How about a USB mini connector that unscrewed from the side of the phone so it can be replaced.
Other than a dropped phone breakage, this is the first thing to fail (minus the battery).
This sees constant abuse with 100's to 1000's of plug/unplug cycles.
If I had gone with AppleCare, that would've covered touchscreen replacement. I guess when I bought a different insurance policy, I was concerned more about loss or theft rather than damage -- and this policy only covers full replacement.
Like any other insurance, this policy will only be worth the money if someday I actually need it. If my iPhone is lost or stolen within the 2 year contract period, I will have to pay the deductible and wait for a new phone in the mail, but the policy will have been worth the money.
On the 4s, it's not just glass but a full LCD touchscreen replacement, which was $125 parts & labor. I found DIY kits online for around $80 but didn't want to mess with that -- I wanted it fixed quickly, by someone who had experience.
Re: "I clearly wasted my money on insurance for this one, since I would rather not wait for snail mail delivery of a replacement."
I wonder if you could contact your cell phone insurance company, explain the situation and maybe get reimbursed or at least a partial reimbursement...
It might be worth the call.
I am surprised to see that the cell phone repair grew 11% this year in US. The culture has largely been to throw away the broken ones and get a new unit. But I agree with @Frank Eory above, fixing beats new iPhones by big margins, not to mention the educational value of doing so.
I think that as cell phones become even more sophisticated and more integral to our daily personal & business lives, the repair business will continue to grow.
I had my shiny new iPhone 4s for barely a month when I dropped it, glass side down, on an irregular surface and it suffered a thousand cracks -- but still worked! I immediately jumped on Safari, did a search for "iPhone 4s repair Tempe Arizona" and found a repair shop nearby (yes, I could still read the screen through the cracks). 15 minutes later I was handing my phone to a young guy who said it would take him about 30 minutes to replace the LCD touchscreen assembly.
I went for a bite to eat, came back and paid him, and my phone was good as new -- less than an hour after I shattered the screen.
To your question about repairing vs. jumping to a new phone, well in my case this WAS the new phone. I actually have insurance on it, but that requires paying a deductible and waiting for a new one to arrive by snail mail. To me it was worth a few extra bucks to pay for the repair and have my phone back in perfect condition right away.
Looking toward the near future, if I break it again after the iPhone 5 comes out, will I pay for another repair or shell out the full retail price for an unsubsidized iPhone 5? That's a no-brainer. The repair is fairly cheap and the full retail price of a new iPhone? Not so cheap.
The better question is what will the proliferation of cell phone repair shops do to the cell phone insurance business. I clearly wasted my money on insurance for this one, since I would rather not wait for snail mail delivery of a replacement. If I break it again, I'll just go enjoy another burger & beer on Mill Avenue in Tempe while that college kid fixes my phone again :)
I was impressed to see one of our techs fixing a broken iPhone switch using parts bought from Ebay. A complete subassembly, flexi PCB and all, swapped in. So I can see how little shops can get involved.
It was the boss' phone, of course!
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.