No smartphone is intended to last forever. They are commodity products that will wind up in the junk drawer soon after the contract expires. If there is no contract involved, cheap smartphones may only have a few weeks to live before heading to the landfill.
But not all smartphones are created equally. Some are built to be more, do more, and last longer. And they are priced accordingly. Once you get over the $400 price point, it starts to get real. In the rarified air of $650 and up, the smartphone becomes a prized possession that absolutely has to last for the duration.
The least expensive iPhone, iPhone SE, is almost twice the price of the average Android phone. They are great phones. Yet one of the disadvantages seldom listed in iPhone disadvantages is the fact that they break as easily as any other phone made of metal and glass.
When buying an iPhone, the first challenge you face is keeping it safe and making it last until you decide to buy another. There are no fool-proof methods. With better methods come better fools. (Yes, it will blend.) But here are a few things you can do to increase its chances:
Protect the Screen
The first accessory people usually buy is a decorative case. But the iPhone’s chassis is built very well. Seldom does anyone complain that their iPhone’s chassis broke. What you will see on every commuter train are row after row of cracked or broken iPhone screens.
Let’s face it: with the right force, glass breaks. Even bullet-proof glass breaks. iPhones don’t need bullet-proof glass. They need people-proof glass. At the moment, there is no such thing.
What you can do is put another layer of scratch-resistant, tempered glass on top of it like the kind you find in premium iPhone 7 screen protectors. They will greatly reduce the chances of you damaging your iPhone screen and having to pay for an expensive repair.
If you do manage to break a tempered glass screen protector, your iPhone glass is still just fine. And you can replace the broken screen protector with another for a fraction of the cost of a repair. The best way to extend the life of your iPhone is by protecting the screen.
If you purchase no extra coverage, every iPhone comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty on the hardware, plus 90 days of telephone support. AppleCare+ doubles the hardware coverage to 2 years. It also ups the phone support from 90 days to 2 years. For many, that will be worth the price all by itself.
Speaking of price, the coverage is $99 for the most expensive iPhones. But that includes 2 incidents of accidental damage with a $79 deductible per incident. That coverage will repair or replace, whichever is necessary to send you home with a fully functional iPhone.
If you decide to sell your iPhone, AppleCare+ is transferrable. That means if you sell it after only one year to buy the latest and greatest, you can include the AppleCare+ which increases the amount you can get for the phone.
Compare AppleCare+ to other insurance plans. It is very likely your carrier has an insurance plan. You may be paying for one without knowing it. All plans have their pros and cons. But it is really hard to find a better overall value that is as convenient as AppleCare+ for iPhone. If you can’t protect your iPhone physically, protect it with insurance.
Find My iPhone
Broken iPhones can be repaired. But until a few years ago, lost iPhones could not be found. Now that Find My iPhone is built into the OS, it is somewhat difficult to lose an iPhone.
Just be sure to use a passcode and TouchID to lock the screen. That way, no one will be able to break into your phone and lock you out. If you are the kind of person who leaves their iPhone on the table at the restaurant, you can easily find it with Find My iPhone.
A screen protector, AppleCare+, and Find My iPhone provide excellent protection for your iPhone. And that is before you buy a case.