It’s always tempting to avoid the high prices of a Genius Bar screen repair and find a third-party repair center that can fix your iPhone for fraction of the price. I’ve done it. You might want to think twice before you take your iPhone repair off the grid, though.
Late last year news broke of an iPhone that ignited into flame on board an Australian flight. No one was hurt, and at the time no one knew what caused the iPhone to spontaneously erupt. After further investigation though, it looks like a careless third-party repair agent might be the one to blame.
The iPhone was sent to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to investigate the source of the flame. What the ATSB found is that a misplaced screw punctured the battery casing, leading to a short circuit that caused the battery to overheat. An unauthorized service center botched a screen-replacement job on the iPhone and put a screw in the wrong place – adjacent to the 30-pin connector. Once the screw found its way into the handset it eventually caused the battery compartment to puncture and ignite.
A lot of us at Cult of Mac have used third-party repair companies to fix our broken iOS devices. It saves money, and none of our iPhones have caught on fire. However, this incident highlights the risks users undertake when trying to get a cheap fix rather than taking the device to the Genius Bar. At least at the Genius Bar, they’d replace your iPhone if it caught fire after your repair.