Apple will no longer cover this iPhone damage under warranty — what you need to know

iphone 11 pro drop test cracked front
(Image credit: Future)

Apple will no longer cover hairline cracks for iPhones or Apple Watches under its repair and standard warranty policies, meaning users will now need to pay to replace screens with this kind of damage.

Until recently, Apple’s policy was to cover hairline cracks under warranty as long as they were the only damage to the screen and hadn't obviously been caused by user error. However, according to a report from 9to5Mac, this will no longer be the case. We've reached out to Apple to confirm and will update this piece with any comment from the company.

Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers have apparently been told this week that hairline cracks are no longer to be repaired under warranty. Now, the damage will be processed as an accidental damage claim, meaning the customer will pay for the repair. 

It should be noted that the change only covers the iPhone and the Apple Watch, so hairline cracks in MacBook or iPad displays are still covered under warranty.  

An image of an iPhone being repaired using the Apple Self Service Repair kit

(Image credit: Apple)

This change does make sense from a certain perspective as it can be hard to define where hairline cracks start and figure out if Apple should comp the repair or charge the user. However, it isn't as good for the customer as screens are some of the most expensive parts of the phone to repair.

While getting Apple to fix your device can be expensive (unless you're already paying for AppleCare), there are still ways to repair your gear for less. Apple recently announced an expansion of its self-repair program with support for genuine used parts for owners of “select” iPhone models. However, we don’t know the exact date this will occur, and we’re not sure which models will be covered.

Hairline cracks become big cracks very easily, so the best thing to do is avoid them entirely. We have a guide with five tips to help protect your phone that could help you prevent damage to your most important tech.

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.