Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

iCracked: The Rise of an Uber-Like Repair Service for Smartphones

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

iCracked: The Rise of an Uber-Like Repair Service for Smartphones

Article excerpt

Ever drop your smartphone, watch the screen shatter into a million tiny pieces, and wish it could magically be fixed right then and there? Don't worry - there's an app for that.

iCracked, a startup based out of Redwood City, Calif., matches customers dealing with a busted smartphone with a technician who comes to their house to perform a quick fix.

The concept is similar to services like Uber, which facilitates rides between private drivers and customers in need of a lift. With iCracked, users enter information about their smartphone repair needs and location into an app, and a nearby "iTech" shows up at their doorstep for same-day service.

iTechs, independent contractors who make their own schedules and choose which requests to respond to, typically fix between 30 to 50 devices each week. They pocket 100 percent of the money earned from repairs, earning around $70,000 to $100,000 a year, according to CEO and co-founder A.J. Forsythe.

"I meet people in coffee shops, at their homes, offices, parties - anywhere," iTech Taha Jahmi tells Mashable. "I've even fixed smartphones in bars at 10:00 p.m., after someone has drunkenly dropped a device on the floor."

While a local repair shop may be the cheaper option, it is this kind of flexibility that attracts iCracked customers.

"iCracked is not likely to be the least expensive repair option for your broken iPhone, though...at least, it's very competitive," CNET's Rick Broida writes. "By paying a little extra, you're getting the convenience of fast, on-site repair - something you can take care of on your lunch hour."

Gizmodo's Leslie Horn says she prefers iCracked over the Apple Store, where "people are surly" and "you have to wait forever," or "a random electronics repair place" where "you have no guarantee" of the results.

"With iCracked, on the other hand, you know exactly what you're getting," she writes. …

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