This weekend I saw a commercial on television for Safelite Auto Glass. It showed a happy family doing family things while someone replaced the broken glass on their car. Everybody smiled. Everybody was happy. Win, win, win.
Then I read of a change Apple is making to AppleCare, thanks to the glass sandwich iPhone 8 models. Glass breaks. I’m sure you know someone who has dropped their iPhone or an Android model and shattered the screen. Ouch. Shattered screens can be repaired at Apple, specialty stores in the mall, or online. The price tag for repair is nominal. Unless you own an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus.
Shatter Proof Profits
If you’re clumsy, prone to dropping things, or have dropped your iPhone in the past and shattered the screen, you know the pain and expense. I have a recommendation. Get AppleCare. Otherwise, you’re helping to fuel Apple’s new glass repair business which could be worth nearly $1-billion a year.
Break the screen on an iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, or iPhone 8 and the price without AppleCare now starts at $149. The iPhone 6s Plus, 7 Plus, and 8 Plus are priced at $169. Got AppleCare? The first screen repair is $29. Apple doesn’t get all those repairs, though. Many shopping malls have service and accessories stores which also repair broken iPhone glass.
What if you have an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus and break the glass on the back? Without AppleCare, the price tag goes to $349 and $399, respectively, vs. $99 to repair under AppleCare because breaking glass on the back is not counted as a screen replacement.
Apple is in the screen repair business and it’s worth millions in profits.
How many iPhones are there in the wild? Perhaps 750-million. Apple sells about 240-million new iPhones each year. Surveys and research say about 25-percent of all smartphone users– including Apple’s iPhone– crack or shatter the glass on their smartphones. Of those, a percentage won’t bother to repair the shattered glass and just buy another phone. Of those iPhone customers that do get a repair, some go to Apple, others have the screen fixed by a kid at the mall who specializes in broken iPhone screen repairs.
So, let’s say that only 5-percent of all iPhones with cracked screens end up back at Apple Town Square (that’s what Apple calls the stores these days) for repair each year. And let’s say that half are under Apple Care at $29 each, and the other half pay the premium of $149 for a shattered screen.
5-percent of 240-million iPhones sold each year means 12-million show up at Apple Genius Bars for repair during the year. With half– 6-million iPhone screens– at $29 with AppleCare, that’s additional annual revenue that approaches $174-million. 6-million broken iPhone screens at $149 each means $894-million in additional revenue from broken screens; a grand total of just under $1-billion a year.
That’s just to fix the glass on broken iPhone screens.
My math is a plausible and reasonable guesstimate, but it’s obvious that Apple is in the glass repair business and the revenue stream is only going to get better with new iPhone models with glass on both sides.
More broken glass. More repairs. More revenue. More profits for Apple.