What’s Crackin? The iPhone X’s Camera Lens, That’s What.

The iPhone X’s back glass is a formidable foe, maybe an unbeatable one. As we learned in our teardown, removing the back glass is a stressful, trench warfare-style struggle against globs of adhesive and tiny glass shards.

It gets worse. The wireless charging coil and battery butt up against the glass, and the camera lens bubble rests on the outside of the glass, but is fused to the midframe underneath. So not only is the glass basically cemented to the frame, it’s actually sandwiched between it and the lens bubble. All of this makes a broken back glass a no-go for repair. We get it if you wouldn’t want to touch a back glass repair with a ten-foot pole.

But what if the back camera lens cracks and nothing else?

Mysterious Camera Lens Cracks

Cracked lenses are exactly what some iPhone X users have been complaining about for a few months now, and the answers they’ve received are less than satisfactory. First, Apple’s offered no explanation for mysteriously cracking camera lenses. Suspicions have fallen on exposure to extreme temperatures, but so far there’s no consensus. Many users in Apple’s discussion boards mention only having owned the phone for a short number of weeks.

Second, owners looking for help from Apple are being hit with repairs ranging from $99 with AppleCare to $549 without, or being told outright to replace their phone.

Easy, Affordable Camera Lens Repair is Possible

The good news for iPhone X owners, especially those without AppleCare, is that back camera lens repair is possible, and a third party can easily do it. Removing a busted camera lens requires the same stubborn fight against adhesive and glass shards, but it’s a far cry from the device-destroying potential of changing out the back glass panel. Once the adhesive and glass are cleaned out, a replacement lens can be laid down.

It’s possible, though not recommended, to perform this repair without opening the phone. The back cameras and other sensors may be damaged by the razor blade used to scrape up what’s left of the original lens. At which point, what’s the point of changing out the camera lens of all things?

With an official announcement from Apple pending, let’s not lose hope that cracked lenses, either as the result of a defect or an accident, can be affordably fixed. They can be. Our advice to third-party repair centers: stock up now!

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