.

      Please confirm tax exemption for us in writing, just to tie up the odd tiny details...

  4. Chris Miller

    If God did not want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That reminds me of the preacher caught being very naughty in the sheep fold. His defense was that if the Good Lord hadn't wanted them used that way, He wouldn't have built them waist high.

  5. James_H

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      Pint

      A fool and his money are soon parted.

      (To an) iPhoneX owner: A fool and his money are soon parted.

      Apple, Inc: A fool and his money are soon PARTY!!!!

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Fools are one thing, but there are enough people in the world that can splash a few grand and not feel it at all, enough for there to be a market for Apple..

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm disappointed, did you not ask for a comment?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I thought El Reg was website non grata, to Apple?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pirate

        Manufacturers generally keep very close tabs on product reviewer sites. At least they do for the (unaccountably) influential ones...

  7. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    OLEDs

    I don't know what Apple is using, but many OLED panels are on an insanely fragile silicon plate. Knock your phone against the table and the OLED panel will shatter without any damage to the glass. This means no "living with it" option when the screen breaks. It will go black and make faint little twinkles as the edge sparks.

    Hopefully Apple is using one of the flexible OLED panel designs. All the cool kids use cracked iPhones.

    1. Aitor 1

      Re: OLEDs

      I doubt the oled costs more than 120$, so at this price it is ridiculous.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OLEDs

        No it's not. Your garden variety iFone just isn't designed to be opened up at all.

        Oh, it can be done, by Apple Ninjas secreted in the back recesses of the iTemple, and even they sweat bullets. Because if, during their incredibly exacting ministrations, they bust it up worse (a distinct possibility), they will have to give you a new one in its place.

        So I'd guess these heavenly bills are about 60% labor, plus a big cushion for Apple to cover the occasional new phone no-sale. About 10-20% goes for actual parts, probably.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OLEDs

          Tricky As someone who has owned and managed an I.T repair shop that has done iPhone repairs since the iPhone 3G onwards, I can hand-on-heart say that even the iPhone 7 takes me around 20 minutes to change the entire screen assembly and I'd charge £165.00 - The part costs me £90 (Yes, there are MUCH cheaper amazon knock-offs, been there, done that, sod the 75% return rate!!) - The iPhone 8 screen isn't available from my usual supplier as they haven't found a source with 'reliable' enough parts.

          Interestingly... one of the few phones I won't touch is the Samsung S6/7/8 as the screen prices are absolutely *astronomical*. I smashed my Galaxy S6 Edge Plus which was insured and they didn't even bother fixing it, they offered me a cash settlement of £500 (Minus a £50 excess) which I quite obviously ripped their arm off at, and bought an S8 with the cash. I have a feeling that due to the manufacturing difficulty of these screens and the apparent 'low yield', the usual chinese knock-off screens either aren't going to appear like in past iterations of the iPhone or there are going to be non-OLED knock-offs which don't even feature genuine OLED panel(s). Who knows.. it's getting to the point where I can't be arsed to do the repairs and likewise people don't want to pay that much money. From my experience, iPhone owners aren't *minted* and driving swanky motors, they're everyday folk who don't realise just how expensive that little slab of metal in their pocket really is!

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: OLEDs

            From my experience, iPhone owners aren't *minted* and driving swanky motors

            Judging by the number of them walking round with broken screens I'd have to agree with you.

            When the screen on my S5 went, I checked the cost for fixing and found I could get a second-hand S5 for the same price, which would also means I've got a backup in case I lose or break my phone.

            1. MrBanana

              Re: OLEDs

              I've seen so many broken iPhone screens that I thought that it was a special, extra cost, option.

        2. Radio Wales
          Happy

          Re: OLEDs

          60% of the costs of the Xi-Phone are swallowed up in the design and implementation of anti-intrusion devices.

          It would be much cheaper but they have to make it accessible to the very small army of official repairers - and that is where it gets complicated.

          Sealed beyond human reach is relatively easy, making it so only a few can enter is fiendishly expensive.

          The best solution found is to glue the middle of the back of the screen to the rear half of the case so that on removal the screen is destroyed. Genuine repairers can insert a new discounted screen out of the profit margins and pretend it never happened.

          Other 'repairers' will have heart attacks and have to buy full priced screens then decline to work on Xi-Phones ever again,

          Job sorted. Higher sales of new Xi-Phones, no unofficial repairs intruding, and the owner pays for everything.

          What's not to like?

          Only downside is having to pay royalties to the Chinese boss for use of his name.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: OLEDs

      Unsurprisingly Apple is using screens from Samsung, which is why the new Apple phones can really be called Apple Galaxies.

      I've had OLED screens for nearly the last 10 years. All of them have taken at least one tumble, usually from a shirt pocket onto the ground, and only one of them has broken, and that was not from a fall; it now has a diagonal hairline fracture but remains perfectly usable.

      The new screens are big and complicated and, hence, expensive. And, if you watch any of the videos about replacing phone screens, you'll know that it's doable but tricky, which makes it expensive. So, while Apple's margin on the replacement will be decent, it might not be as high as some are making out.

      The bigger scandal with Apple phones is how much they manage to charge for their "Apple Care" insurance. It's clever marketing, no doubt, but it also demonstrates how reluctant people are to press for their statutory rights as consumers.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The obvious thing to do then...

    ...is to buy two.

    1. Rusty 1

      Re: The obvious thing to do then...

      But if you buy two, and one breaks, you'll only have one. That's going to be rather a risky and uncomfortable situation to be in.

      Shouldn't the canny shopper buy three?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The obvious thing to do then...

        Shouldn't the canny shopper buy three?

        That would make them an engineer.

        Accountant: "How many pumps do we need?"

        Engineer: "One"

        Accountant: "Right, I'll order one"

        Engineer: "No, that's not enough"

        Accountant: "You said you needed one, that's what the business case was based on"

        Engineer: "That's one in general duty use. I'll need another for duty-assist, and a further one for standby. I need three - and even then I've cut down by not having a fourth in the warehouse."

        Based on many years experience working with engineers.

        1. K Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: The obvious thing to do then...

          Completely agree...

          Always have at least 3.. 2 on active duty, and 1 on standby..

          Unfortunately my wife threatened divorce when I told her my requirements.

          But in all seriousness, your spot on, You need an Active, Passive and Standyby..

          1. Mike Timbers

            Re: The obvious thing to do then...

            3 active with each one capable of handling the entire load, then when one is down for maintenance a failure still leaves one working.

            I worked in a refinery once where there were three pumps for the main cat cracker. When I asked for the rationale (as a naive IT bod) I was told that if all three went off in an uncontrolled manner, the resulting explosion would destroy my server room even though it was 3 km away!

  9. Dr. Ellen
    Flame

    And now for something completely different:

    Your article has nice black type. Then you put in a list of repair costs, and it is pale grey. Why cannot you Web-design jerkwads realize that you are communicating here, not committing Art? I admit, I've seen even paler text, but this isn't a competition to be the least legible. Keep the stuff READABLE.

    1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

      Re: And now for something completely different:

      Your article has nice black type. Then you put in a list of repair costs, and it is pale grey

      I'm with you. When did it become de rigueur to use type so pale that it can't be read by anyone over forty, or with eye weaknesses.

      There's reason why every book in the world published with black ink on white paper.

      (OK, there was one publisher of paperbacks in the seventies that used pale green paper which was supposed to eliminate eye strain. Can't recall who.)

    2. emmanuel goldstein

      Re: And now for something completely different:

      You're not reading it right.

    3. Def Silver badge

      Re: And now for something completely different:

      Your article has nice black type. Then you put in a list of repair costs, and it is pale grey.

      You do know what an image is, right?

      That said, the El Reg web server seems to be at fault here. Its resampling algorithm (invoked when passing ?x=...&y=... in the URL is washing out the colours for some reason.

      1. Dr. Ellen

        Re: And now for something completely different:

        If I were faced with using that illegible an image, I'd run it through GIMP to increase the contrast. I've seen too many sites use pale, pale grey text -- sometimes I have to highlight the text to read it. It's web design fashion these days, and I don't like it. I read entire novels on a smartphone with a 3-3/4 inch screen, so even at my advanced age, I'm visually capable.

        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: And now for something completely different:

          That was my point about the web server washing out the colours. The original image actually looks okay, but when you get the web server to provide a smaller version it washes out the colours.

          Certainly a lot more than a regular bilinear or bicubic resampling process does.

          1. Dr. Ellen

            Re: And now for something completely different:

            Well, then. If it is El Reg's web server, why has it not been tweaked for legibility? If my initial comment has gotten 40 thumbs up, this problem seems to be bothering quite a few readers.

            1. Def Silver badge

              Re: And now for something completely different:

              Presumably because, as with most bugs, no-one's noticed it before.

              1. Dr. Ellen

                Re: And now for something completely different:

                I suspect plenty have noticed it. How many have mentioned it, I cannot say. I'm now up to 53 up-arrows.

  10. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Happy

    Shirley, you can't be serious?

    Stop calling me, Shirley.

  11. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Apple Care +

    Surprised the article didn't mention Apple's extended warranty. $200 for two years.

    AppleCare+ ($199.00)

    Get up to two years of technical support and accidental damage coverage.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Apple Care +

      I wonder if it should not be covered by the standard EU 2 year guarantee - given the failure will be part of what can only be described as due to normal use.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Apple Care +

        Apple do everything humanly possible to make every repair due to damage not being in normal use.

        Also people know their rights more in the UK. In Spain, they've successfully managed to convince everyone the guarantee lasts one year. In the second year, they say it's not covered by the Apple Guarantee and here's the price list. What they don't tell you is they're washing their hands of the second year or if you go to the Spanish equivalent of trading standards you'll get it repaired under the standard consumer rights law.

        They should be forced to tell people that the consumer rights law offers a two year guarantee and accept items for repair in the shop in the second year but that would mean someone in government doing their job.

        1. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: Apple Care +

          Well, the guarantee _is_ one year. Consumer rights law is separate. And it only applies to the seller, so if you bought the phone from a phone company, it's their job to fix things under consumer rights laws.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Apple Care +

            If you got an iPhone from a phone company and get a replacement from Apple in the first year, the phone company will probably say it's not the one they supplied.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Apple Care +

          > "They should be forced to tell people that the consumer rights law offers a two year guarantee and accept items for repair in the shop in the second year"

          I don't know about elsewhere, but in England and Wales it is an offence to mislead a customer about their rights regarding repairs and refunds - I believe enforcement is Trading Standards' responsibility.

        3. Naselus

          Re: Apple Care +

          "that would mean someone in government doing their job."

          Wait, Spain has a government? I thought they'd given up trying after the last four years of failing to put one together.

    2. plasmoid

      Re: Apple Care +

      Applecare seems quite, umm, restrictive itself as you still have to pay a $29 excess on top of your warranty for the repair. Warranty seems the wrong word, insurance seems more fitting.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Apple Care +

        @plasmoid

        It's only and administrative cost... Gotta pay the monkeys at the typewriters a pittance... and pocket the rest as managerial costs...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple Care +

      Get up to two years of technical support

      Woohoo! How stupid are iPhone owners, that they need "technical support" on a device under a two year "goods plus services" warranty from the network, have a Fisher Price UI with very limited user control, and a walled garden for apps and content?

      "Hello, is that AppleCare technical support? My iPhone battery has run out, what do I do now?"

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Apple Care +

      Get up to two years of technical support and accidental damage coverage.

      And this is one of the reasons why Apple has such fat margins: able to convince suckers that Apple Care is a good deal. Any competitive analysis of such cross-selling should reveal what a bad deal this is for customers. This is the kind of gouging that travel and car rental companies are routinely excoriated for.

      Put $ 10 a month per device aside and you're much better off for those few devices not covered by home insurance. And then's there the statutory 24 month warranty in the EU. Okay, you get some piece of mind with Apple Care that you'll probably get near same day service, but alternative deals are available and they're much cheaper.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if they will risk selling the item in the EU

    It has often surprised me that mobile phones that break when dropped are still somehow fit for purpose.

    I also wondered if the reason for the glass front was to highlight just how fragile these product are, certainly having a surface that is hard to grip under many everyday conditions does not help product life.

    Given that things are still moving towards the point where breathing is not covered under your warranty perhaps it is time for some part of the establishment to protect this companies customers from themselves.

    I was thinking along the lines of a nice padded living area with clothing to prevent excessive torque in movements.

    I can see it now and have already applied for iSpoon™, damn too late

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: I wonder if they will risk selling the item in the EU

      Given that all phones may break when dropped (except for that one model of Motorola(?) that uses a plastic screen) are you suggesting that the EU should ban sales of ALL phones? I'm sure that will go over well with the populace!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wonder if they will risk selling the item in the EU

        @DougS I would suggesting banning only the ones that are unfit for purpose.

        When you have a device that needs to be operated with only one hand, at the height of the average user then you would imagine that it should not break when dropped from operating height.

        Given that they can make spectacles that can survive at least nine times out of ten from a similar drop then either the materials or the design is wrong.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: I wonder if they will risk selling the item in the EU

          Fine, but how is this a problem unique to iPhones? They don't break from drops any more or less than a Samsung Galaxy (aside from probably the 'Active' version, since it basically has a built in case)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I wonder if they will risk selling the item in the EU

            Firstly I would not agree that all mobile telephones, even just the new ones, break equally easily.

            Secondly since increasing screen size is the current trend i.e. towards slab territory then you would imagine that providing a larger screen on a device typically used at twice the normal slab operating height would have at least twice the drop protection and yet the reverse seems to be true.

            As to Samsung, they follow where Apple leads. If Apple can get away with selling products unfit for purpose then so can Samsung.

            In conclusion, if it is impossible to build a mobile phone with a large screen that will not break when dropped from normal operating heights then they should either replace/repair them for free or give up the idea until they can.

  13. I'm Dugly

    Apple would be a great short if it wasn't for that $250 gazillion in cash they have squirreled away.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shorting Apple

      The insane amount of money that Apple have in banks around the world is not a stop to a shorter.

      Shorters bet an a certain amount that the stock will fall by, not the total demise of the company although there are a good few commentators here who would love it if Apple were to go under.

      There are people already shorting APPL ahead of their results next week. $5 minimum fall seems to be the going rate at the moment although some are wanting $10.

      Given the volumes of the shorts there is clearly enough to go around and make a living for a good number of traders.

      Facts of life really unless your stock is a Wall St darling.

  14. JJKing Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Shocked, just shocked I say!

    Shaun Nichols what's with the click to enlarge on the Pictured ... The Cupertino Idiot Tax

    The correct phrase is click to embiggen. Senor El Reg, please send your scribe off for appropriate training.

  15. el kabong

    The harsh criticism of Apple I'm seeing here might actually be fair, it might be if it was not totally wrong.

    Somehow all of those haters forget to mention that Apple will be giving all their sheep, pardon, all their customers the unique opportunity of getting a full bucket of rectal lube at a discounted retail price to be announced soon. A full bucket of iLube can be theirs to help them ease the pain, a bucket of iLube with rounded corners and all the shebang at a discount, it's a steal!.

    Apple haters just keep failing to get the full picture, as always. Haters will keep hating.

  16. Scubadynamo

    Oh once again, the people who dont understand mobile phones leaving comments calling iPhone users sheep or stupid etc. I work in a Network Operations Center for a large corporation. We are all well educated and well paid professionals and more than half of us are using iPhones. Its the people who call us stupid who are the real lowest common denominators.

    1. el kabong

      Those "lowest common denominators," as you call them, are to apple sheep as numerical lowest common denominators are to the factorization of numbers and the search for primes, they help weed out the garbage.

      Get what i mean? You claim to be well educated so as gesture of goodwill I'll be taking your word as trustworthy and assume you'll be able to get it.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. King Jack
    Holmes

    It's Commerce

    In business you charge what you can get any with. Take bottled water, 1000%+ mark up and it sells. iPhones are the same. When idiots wake up to the fact they are being screwed the bubble will burst. The way to avoid that is conditioning. Make the product a must have. Rinse and repeat. Profit.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    coming soon to the UK

    The iPhone X support group.

    Those who get one will receive howls of derision from your Samsung toting friends and may well seek refuge amongst the ever decreasing numbers of iPhone users who gather at their Drug Joint (Apple Store) to get fixes of happy juice.

    They will find that they will be unable to even give their phones away.

    Too harsh?

    Well, given some of the comments here, it seems that those who hate anything fruity won't stop at posting 'sheep' type comments here. I have seen some threads on Social Media where some young people were ostracised (And then bullied) because of their parents choice of phone.

    I just wonder if we as a species can learn not to hate like this? I am beginning to doubt it.

    Stop the world, I wanna get off.

  19. unwarranted triumphalism

    In shock news today...

    Goods and services cost money. This is of course the fault of Apple as everything was free before they unleashed the iPhone on the unsuspecting world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In shock news today...

      This is of course the fault of Apple as everything was free before they unleashed the iPhone on the unsuspecting world.

      The cost of most technology is falling, like for like. Even with year on year performance improvements, many companies can reduce their costs. Every time I've bought an Android phone for the past several years, it has been both cheaper and better than its predecessor. The complaint against Apple is primarily that they now offer outstandingly poor value. My current phone has vastly better specs than the cheapest, tiddliest iPhone SE, yet cost half the price. Against a broadly comparable 7+, my phone was less than a quarter of the cost.

      What's happened is that Apple's quality and innovation edge over the opposition has dramatically narrowed, whilst the price differential has increased (Samsung's flagship models aren't far behind, I'd suggest). I think that's what's riling many. For those of us in the Android camp, Apple's pricing and repair costs doesn't matter - we aren't the target market, our jeering is of no consequence. The question is, how long will Apple customers put up with the rising cost of staying in the Apple clan, particularly when the incremental innovation is so meagre?

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: In shock news today...

        Everything you say is true.

        But it's irrelevant because I hate Apple and everything they stand for.

      2. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: In shock news today...

        "Every time I've bought an Android phone for the past several years, it has been both cheaper and better than its predecessor. "

        If you always bought the top-of-the-range Samsung phone, the price for that has gone up year after year after year, just as the price of the top-of-the-range iPhone. But you can buy an iPhone 5SE for £349.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In shock news today...

          If you always bought the top-of-the-range Samsung phone, the price for that has gone up year after year after year, just as the price of the top-of-the-range iPhone.

          That's true, but I abandoned Samsung for Xiaomi for this reason. Historically I could upgrade for less by carefully buying a Samsung model when it was on run-out, but even that strategy offers poor value now as Samsung try and push their handsets to silly prices.

          But you can buy an iPhone 5SE for £349.

          What, with its 2007 era screen size? And still twice the price of far, far better and larger phones from challenger brands. In many ways, the iPhone SE is the ultimate piss take by Apple of its own customers. A very few may really want the postage stamp sized screen, but I suspect most are either hoodwinked into buying this hideously overpriced trinket, or have the misfortune that somebody else is specifying and buying their phone for them. If Apple were stamping these out for £200, I'd think that they were making a very generous profit margin, but equally they'd got a credible entry point still above the Android value phones. But £350? Apple are just mocking the afflicted. Apple should be ashamed of their greed and poor value, and SE buyers ought to be administered a good hard slap to see if this helps.

        2. Tom 64
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: In shock news today...

          >"But you can buy an iPhone 5SE for £349."

          True, but it is a gimped piece of garbage, which Apple will obsolete after a couple of months of ownership.

    2. Radio Wales
      Devil

      Re: In shock news today...

      APP£E is single-handedly responsible for the new jump in the inflation index.

      How's that for notoriety?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    timeless

    These comments will age as well as the ones on this article.

    https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/2/2007/06/30/first_apple_iphone_review/

  21. Manny Bianco

    If iPhone owners are sheep, what are Android phone owners?

    Android phone owners keep calling iPhone owners "sheep" for buying iPhones, but aren't they just the same? If you will never buy an iPhone, you're just the same as someone who will never buy an Android phone. I'll never buy a BMW, so I must be a non-BMW sheep! Or perhaps I just found a different car that works for me?

    Someone a few comments ago said that their Android phone has better specs than the latest iPhone? Okay, tell us which model you have, and we can take a look at the Geekbench results. AFAIK, the Apple A-chips are the fastest around. and they get more done with less RAM (helping battery life). I don't mind if you prove me wrong, because I'm not some weirdo who cares that much.

    You guys carry on with your hatred, and I'll carry on buying an iPhone every three years, then selling it on for £300, bringing the cost down.

    It works for me, and that's all I care about - I certainly don't care about you.

    1. unwarranted triumphalism

      what are Android phone owners?

      Richer.

      1. Manny Bianco

        Re: what are Android phone owners?

        I think you missed the point.

        I sell my 3-year-old iPhones for about £300, so that's £699 - £300 = £399 for an iPhone for three years.

        How much do you spend on your Android phones? And how much do you get when you sell them?

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: what are Android phone owners?

          Never spent anything remotely like 399 on a phone, not even spent near 200 quid!

    2. Dr. Ellen

      Re: If iPhone owners are sheep, what are Android phone owners?

      People who save money. I mostly use my smartphone for a reader, with calculator/camera function. Oh, and it makes phone calls. My current smartphone is an LG 16C with Android 4.4.2. It cost me about $20 new. If it breaks, I'll get something else, no guarantee needed. My tablet is an ASUS with Android. My preferred operating system is Windows 7. Life is calmer and cheaper behind the bleeding edge, and when I wanted more speed and power, I threw RAM and a SSD at the same ol' computer, and got it.

      Over the years I've learned one machine language, three assembly languages, several versions of Fortran, and several versions of Basic. None of them work any more without a vintage machine or an emulator -- like the Red Queen's Race, it takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place. I'm tired of running. If it does my job and I can afford it, that's what I'll get. Android does the job, and it's cheaper than Apple.

    3. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: If iPhone owners are sheep, what are Android phone owners?

      Better specs than iPhone -

      Maybe they mean one or more of SD card slot, dual SIM, proper headphone jack, non proprietary charging cable, easy open case with removable battery, ability to install software from more than one monopoly outlet .

      1. Radio Wales

        Re: If iPhone owners are sheep, what are Android phone owners?

        You have placed your finger on the precise point that causes me to believe that APP£E owners are just braggards who are unable to function on less that 500 likes.

        It's true that they are well-paid and can-aff-orr -dd it.

        But only at the price of giving up your salary advantage.

        ...and where's the fun in that?

        Android users are wiser people who really don't care what others think about them and don't waste money just for bragging rights.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't understand why a battery replacement is more than a screen replacement !?

    For example I can get a screen replaced n an S7e for £199 and £30 fitting (with genuine parts)

    S8e is a 'bit' more but not by much, (can remember at the mo')

    And there is still a profit in it for us, it's the most expensive repair, every other repair (main board swap) is cheaper IIRR.

    A fool and their money .........

    Annon for obvious reasons

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't understand why a battery replacement is more than a screen replacement !?

      Possibly commercial pricing that doesn't reflect cost ratios? Or perhaps it is driven by the construction, and the battery is buried under so much glue and componentry that it take far longer to remove than a screen?

      1. DougS Silver badge

        We'll have to wait for a teardown

        Apple has done pretty well with the construction of iPhones for the past five years or so, getting consistent 7s for repairability - much better than recent Samsung Galaxy or Note models. The iPhone 8 dropped to 6, presumably the glass back makes it a little more difficult (but compare with the Galaxy Note 8 and S8's score of only 4)

        I wouldn't be shocked if the X ended up even worse than 6, because it is different enough they might have had to make some compromises. Maybe they didn't even care since they knew it would be a "limited edition" selling for a high price so they could charge more for repair, and will worry about refining the design for when it goes mass market in 2018.

  23. Steve Todd

    Blame Samsung

    The rumour is that they are the only supplier of OLED panels for the iPhone X, and they are charging 3 - 4x as much for them compared to the IPS panels in the iPhone 8/8 plus. The replacement cost is bound to be higher because of this.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Blame Samsung

      Even though Apple is rumored to be going with three suppliers for OLED screens in 2018 (taking LG and the other company I can't remember the name of longer to get screens that meet Apple's specs I guess) they will still be more expensive. Because OLED displays cost more to make than IPS due to the many years companies have had to refine the manufacturing process for LCD versus OLED.

      Maybe Apple's purchase of Luxvue (which supposedly had figured out the problem of mass producing inorganic LEDs, which are superior to OLEDs in pretty much every category) will bear fruit, but then again maybe the reason Apple isn't using them is that they turned out even more expensive. Luxvue might turn out to be like their licensing deal for Liquid Metal, or their sapphire plan, and be tantalizing but ultimately go nowhere...

  24. Jon 37

    Nitpick

    > The $279 fee is more than $100 above what Apple charges to replace the screen on any other iPhone model

    Not true, the table shows that replacing the screen on the iPhone 4s costs $199. So that should say "the $279 fee is at least $80 above what Apple charges to replace the screen on any other iPhone model", or perhaps "The $279 fee is more than $100 above what Apple charges to replace the screen on any other recent iPhone model"

  25. trisul

    Boring

    These comments are becoming so boring, they tell us that the iPhone is not worth having, while obviously yearning to own one.

    If you want one, buy one, if you think others are better, buy whatever you like best.

    Existing Apple users value these products, and are willing to pay. If you are not, who is forcing you to purchase Apple gear? There are competing manufacturers dying to sell you an alternative. Go in peace, enjoy your choice, and let others live.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The iPhone X is the 10th anniversary commemorative phone

    It's supposed to be only for the hardcore Apple fanboys, who are very price inelastic when it comes to buying the iPhone.

    If you want an iPhone, the iPhone 8/8 Plus are good enough. There are also some very appealing Android phones this year which are more affordable.

    Personally, I find the 'bunny ears' ugly and you will notice the annoyance when you tilt the phone horizontally to do stuff on landscape orientation. I like balance, asymmetry revolts me.

    Next year's bragging rights will be a pissing contest between Apple and Samsung to see who will be the first to put the fingerprint reader beneath the display. The iPhone X will be an obsolete novelty by then. Stay tuned for the drama in 2018.

  27. PhilBack

    Just a status symbol

    I moved away from Apple.

    Expensive stuff with quality going downwards year after year.

    For someone who has money, well, sure they can afford everything.

    I'd rather buy myself nice clothes than a pocket computer at that tune.

  28. quartzie
    Paris Hilton

    cracked screen fetish

    i never quite understood the fetish about cracked iPhone screens. Even with the high replacement cost, there are just too many such sheePhones around.

    My S7 lives in a thin silicon bumper case and a glass sticker on the screen. I've had to replace the sticker a few times, but the screen remains spotless. Just why is iPhone equipped with a screen *designed* to be broken?

    Mind boggles...

  29. Winkypop Silver badge
    Meh

    A device costing $1000 +

    Is not a device I'm going to carry around with me.

    It has priced itself out of being practical for me.

  30. Solarflare

    @Lee D

    "In a year of Chromebook use by children, I got two screen breakages...In a similar year of iPad use, I got upwards of 30 screen breakages...Given that they were both given to the same children."

    Would it be amiss of me to suggest that you stop giving your children expensive and easily breakable tech if they are too young/responsible to look after it? You can get cheap 'kids' tablets for a pittance if you want them to have one.

  31. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    For the sake of balance...

    A replacement screen for the Galaxy S8 costs between $200 and $300 depending on where you get the repair done. Expensive OLED screens are expensive. Natch.

  32. trev101

    Glass body

    iPhone X has got the same innards as the iPhone 8 but as it ditches touch-id I would say it has a worse HCI usability. It's also got a glass body and it will be interesting to see if it can survive one fall without damage.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sony

    Hey, at least Apple will quote a price. Sony absolutely refuse to quote a price upfront. They actually have the cheek to demand more than £20 just to give you a quote! That should be illegal.

  34. Colin McKinnon

    HP/PC World are worse

    At least Apple are selling some electronics wizardry for the price. PC World want to charge me £70 for a failed retainer clip (little piece of plastic costing pennies) when it failed after 30 hours of use and "not covered by manufacturer's warranty".

    (and PC World managed to "lose" the broken part as well, so I can't claim under the Consumer Acts right)

  35. ecofeco Silver badge

    $1000 for a phone

    $1000. Dollars. For. A. Phone.

    Hell no.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: $1000 for a phone

      Why do people keep making out that ridiculously expensive fashion phones are a 'new' thing? The Nokia 8800 Scirocco cost $1000 at launch, that was for the 'normal' model and that was way back in 2007.

      It's a fashion phone. You don't need it, nobody does. It's $300 for the phone, and $700 for the image - and some people are happy to pay that.

  36. Triumphantape

    Why? Because Apple

    We are at the stage of development and acceptance of "phones" where they should be cheap, much cheaper than they are.

    Just as computers hardware prices dropped dramatically so should phones, but thanks (in part) to Apple and their army of fanbois the prices have stayed jacked up or gone higher with no real value being added.

    As long as Apple can sell a phone (that's worth maybe $200-300) for $1000+ the other manufacturers can price their gear high as well.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Why? Because Apple

      Nokia 8800 Scirocco was $1000 at launch as well. It's not an Apple thing, it's a Fashion thing.

  37. royprime

    Not surprised at all. One of my clients dropped his ipad pro after a mere 6 weeks of use. Repair charge from Apple £469 and nearly 4 weeks wait. It actually worked out cheaper to buy a new ipad pro and flog the damaged one on ebay.

    If you are mad enough to spend over a grand on a phone, buy it a decent case. Of course I understand if you do spend a grand on a phone, you want to flash it to everyone so they can see that you have blown a grand on a phone, rather than a phone in a life pro case which then just looks like any other posh phone.

  38. randyp

    samsung replacement screens are as much as $320

    go price the screens for the samsung edge phones

    no outrage for samsung

    but when apple does it, look out.

    haters

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