We all know someone who has dropped an iPhone and cracked its screen – some more than once. Enter iCracked, a startup that is dedicated to fixing busted up iPhones and/or buying them back. They also come to you.
According to iCracked co-founder Anthony Martin, the problem of broken and damaged phones is pervasive. He claims that 30 percent of iPhone owners will break their device within 12 months of ownership. That figure is either testament to the general clumsiness of iPhone users or the fragility of their devices. As someone who has managed to break an OtterBox, this author is leaning in favor of the former.
If there is one thing that sets iCracked apart, it is the fact that they come to you. These days, a phone is much more than just a phone and as such, I do not like leaving it out of my line of sight – so I could never be comfortable posting off to Apple or handing it over to my carrier. Having someone come to my house to fix my broken device is a much more acceptable solution. On-the-spot repairs generally take 10-30 minutes at a place of your choosing (home, coffee shop, or anywhere else).
For the clumsiest of the clumsy, iCracked is planning to offer insurance for $6 a month plus a $20 deductable. Depending on the level of damage that needs to be repaired, it could pay for itself in one or two jobs. For DIY types, the company also sells tools and repair kits. The parts that their technicians install are covered by a 99-year warranty.
Where is it? iCracked is based in San Francisco, but the decentralized business model means that its 400+ technicians could be pretty much anywhere. If you want to get a phone fixed, the best course of action would be to go through the quote system on the site (Prices range from $70 – 170, depending on the problem). Submitting an inquiry will put you in touch with a locally-based technician, who sets the price for the repair. They also accept mail-ins.
As for the buy-back program, the prices offered are surprisingly reasonable. An iPhone 5 in mint condition will fetch you $325.
At the moment, iCracked only covers iOS devices, but they plan to start covering Android devices in the not too distant future.