Don't expect the new iPhone to have a drastically different screen. Apple has just invested in installing screen machines in its stores for replacing the 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5.
Apple has started replacing iPhone 5 screens in-store, meaning that if your your screen is cracked or smashed, and your local store is equipped with the new machine, all you have to do is walk into a Genius Bar and wait a few minutes.
This investment in machinery designed to make iPhone 5 repairs possible in store likely indicates that when Apple launches a new iPhone later in the year the screen is likely to be similar to the current phone. Reports suggest that the machine cannot be used to fix screens on any other model of iPhone, and it seems unlikely that Apple would choose to produce a machine that may soon become obsolete.
The new machines have been distributed to most stores - at least in the US - and are used to calibrate the display's functionality, after the screen has been replaced. If your iPhone 5 is still on warranty, the repair will cost about $149 (about £97). However, if it isn't then the screen replacement will deprive you of $229 (about £150).
We’ve contacted Apple for details of the UK pricing for the service and haven’t yet had a response. We do know that Apple already had a system in place for customers to arrange the repair of an iPhone screen. Apple charges £139 to replace a cracked screen (£146.29 if you use the mail order service). In both cases the phone is sent away.
You may be able to find someone else to repair the screen for less, but you should be aware that letting someone else tamper with your iPhone would void your warranty.
512 Pixels got hold of a photo of the new machine, and stated: "From what I’ve heard, Apple Stores have been instructed that the iPhone is the “top priority” for the Genius Bar, and this new repair — and crazy machine — surely reflects that. In addition to the program changes, many stores have Geniuses that are dedicated to iPhone repairs for sections of their shifts. In short, Apple is pouring resources in to in-store iPhone repairs."
We reported earlier in May that Apple had plans to repair more iPhones in store rather than exchange a broken iPhone for a refurbished one. At the time it was believed that Apple would role out the changes in the US this autumn.
iPhones that are sent off to have their screen replaced are currently replaced with a refurbished model so customers lose their data (unless they had a back up). This new program will save you the hassle of sending your phone off for a long period of time, or even worse, losing it in the process and receiving a new device; therefore having to restore it from an iCloud backup.
Unfortunately, the in-store screen replacement service is only available for the iPhone 5, the newest version of Apple's iPhone. It is unlikely that older versions will be included since the unit is likely set up for the 4in screen of the iPhone 5.
Currently Apple Store staff are only able to carry out replacements of batteries, vibrator motors, speakers, receivers and home buttons in store. Under the new plans revealed at a Apple meeting in May, the Apple store staff will be able to replace the display, cameras, sleep/wake button, and logic board.
Marcelina Zwegrodzka is the author of this Apple blog.