Dropped your iPad? That's $600

iPad screen repairs could initially cost as much as $600

Everyone's heard about the bill shock you get from downloading too much dataa on your smartphone or a mobile broadband device, like the iPad, but how much would it cost to repair a broken one?

As much as $600 according to iPhone repairman, Rob Jacobs.

Jacobs' Sydney-based company, iPhone Doctor, has built a reputation for repairing the digitizers (the glass screen) and LCDs (the displays themselves) on all generations of Apple's iPhone, as well as the iPod touch and some HTC smartphones. Currently, a the bill for replacing the digitizer on a broken iPhone runs at around $100-150 for, or $200 to replace both the digitizer and LCD.

But Jacobs said repair costs for an iPad could be as high as $200 for the digitizer and $350-400 for the LCD in the first few months following the product's local release.

Thankfully, Jacobs told Computerworld Australia those prices could fall quickly.

"As with every Apple product that gets released, the parts are always, for the first month or so, very exaggerated," he said. "I'd expect my prices to halve in the first month or two."

Replacing a smashed iPad digitizer - the more common occurrence for iPhone users - would conceivably run at $150, according to Jacobs. LCD replacement costs should quickly fall too, settling to $250-280, he estimates.

Jacobs is yet to receive a call from one of the many early adopters who brought their iPad across from the US, but doesn't believe broken screens will be as common as they have been for the iPhone.

"People are mainly using them at home or in the office, it's not as portable really," he said. "You don't hear about iPads getting dropped down toilets or on trains or buses."

Jacobs hasn't yet advertised for iPad repairs, but said he would be ready to go on Friday, when the iPad is officially made available for sale.

The iPhone Doctor sources hardware parts directly from the Foxconn manufacturing factory in China which makes the iPads, rather than from Apple. However, Jacobs said he is only able to purchase the aesthetic components at the moment, as internal hardware like the battery and other parts are not yet available for sale.

Apple offers limited warranty on the iPad, with 90 days phone technical support and a year of hardware support. According to Apple's website, it will cost $129 to replace the iPad with a refurbished model if the battery is depleted by more than 50 per cent, with a $19.95 postage and handling fee for iPads that aren't handed directly into Apple stores.

A spokesperson did not return comment on whether this same cost applied to iPads with a broken screen at time of writing.

US service and repair prices for out of warranty iPads range from $US269 to $419 for a refurbished replacement.

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