It’s easy to break an iPhone screen. But in a city like Philadelphia and at a school like Penn, it’s even easier to get it fixed.

There’s always the option of the huge white monolith that is Philly’s Apple Store. Located at 16th and Walnut, this store boasts immaculate white walls and the trademark Genius Bar. However, appointments can be scarce, particularly on weekends. Even if you do manage to snag a spot or a walk–in, the 5s and 6 screen replacement costs $129 and the 6 plus, $149. However, buying in store has its perks—an Apple–branded screen and a 90–day warranty if your device cracks again.

But for students living on or near campus, there’s another option. Enter pennrepairs.com. Started by students Daniel Salib (C '20) and Jeffrey Chen (E '20), the site seizes the gap in the market for affordable University City screen repair.

Penn Repairs offers free pickup and delivery to students living on–campus. They also provide a $10 discount upon showing a PennCard. Daniel told Street that he began tinkering with screens in 7th grade. He says he “enjoyed messing around with technology” and after a friend of his asked for help fixing a broken iPhone 3GS screen, he attempted to teach himself the basics of screen repair.

This gave rise to a profitable business of fixing phones for friends and acquaintances and finally led to the formation of Penn Repairs in 2016. Daniel’s process? Just learn a few tricks to speed up the process after mastering the basics, and don’t be too afraid—your phone isn’t as fragile as you think, so long as you’re careful.

There are other options for Penn students with shattered screens. Many third–party tech stores can fix screens and feature competitive pricing. A quick Yelp search reveals upwards of 20 in the area. However, one feature that both Penn Repairs and Apple guarantee is the use of Cold Pressed Glue to secure the screen. Some third–parties use hot glue to attach the screen. The longevity just isn’t there with hot glue, Daniel explained.

Of course, you should still be careful with dropping your phone. But just know that there’s more than one safety net if your life shatters around you. 

Photo credits: User: yorkali via Pixbay. Creative Commons.


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