Repairing vs. Replacing Your iPhone

If you have ever dropped your phone in the pool or had it fall out of your pocket while at an amusement park, you know the feeling of dread when assessing the damage. The biggest question you may ask yourself is how much internal and external damage there is and if you should repair or replace your iPhone.

What to Consider When Weighing Whether to Repair or Replace Your iPhone

There are a few critical fundamentals to consider when you’re trying to decide whether it’s better to repair or replace your iPhone. Here are the most important details to keep in mind.


Warranties on your phone typically cover specific malfunctions related to mechanical or electrical operations. The warranty you have on your iPhone may cover the cost of the damage depending on how old your phone is and what the damage is. Contact your provider and see if your warranty is still valid or if it can be extended.

Remember that your warranty may not cover certain damages, such as a cracked screen. If you have an iPhone, you can check if it is still under warranty by going into the settings app. Your phone settings will also give you more information, such as the model of your phone, the current software and the storage capacity, which can be helpful when deciding whether to get a newer phone.

Extent of Damage

Assess the extent of damage on your iPhone before determining if it’s worth replacing or not. Enough damage to your phone may leave you with no other option than to replace it entirely, but this may not always be the case. If the damage is only minor, such as a partially cracked screen, it most likely wouldn’t need to be completely replaced.

A cracked iPhone screen or chipped camera can sometimes be repaired for less money than the cost of a used or new iPhone. However, if your phone has encountered severe damage, such as being dropped from a very high surface or extensive water damage, it may be deserving of replacement.

Phone Age

Think about how long you’ve had your phone when analyzing the benefits and drawbacks to repairing versus replacing an iPhone after damage. If it’s under a year or two old, you likely won’t need an upgrade. If your phone is older, you can more easily justify buying a used or new device one because you might’ve wanted an upgrade soon anyway.

Even if your older phone was in good working condition before the damage, replacing it altogether can save you from having to pay for both repairing and replacing costs. Several parts of your phone may not work as well as they used to — a sign that your phone may be too old and need replacing. Some things to look out for in an older phone could be that:


  • The power or reset button no longer works well
  • The touchscreen is slow to respond
  • The camera takes a long time to capture a photo
  • One or more of your apps crash while you are using them



Your budget might be one of the most significant deciding factors when considering repairing or replacing your iPhone. You want to ensure you are getting the best possible value for your money. The needs you have for your phone, such as storage and software requirements, may influence how much you are willing to spend on repairing or replacing it. Some damage may be so extensive that it would actually be cheaper to buy a newer phone altogether.

Some may argue that a phone is a crucial investment. So much can be done on mobile apps, such as banking, emailing, searching the web and keeping you in contact with loved ones who live far away. Luckily, if you are in immediate need of replacing your iPhone, some can come refurbished for around $100 in good condition. If your phone is relatively new and can be fixed with minimal time and money, that might be a more reasonable option.


Think about what you use the most on your phone and how much storage you usually have. iPhones and smartphones typically have storage capacities ranging anywhere from 512GB to 1TB. You may love to take lots of photos and videos on your phone but consistently run out of storage or have to delete apps and pictures to free up storage.

In this situation, along with whatever damage you may have, it might be a logical idea to upgrade to a new phone that offers more storage. If you don’t feel that you need more space, repairing the phone you currently have is probably more ideal for you.

How Much You Need Your Phone

If you are an excessive daily iPhone user, such as for sending and receiving money or scrolling on social media for hours at a time, factor that in when deciding to repair or replace your phone. You may need your phone on you at all times for other essential reasons, such as caring for a loved one or working remotely.

Smartphones largely play some kind of role in many people’s workdays. In this case, you would need to determine how long it may take to repair your phone and if the waiting period is worth it. Otherwise, it may be more efficient to purchase a newer one online. If you don’t use your phone very often, you might not feel that replacing it is necessary.

When to Consider Repair

Deciding to repair instead of replacing your phone with a brand new model may be both more environmentally friendly and less costly. Though a newer phone may be tempting, you might not have any valid reason to get rid of your current phone if the repair costs are not too high. Most smartphones nowadays can typically provide you with three to four years of use before you need to consider replacing or upgrading them.

Additionally, you may not be eligible for an upgrade, which would mean that buying a new phone through your phone carrier could cost you a lot of money out of pocket. Choosing to repair your phone may also allow you to enjoy it longer.

Another reason that repairing might be the right route is if you often damage or drop your phone. If so, it may be a better idea to repair your phone instead of buying a newer one that may end up with similar damage eventually anyways.

Repairing a phone is typically cheaper than buying a new one if there is minimal damage. With the money you may save choosing to repair your phone, it would be wise to buy a sturdy, protective iPhone case to protect your phone from needing future repairs if you don’t already have one.

Consider a repair if:


  • There’s minor damage: If the damage on your phone is something minor, such as cosmetic damages that don’t actually impair any of the functions, it may be more cost-effective to go with a repair. Cracked screens and battery issues account for 47% of the repairs done by surveyed technicians, and they are usually simple to repair if the damage isn’t too extensive.
  • You don’t need new features or storage: If you don’t take many pictures or use tons of different apps, you probably won’t need more storage. This is something to think about if the damaged phone belongs to a young child or an elderly person who doesn’t have any use for tons of storage space. This may also be the case if you usually only use your phone for contact reasons, which you probably won’t need or want any fancy new features for.
  • You don’t need your phone for work and other commitments: If you only use your phone to call others or send emails and texts, a new phone might not seem reasonable to you. For those who don’t spend a lot of time during the day using their phone for work or social media, it might be better to repair your phone instead of replacing it. 

When to Choose Replacement

If your phone is damaged beyond repair, a replacement might be the best route. An old or outdated phone may not even be worth the cost of the repairs you need. These older models may also have programming that does not automatically update, making it more difficult to use your phone as time goes on because it will become less compatible with newer apps.

For some newer iPhones, repair costs for damage such as screen cracking can be expensive without insurance or warranties. Repairing your broken phone or electronics may not always be the best way to save money in this case.

Another benefit to replacing your phone is that newer iPhones are usually waterproof to some degree, which can be an essential protection if your phone has experienced water damage. Here are some additional areas you should think about when leaning toward replacing your iPhone:

  • The damage is extensive or costly: If your phone often shuts down involuntarily, overheats quickly or has consistent issues maintaining battery power, this may merit a replacement. Internal issues may be more difficult and expensive to fix, which may take up more time than setting up a newer phone. Remember the 50% rule — if the repair of the damage will cost you more than half of the price to replace it, don’t go through with the repairs.
  • The phone is consistently out of storage: You may have a job or hobby that requires you to use your phone for most of the day, such as a photographer, social media manager or remote worker. This may cause your phone to frequently be out of storage if you use too many apps, receive dozens of emails a day, take hundreds of pictures or do other work on your phone. If this happens, it might be beneficial to upgrade to a newer phone with increased storage.
  • Your phone can no longer update: Depending on your carrier or provider, your phone may no longer have consistent physical or software upgrades available, which can lead to several other technical issues. If your phone is more than a few years old, it may be practical to consider replacing it so you know it will stay up to date with your needs.
  • Your phone is essential: If you constantly need your phone to stay in contact with others for work or personal reasons or simply feel your phone is an added safety measure, replacing it is worthwhile. If you’re unable to go a day or two without your phone, the repair process may seem too long.

How Much Does Replacing an iPhone Cost?

If you have taken the time to weigh your options and determined that replacing your iPhone fits your needs better, there are many options available. Even if you wish to replace your current iPhone with a newer device, it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of used and refurbished phone options that allow you to find what works for you. Purchasing a pre-owned phone is a less costly alternative, and it’s more eco-friendly than buying a new phone.

Some of the newest iPhone models that are used or refurbished may also be on clearance, where they are much cheaper. Depending on the type of iPhone you currently have and the one you want, you can still find various newer refurbished models with different pricing options. Replacing your iPhone with a used or refurbished one allows you to customize it to your needs just as you can when purchasing a new one in the store.

This customization can include factors such as what carriers it will work on, the condition of the phone, the storage size and color. There are dozens of different options available online for affordable iPhones that are like-new, especially compared to a brand new model. Here are some of the most popular ones:

iPhone 6

iPhone 6 models available include:



iPhone 7

Consider iPhone 7 models like:



iPhone 8

iPhone 8 is available in:



iPhone 11

This generation of iPhone comes in these models:



iPhone 12

Consider these models for the iPhone 12:



iPhone SE

There are two generations of iPhone SE available:




iPhone X

iPhone X comes in:


iPhone 13

Consider these models for the iPhone 13:


iPhone 14

Consider these models for the iPhone 14:


Shop Gazelle’s Options for iPhones

When it’s time to decide whether you should repair or replace your phone, buying a used or refurbished iPhone can be a perfect medium. With Gazelle’s options, you have control over your budget and specifications when shopping for an upgraded phone. Gazelle is committed to providing devices that come in great condition at competitive prices for your convenience. Our smartphone options are carrier compatible and come with a 30-day return policy.

Now, you can easily buy used devices without having to go to other sites where transactions may not be secure. With Gazelle’s certified guarantee, we maintain detailed inspections on each and every phone we sell. There are also no contracts or strings attached, so you can feel confident in relying on us for your new pre-owned iPhone. Shop our iPhones today to replace your current phone!




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