iPhone Repair: Fix Your Broken iPhone with iCracked

April 20, 2012

1:00 pm

According to iPhone and iPod touch repair service iCracked, 20% of the nearly 200 million iPhones sold worldwide end up breaking – whether that’s a cracked screen from a late-night fumble or water damage from diving into your sink.

If you’re one of the 20%, check out iCracked and find a local iTechnician in your area. The Silicon Valley startup also lets you send in broken phones by mail, or get an iPhone repair DIY kit: parts and videos that help you successfully tinker with your smartphone, that range from about $40-$85.

iCracked began in 2010 with an unfortunate incident involving a tossed iPhone and a ceiling fan. Instead of shelling out another $200, AJ Forsythe decided to fiddle with the phone himself.

“I have always been an Apple fanatic and it always bothered me to see one of their products broken, so learning to repair them was a fun experience. For some reason, whenever I see broken things, I have always wanted to try to fix them,” says Forsythe, now CEO of iCracked.

Two days later, his college roommate broke his own phone, so Forsythe repaired it. Word spread around California Polytechnic, and soon he was making pocket money by fixing iPhones.

Forsythe started suggesting that his friends repair iPhones on other college campuses, which eventually led Anthony Martin to sign on as a cofounder. In early 2011, they shipped off repair kits to 20 official iTechnicians, and the business took off – now, there are 150 iTechs in the US plus a handful in Canada and South Africa. They also launched a website, which gave them a platform to start selling DIY kits.

Last month, iCracked emerged from Y Combinator with a new plan: to become a “smartphone lifecycle company,” doing not only repair but buyback, refurbishing, redistribution, and insurance – and not just for iPhones.

This business can only grow: iPhone sales more than doubled from Q4 2011 to Q1 2012, so props to iCracked for getting in early.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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