We’ve got our share of Apple products with iPhones, iPads and even an Apple TV. Occasionally we’ll need service on these products, so I wanted to pass on my experience of getting Apple products repaired in Phuket.

Here is the first thing I’ve learned: Don’t drop an iPhone or iPad. I’ve managed to break two screens in the last year, an iPad and and iPhone. The glass screens break pretty easily. Well, easy for me, anyway.

If it’s only the glass that’s broken, if the device is still functioning, then you can take it to a number of places for a glass replacement. Don’t take it to Apple.
Look in the IT areas of Junceylon in Patong or Big C and Central in Phuket Town. Walk around and ask who repairs of Apple products and they’ll point you in the right direction. The cost runs 1500-1800 baht depending on the device. They sometimes will lower the price with a little negotiation, but usually there is only one stall doing this work and it’s a set price. Repairs usually take an hour.

Last week the display on my Mini iPad 2 started showing lines down one side and the display was shaking. This was something more complicated than broken screen glass. First I went to the Apple support website and spent an hour online diagnosing that it was a hardware problem and the display needed to be replaced. They gave me the contact information for the Certified Apple repair shop in Phuket Town.

There is only one Certified Apple Reseller repair company but they do have two branches. I hit the one at Central. They looked at the iPad and said the display needed to be replaced. The cost would be 8900 baht, it would have to be sent to Bangkok and take three weeks. I told them I’d think about it. As I was leaving they said to me, “Don’t open the iPad. If you do Apple won’t service it again.” Here is where they try and get you. Only an Apple certified repair shop can fix your iPad or Apple won’t fix the device again. This is a sleazy thing they do, they want to screw you for the high Apple repair costs.

I was thinking at this point, I would just buy a new iPad Mini 4 (64Gb) for 16000 baht, rather than spend 8900 baht to repair my 3 year old iPad 2. It just didn’t seem reasonable to repair the old one. I walked over to PowerBuy to look at new iPad models. I was lusting after the iPad Air 2 at 20400 baht and decided to buy it at Junceylon Shopping Center closer to home. I hate driving to Phuket Town if something went wrong with it.

I happened to see one of the stalls had a sign up for Apple repairs. I showed them my iPad and they said the display was bad. Charge for a replacement display was 3500 baht and it would take an hour. 3500 baht, do it! Now, I saw why the Certified Apple repair place made a point of telling me not to open the iPad. The repair from Apple was going to run 3 times the repair from an independent shop and take three weeks.

The repair shop told me they repair a lot of iPad displays. They guarantee the new display for 30 days but that it would last years, better than the original. An hour later I picked up the iPad and it worked perfectly.

If you have a repair that is under warranty than yes, seek out the Certified Apple repair shop, otherwise look for a repair shops that do this work. Things like a MacBook repair would have to go back to Apple, but for phones and iPads many places work on them.

These independent repair shops are not hard to find. Save yourself a bundle and stay away from Certified Apple repairs.