iCracked can repair your cracked screens and waterlogged iOS devices. It’s the AAA of iOS repair — and it’s cheaper than Apple Care.
I have owned lots of iPhones, from the very first model in 2008 to my iPhone 5 (which I naturally purchased about three days before the introduction of the 5s — just saying).
I’ve spent about $1,000 on Apple Care between all my iPhones, and I never once used it. So on my latest iPhone, I decided not to buy yet another $199 plan.
I regretted that decision last night, when I dropped my phone while getting out of my car on the way to a meeting. I practically felt the sickening smash of the phone’s glass screen as it hit the concrete curb.
Of course my phone had to land face down, like an open-faced sandwich. When I picked it up and turned it over, it looked bad. Though the phone still worked, the cracks in the glass were sharp. A few jagged bits fell out as I looked at the damage.
•iCracked.com •On-demand iOS Device Repair •prices vary depending on service
I was pretty sure an expensive visit to the Apple Store was in my future. I imagined the derisive laughs and pained expressions of the Apple geniuses that would bemoan my foolishness for not buying the Apple Care Plan.
I envisioned my phone going to a far away place for repairs. Or worse, I would suck it up and buy an iPhone 5s (out of contract, at full retail) as penance for my careless ways.
But that’s not what happened. Thanks to a tip from my client, I went online to iCracked.com — and was quite honestly amazed at what happened next.
At 10 this morning, I selected my phone model on iCracked.com. I said my screen was cracked and entered my city and telephone number. In about 10 seconds — literally — I received a telephone call from Brian Keem, a San Francisco-based certified iCracked iTech who spends his days rescuing people like me.
Brian confirmed the model of my phone, and said he could be at my house at 11 a.m. to replace the screen. The cost would be $150. All of a sudden, I started to feel a whole lot better about not buying that Apple Care plan.
At $150, I was still spending less than Apple Care. And I wouldn’t have to wait around at the Apple Store. I told Brian to come ahead.
Brian arrived at the stroke of 11 a.m., aluminum case of iPhone, iPod and iPad parts in hand. I showed him to my kitchen table, and he gingerly examined my phone.
“This isn’t bad,” he said, allowing that I should see some of the other phones he’s rescued from mishaps caused by cars, water and various forms of mistreatment.
Then he asked for a paper towel. Brian said he’d need it to catch the shards of glass that were falling off my phone.
He spread the towel across the table, and set about popping the phone open. He brought out a tiny crowbar, magnetized screwdrivers and a little foam organizer to catch all the stray parts.
It was amazing to see the parts come out — some screws were so small I could barely see them. Brian packed up the cracked screen and told me he’d recycle it.
Within about 15 minutes, Brian had installed a new third-party screen, complete with a screen protector. Good as new.
Brain, a 2008 Cal Poly graduate, told me that he had wanted to start his own business repairing iPhones, but when he realized that iCracked had already “cracked” the market he changed his plans and started taking iCracked clients.
He typically handles between 4-6 service calls a day. In my area, there are eight service technicians, and web inquiries are routed to all of them via an online dispatch system.
The tech that responds first gets the business. Brian said he’s never far from his phone, which is why he’s one of the most productive techs in the area, and why he could respond so quickly to me.
The AAA of Smart Device Repair
iCracked employs more than 400 iTechs around the United States, Canada and Europe. Every iTech is certified, but they’re all independent contractors. iCracked makes money on the parts, not on the labor.
iCracked positions itself as the AAA of smart phones and tablets. The 30-person startup is located in Redwood City, Calif., and is a product of the Y Combinator incubator. For the moment, iCracked only repairs iOS devices, but it’s easy to see how that will change as the company grows.
The company also buys back old devices, working or not. All you have to do to initiate the purchase of an old device is go to the website, tell iCracked about your device, and arrange for an iTech to come out and buy it from you. You’ll get a pre-paid debit card as payment for your device.
What if you don’t want to repair your device with an iTech from iCracked? You can get a do-it-yourself kit, although I’m not sure why anyone would when using the service is about as easy as it gets.
If you’ve been walking around with a cracked iPhone screen, get thee to iCracked.com. It’s the most amazing service I’ve used in a long time.