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Smash your iPhone? You may still be eligible for Apple Store credit

Broken iphone
It’s the nightmare scenario of any iPhone owner: you crush your beloved handset’s display to bits beneath an ill-placed foot, or scratch a Pollockian design in its aluminum unibody with spare change and car keys. If the rumors are true, though, Apple will soon make trading in a less-than-perfect iPhone a bit less bothersome than it currently is: 9to5Mac reports that the iPhone maker is on the verge of launching a credit exchange program for iPhones with damaged cameras, screens, and buttons.

The new program, which is really just an update to the terms of Apple’s existing Apple Store Reuse and Recycle option, will make older iPhones exhibiting user-inflicted damage “within reason” eligible for Apple Store credit. Specific handsets — the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, according to 9to5Mac — in usable condition but with deficient displays, camera lenses, and power or home buttons, will earn customers a gift card that can be used toward the purchase of a new iPhone, accessory, or any other Apple Store inventory that suits their fancy.

Credit is ultimately given at the discretion of individual Apple Stores, and the trade-in values aren’t exactly generous — an iPhone 5s will net you $50, an iPhone 6 $200, and a 6 Plus $250 — but unless you’re willing to try your luck on eBay, it might soon become the most convenient way to get money for a broken iPhone.

In related news, Apple Stores will soon begin offering third-party screen protector installations on (presumably unbroken) iPhones “in the coming weeks,” a reversal of the company’s policy against such a practice. 9to5Mac reports that Apple’s begun to install screen protector installation machines in stores through a partnership with Belkin, and, should the process fail, will offer a free screen protector and re-attempt the installation.

The policy change on broken iPhones is expected to go into effect next week. The screen protector installation machines, on the other hand, may take a few weeks to roll out to all Apple Stores.

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