When I got into cell phone repair I knew that there was a big market but I didn't realize just how big. I just read an article on the NBC news website saying that the cell phone repair industry is now a one billion dollars a year industry.
I have heard some of the craziest and saddest stories of people spending big bucks on the latest Smartphone and how they dropped, dunked or stepped on their investments. You name it, if it is a way to break an expensive cell phone, I have heard the story.
A friend of the shop named Ricky was telling me the other day that he was driving home from work with his windows open in his truck. He was talking to someone on his LG Optimus Pro when he felt a spider crawling on his phone hand. In a panic he shook his arm hard towards the open window and his phone slipped out of his grip and flew out the window. He turned around and pulled over to get his phone and the person he was speaking to was still talking not even realizing what had happened. Ricky's screen was shattered but he was still able to talk on it.
I had another client who had just bought the new iPhone 5s and decided not to get a protective case for it. "It just looks too cool to put a clunky case on it" she said. The very next day it fell out of her purse as she dug for keys and as it hit the ground she accidentally kicked it for another slam in to the curb. Of course her screen was shattered.
I had another customer who had an iPhone 4 that he used to take tons of photos of his little daughter. He came in to the shop hoping I could dry his phone out and save all of his photos. I asked what happened and he told me that he had bought a large fountain Coke at a convenience store and put it in the center console of his car to drive to pick up his daughter from daycare. He was making a left hand turn with his cell phone in his right hand. He went to downshift and bumped the phone on the gear shift knocking it out of his hand and directly into the large fountain drink. It sank and sucked up sweet sugary soda water all over the logic board.
We were able to disassemble the entire phone and clean all the parts with our special solution and after a couple of hours we were able to sync his phone to iTunes and save all of his photos.
We are even seeing quite a few repeat customers. It is so easy to break the screen of an iPhone so we are now thinking of a discount program for the clumsiest of smartphone users.
By Jon Roland