This weekend I thoroughly cracked the surface of my iPhone. I placed my iPhone and wallet on the edge of the truck bed while loading for a road trip. I packed my things. I packed the dog. I packed my mug of tea. Then I drove away. About an hour later I noticed that I didn't have my wallet. I drove back, searched the house frantically, then discovered the phone and wallet on the side of the road a few yards from the house.
Fortunately, when I finally saw the smashed iPhone, I'd been thinking for two hours that my wallet was gone. Instead of sobbing at the spiderweb pattern on the screen, I jumped for joy at regaining my driver's license and credit cards.
Busted iPhone 5
I had purchased this iPhone under a new two-year contract in November 2012. I assumed that I'd have to pay out my data plan for the rest of the two years. But I spoke with an AT&T rep who informed me that I could put any old $14.99 flip phone on my existing cellular plan and drop the data plan. I did not have to shell out for a new iPhone, pay for my existing iPhone to be repaired, or wait for any repairs to be done.
I didn't even have to wait for a new phone to be shipped to me. Any of AT&T's GoPhones, available at the local Wal-Mart, could be put on my existing plan, and I would be able to use it with my current plan's coverage. (Not GoPhone coverage. This point is particularly important in rural areas where GoPhone coverage is not the best.)
I drove to town and picked up a new phone for $29.99. There were a variety of different phones available, including some Windows smart phones. After the trauma of running my finger over broken smartphone glass for a day and a half, all I wanted was a cheap, functional phone which, broken, would not be worth crying over. I also picked up an inexpensive 3.5mm jack for $9.99. I called AT&T back and my account was transferred to the new phone:
Alcatel 871A: iPhone Replacement
It's a word-of-mouth sort of undertaking, here in the Northwoods, to locate someone who can replace an iPhone screen. In the meantime, I'm quickly up and running with a cheap, functional replacement.