iMore has learned from sources within Apple retail that broken iPhone 5 displays may soon be getting replaced in-store. This would be a change from Apple's current iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 practice, which consisted of swapping the entire iPhone out for a new or refurbished one. Sources within Apple retail have told us that equipment used to remove the screens has started appearing in their stores.
This report appears consistent with iFixit's teardown of the iPhone 5 which found that replacing the screen on the new device is considerably easier than on the iPhone 4S.
"What's this? A suction cup? We haven't needed a suction cup to get into an iPhone since the 3GS! Because the iPhone 5 is opened front-to-back, replacing a cracked screen is going to be easier than ever. Thank you, Apple!
Compare this to the iPhone 4s, where it took 38 steps to isolate the display assembly, and this iPhone may be the most repairable iPhone we've seen in a while."
It's unclear how much a screen replacement will cost without AppleCare+. With AppleCare+ you need to pay $99 for the warranty and $49 for the accidental broken glass replacement.