Buried underneath Apple's official unveiling of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus is the fact that the company has made it much cheaper for customers to have cracked iPhone screens replaced.
Under the AppleCare+ repair program, customers have long been charged $99 for repairs of current-generation devices and $79 for repairs of previous-generation devices.
The bad news is that, in the AppleCare+ price update, there will now be a flat rate of $99 for repairs on both current-generation and previous-generation devices. However, offsetting the higher charge is a new fee that only applies for one of the most common iPhone repairs, and that is for cracked displays.
Instead of paying the full $99, AppleCare+ customers will only have to pay a $29 fee for repairs to be made on a cracked screen. Apple must have decided to increase the flat rate for repairs on all devices to $99 in anticipation of the continued volume of cracked screen repairs.
In the official page for AppleCare+, Apple informs users that all purchased iPhones automatically come with a year of hardware repair coverage with a limited warranty and up to 90 additional days of complimentary support. Availing of an AppleCare+ plan will extend the coverage to two years and add up to two more incidents of accidental damage coverage.
AppleCare+ costs $129 for all iPhone models except for the iPhone SE, which will only cost $99 for coverage. This means that for users of most iPhone models who purchased an AppleCare+ plan, the first screen replacement will carry a total cost of $158, including the cost of the Apple Care+ plan and the $29 screen repair fee.
In comparison, previously, the total cost for most AppleCare+ customers for the first screen replacement was between $208 and $228. For customers with no AppleCare+ plan, the cost of a screen repair will run between $129 and $149.
With the new prices, customers known for clumsiness would now find an AppleCare+ plan to be a much better deal for cracked screens, especially if there is a chance that they might break the display of their iPhone twice over two years.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were revealed to be a water resistant device, and so with an AppleCare+ plan, users who would buy Apple's upcoming flagship smartphone would be covered for the two most common accidents, namely water damage and cracked displays.
AppleCare+ for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will also cost $129, and can be purchased upon the start of preorders for the smartphones on Sept. 9.