The Cost of Accidentally Dropping Your Phone

My iPhone once survived a 10-foot drop off of a subway train platform. I was holding the phone in my right and trying to push it into my coat pocket before exiting the subway car. When it slipped out of my hand, I grasped for it, but only managed to grab onto my headphones and phone case.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority successfully recovered my phone after I waited patiently for two hours. I got it back in one piece: no damage, no cracks, and as clean as it ever was. That was the moment I decided to stop wearing a case on my phone, because what’s the point if it can survive a 10-foot jump off a subway train platform?

Fifty drops later, my phone had had enough. My phone dropped two feet off of a small bookcase shelf where I was charging it, and when I picked it up, much to my surprise and dismay, there were dozens of cracks and crevices that appeared like spiderwebs on the glass cover.


The first time I saw a cracked iPhone was four years ago, and it belonged of a friend who didn’t have insurance and decided to keep it how it was until he eventually got used to it. A cracked iPhone screen will eventually become a part of who you are, your aesthetic, the style that your friends recognize you by, unless you do something about it.


Choose Your Own (Broken iPhone) Adventure:

1) Call your provider and purchase insurance for $100-200 or something obscene like that. One month later, make a claim.

2) If you bought your iPhone at a third party store, check with that store independently of your service provider. You may have inadvertently gotten insurance that wasn’t tracked to your provider. (The Verizon third party store where I got my phone mysteriously shut down a month ago.)

3) Buy a new iPhone. Who are you, and can you pay my student loans?

4) Ask friends and family if they have a spare phone lying around. Downgrading may be better than nothin’.

5) Make an appointment with the Apple Genius Bar. Prepare to spend over $200 to fix or be talked into replacing the phone.

6) Go to a third party Apple-repair shop. Prepare to spend $150 to fix the phone.

7) After walking away from the Genius Bar, still with a broken phone, decide to purchase a new cell phone case ($24.95) and screen protector ($17.95) because you gave up.

8) Become a Luddite—the kind of Luddites that still have MacBook Pros and access to the public library.

9) Live with your cracked phone for however long your contract ends. Your eyes will learn to adjust focus to the screen and forget that the glass is even broken. New friends will make comments like “Whoa, your screen is cracked!” and you will shrug like it’s nothing. The cracked screen will soon become an extension of yourself.

10) Wait until designer fashion lines launch special edition phone screens and cases that make unbroken phones look broken. Then you’d really be in style!

Have you ever had to pay for accidental damage to your phone? Do you, too, have a broken screen and how has it become a part of your personality?


Julia Lipscomb is a grad student and writer in New York.


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