iPhone battery replacement: DIY or hire a pro?

Find out the costs, pros and cons of both options.

So you have an aging iPhone that’s perfectly fine except for one thing: the battery. These days you’re lucky to make it to mid-afternoon before the power gives out. A common dilemma.
Alas, all phone batteries lose capacity over time. You’ll probably first start to notice it after a year, then really notice it after 18 months. Once it gets intolerable, you have only a few options:

Buying a new phone seems ridiculous, especially given the price. And the last few iPhone models have afforded little more than small boosts in speed and camera quality — hardly compelling reasons to upgrade, in my opinion. (And maybe you don’t want to give up your headphone jack.)

A battery case can help, but it’ll add bulk and weight to your phone while forcing you to switch from Lightning cables to Micro-USB. Both are hassles.

That leaves replacing the battery, which is not an easy solution. But it’s the best one, because a new battery will effectively buy your iPhone another couple years of useful service. The only question is whether to do the job yourself or seek out a pro.

But first: Check the warranty

Because replacing the battery involves cracking open the iPhone, it’s only logical to ask: Won’t this void my warranty? If the phone is more than a year old, the warranty has likely already expired.

Have a broken iPhone? iCracked can help!

Repair Your Device

Get your device repaired at your home, office, or favorite coffee shop,
whenever and wherever you want.

But assuming you’re post-coverage, it doesn’t matter if you go DIY or third party. However, if you hire a service or shop to replace the battery, you may receive a warranty on that repair — something you won’t get if you do the work yourself.

The DIY option

Right. Except those screws are tiny. The case is hard to get open. Inside, you have to remove a bunch more screws and some fragile ribbon cables just to get to the battery. Which is glued in place. Then you have to do it all in reverse.How hard can it be to replace an iPhone battery? Remove some screws, open up the case, take out the old battery, plug in the new one and you’re done, right?

If you’ve never ventured inside an iPhone before, this can be some nerve-wracking surgery. It helps to have video-tutorial guidance (see below), but trust me when I say it’s easy to make a mistake. And if you flub along the way, you’ll brick your phone.

The DIY option, however, is definitely the cheapest — even if it only saves you about $20. Replacement battery kits are available from Amazon, eBay and countless other sources, most of them priced anywhere from $10-$30. Personally, I recommend spending a few dollars more to buy from a reputable (and customer-reviewed) vendor on Amazon.

Go pro- hire iCracked and a tech will come to you.

Straight to the math: It’ll likely cost you anywhere from $50-$80 to hire a shop or service like iCracked to replace your iPhone battery. That can be a hard pill to swallow knowing that DIY kits cost less, but I’ll make the case it’s money well spent.

For starters, these folks (iCracked) are experienced with this kind of repair. They know what they’re doing. You’re also likely to get the benefit of some kind of warranty. Side-benefit: They’re probably using reliable batteries so there’s less chance you’ll actually need that warranty.

Apple offers a battery replacement service that costs $79 for any iPhone model — a competitive price, and arguably your best option given that no company is better at servicing iPhones. However, there’s one catch: You’ll have to be without your phone for at least a few days. Apple estimates three to five business days if you ship it and “up to five business days” if you bring it to an Apple Authorized Service Provider. (If you’ve tried either of these options, hit the comments and let us know how long it actually took.)

Few users are likely to want to wait that long, which leaves either a local phone repair shop or a service like iCracked, which I evaluated a couple years back. Although I used iCracked for screen repair, the company offers battery replacement as well. The big benefit: iCracked dispatches a tech to pretty much any location you like — home, office, the local Starbucks, wherever. And the repair will probably take no more than an hour.

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