Mobile Devices: Repair or Replace?

That is the Question!

In our business, this question comes up all the time. Obviously, we're way in favor of repairing mobile devices. It's reeeeaaaally good for the environment, it contributes to the local and international economy, and it's usually less of a hassle. We can offer you an iPhone screen replacement in less than an hour for a reasonable price. It's usually not a huge financial decision (like buying a new phone would be) and you don't have to worry about transferring all your data - pictures, contacts, text message history etc. However, there are some occasions where we really just can't recommend it in good conscience. We have determined pricing for all sorts of fixes, but we leave it up to you to figure out whether a repair makes sense for your situation. There are a lot of factors that play into this decision, so I've put together this guide to help you come prepared.

Top Seven Questions to Ask Yourself When You Have a Broken iPhone or iPad Screen

  • Are you still covered under Apple or any other warranty?

    Enough said. This is really important to check because any third-party repair (for example repairs done by VDC) will definitely void your Apple warranty. Note that if you've already had your device repaired by anybody other than Apple before you bring it to us, that ship has sailed and you can have it fixed by all the third parties you want with no worries.

  • Is the device still current?

    Find out if your Apple device can run the latest version of iOS. Use Google and make sure you know which model you have. Check out the tutorial on our home page if you're not 100% sure. If your iPhone hasn't been able to update to the latest iOS for a year or more, I'm sorry to tell you that it's going to be hard to do much with that device pretty soon. You'll probably still be able to make calls, but many apps will stop working and there could be security or battery issues in your future. It's probably time to lay it to rest.

  • How extensive are the repairs?

    Did you take it for a little dip in your favorite swimming hole? Did it spend the winter embedded in a snow bank (true story)? If there has been water damage to your iPhone or iPad, I would be happy to refer you to someone else who may or may not be able to help you. If not, there's still hope for a VDC repair, but how much repair are we talking about here? If the screen is smashed but it also hasn't been charging right lately and you're having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, you might want to take those factors into consideration. We do offer 50% off the second (or third or fourth) repair if we're doing them at the same time, so please let us know about all the problems you’re having.

  • What's going on with your cell service plan?

    Most major carriers like AT&T and Verizon offer deals on new phones when you sign a new contract, so it's worth checking if your contract is almost up.

  • What about moving your data over?

    Do you know how to transfer all your contacts, pictures, text message history, apps, etc. over to a new device? If yes, great, move to the next question. If not, we'd be so happy to help you with that, but the cost of that tech support could tip the scales a bit if the cost of repair vs. replacement is almost even.

  • Do you have a friend or family member who would appreciate a cheap/free iPhone or iPad?

    You could be a hero! Kicking off the "Why Not Both?" portion of the list, I'd like to point out that you could fix it up and give your older device as a gift after you've moved on to your fancy new phone. Alternatively, move on to your new phone, give it to your bud/niece/dog sitter and give them our card so they can come get it fixed.

  • What is the resale value of your device?

    Check Craigslist, check Ebay, check Facebook Marketplace. Again, make sure you know which model you have and how much storage the device has for accurate pricing. Seriously, I've noticed most people let their old devices get dusty once they've upgraded, but if your device is worth more than the cost of the repair needed, you could totally make a nice little profit off that thing. And don't forget the aforementioned benefit to the environment and this fine local business. :) Please and thank you and you're welcome.

Closing Thoughts

In many ways, this is a decision that we cannot make for you. However, I will say that for folks who don't rely too heavily on their phones, I recommend screen or battery replacement for the iPhone 5s and newer at the time of posting this article. For folks who use their phones a lot, I would recommend repairing if you have a 6 or newer and upgrading if you have an older device. That's just my personal opinion, but please read the list and make the decision that's right for you. Note that I've focused mostly on Apple devices in this article because that's VDC's focus. Other brands tend to be less repairable, but many of these same concerns apply to Android or other devices as well! Still feeling confused? Call us.


It depends on your particular situation, but in most cases, it's worth repairing the iPhone 5s or later at this moment in time. Check to see if you're under warranty and whether you're due for a free phone from your carrier. If you want to upgrade but your device is still current, consider repairing it and selling it or giving it away.