What Can Happen if You Drop Your iPad?

By Mindi Orth

When you drop your iPad, fear of the potential problems that can occur because of the fall may run through your mind before the device hits the floor -- or puddle. The best-case scenario is that the device comes out unscathed, and you can go about your business as if nothing ever happened. The potential for damage, however, exists whenever you drop your iPad.

Superficial Damage

Minor damage to the exterior of your iPad may result when you drop your iPad. This damage includes scratches, scuffs and other superficial marks. The type and severity of these marks may vary depending on the where you drop the iPad. Concrete, gravel or other course services often result in deeper scratches than smoother services, such as carpet or tile. Although visually unappealing, this type of damage typically doesn’t affect the operation of the device. Using a protective sleeve or other cover may protect your iPad from this sort of superficial damage.

Screen Damage

The most vulnerable part of the iPad exterior is the screen. The screen can break when an iPad falls. Although the distance of the drop and the surface of impact affect the probability of damage, any fall has the potential to break the screen. The glass may crack or shatter, making it difficult or impossible to read the display. When this occurs, you may not be able to use your iPad until you repair or replace the screen. Using a reputable Apple service technician to replace the screen ensures the proper repair.

Internal Damage

A drop may loosen or break the sensitive circuitry that resides inside your iPad. When this occurs, the iPad may not operate as expected. For example, only part of the display may appear on the screen, or the device may not respond when you press the power button. Initially, these problems may be intermittent, but they may worsen over time. Don't try to take apart your iPad because doing so voids the warranty and may result in additional damage. Using a certified technician is necessary to restore the operation of your device.

Water Damage

If you drop your iPad in a puddle, a toilet or any pool of water, the moisture may damage the internal circuitry of the device. This damage may be irreparable. To minimize potential damage, remove your iPad from the water immediately and drain the excess water. Turn off the device and then use a microfiber towel to remove the water from the iPad’s exterior. Allow the device to dry completely before attempting to turn it on again. Placing your iPad in a rice-filled bag for a few hours to a few days may assist in the drying the process.

Warranty

If the original warranty on your iPad has expired, you must pay for any repairs your iPad may require. Be advised that Apple’s one-year warranty does not cover what it deems as accidental damage. This means that if the company finds evidence of water damage, it will not honor the warranty. Likewise, Apple will not repair an accidentally broken screen under the original standard warranty. However, Apple offers an extended warranty for your iPad. This coverage, called AppleCare+ for iPad, provides two years of technical support and device coverage that includes repairs resulting from accidental damage to your iPad for up to two incidents. You must pay a flat rate of $49 per accidental-damage incident. You can purchase AppleCare+ for iPad when you purchase your iPad or up to 30 days from the original purchase date. As of May 2014, the cost of AppleCare+ for iPad is $99.