Tag : smartphones

A Few Broken Smartphones Lead to a Fix-It Franchise #cheap #business #ideas


#business ideas

#

A Few Broken Smartphones Lead to a Fix-It Franchise

iDropped retail stores fix broken smartphones and tablets for less than the cost of buying a new one. / Credit: Josiah Lewis

Charles Hibble never intended to make a career of repairing smartphones; he was just tired of replacing his wife s broken one.

She dropped her iPhone and smashed it two or three times, and anothertime, it slipped out of her hands into a hot tub, he said. Hibble, who runs a real estate company in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, was burning through upgrades. So he figured out how to fix damaged smartphones himself.

This started just to fix my wife s phone. Then word started to spread to friends and family members, Hibble said. It started to get so busy that we had to open a retail store. I had 50 or 60 people a month coming to me.

And so began Hibble s unlikely journey from real estate executive to franchise company CEO. He teamed up with a friend and business partner to open the first iDropped store in a mall inScranton, Pennsylvania,in 2011. The store was so popular thatthe team opened four more, all company-owned, and then sold its first franchise. Now, Hibble is focusing on franchising,with an aggressive plan to grow the business nationwide.

The demand has been overwhelming, said Hibble, who still serves as president of his real estate company, Weichert Realtors Hibble Associates. We re hoping to a have a few hundred locations in the next couple years.

Hibble may have fallen into this business, but he tapped an industry with high demand. A market research report by IBISWorld released in May said cellphone repair is now a $1.4 billion industry in the United States alone. The industry has grown about 5percent in each of the last five years, yet there are still no companies with a dominant market share. This large industry is made up mostly of sole proprietors and small businesses.

The cellphone repair industry has profoundly grown over the past five years due to several factors, including cheaper and more reliable mobile Internet and the exploding popularity of smartphones, which are more fragile and therefore more likely to need repairs, the report said. Smartphones also feature higher price tags, which have led consumers to repair [them] rather than replace them.

However, as smartphone replacement becomes less expensive and the market becomes more saturated, demand is expected to stall somewhat, the report said.

The cost of a repair at iDropped varies based on the type of phone and repair, Hibble said. Screen repairs, for example, cost an average of $99.99 for the iPhone 5 and $109.99 for the iPhone 5cand 5s. Hibble said prices are dropping almost monthly due to price decreases forparts. No appointment is needed for a repair, and work is guaranteed for one year.

Hibble s smartphone repair skills were completely self-taught. He had always been technically inclined, so he researched suppliers for Apple replacement parts and taught himself how to fix them. The company has since expanded to other types of cellphones, though it specializes in Apple products, including iPads, and the Samsung Galaxy series. Hibble has personally trained all of his 20 or so full-time employees toreplace screens, dock connectors, power buttons, volume buttons and batteries just about everything but the motherboard.

Hibble set out to make the stores lookappealing to smartphone customers. They are designed to be reminiscent of Apple stores, with clean layouts, bright lighting and no clutter.

iDropped has worked in the retail space, in partbecause malls nationwide are looking to fill vacancies, which has kept rental rates low. The U.S. mall vacancy rate reached a 12-year high of 9.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011, according to data from research firm ReisInc. It has fallen slowly since, but progress has stalled over the last year,with the vacancy rate remaining at 7.9 percent for four straight quarters.

To succeed in the future, Hibble said he knows the company will have to adapt to the times. New devices are being released every few months, and the company will have to keep up with the technology.

However, iDropped can already claim one success, aside from its rapid growth: curing Hibble s wife of her clumsy fingers.

Ever since I started this,she hasn t dropped her iPhone, he said.

You May Also like

How to Turn Your Startup Into a Franchise

  • Should You Franchise Your Business? 4 Questions to Ask

  • 4 Franchise Trends That Are Good News for Entrepreneurs



  • Top 7 best business mobiles in the UK in 2016: top smartphones

    #business phones

    #

    TechRadar pro

    Top 7 best business mobiles in the UK in 2016: top smartphones for work

    Impressive security features

    Not premium build quality

    When the Priv launched, it took a lot of analysts by surprised because of radical step involving the OS. BlackBerry had finally decided to embrace Android and re-introduce the keyboard (albeit a slide out one) on a flagship handset. It is, as techradar’s John McCann candidly puts it, the mullet of the smartphone world. “It’s still business in the front, but now there’s a party in the back too. It will divide opinion, but this is the best BlackBerry in years,” he added. The device will appeal to those who wants the security halo associated with BlackBerry with the ubiquity of Google’s Android. Overall, it remains a stunning piece of kit, and probably one bound to become a classic.

    3. BlackBerry Classic

    For those who yearn for the golden age of BB OS

    Great messaging capabilities

    Old-school QWERTY keyboard

    Square screen not for everyone

    Pretty hefty phone

    There are still BlackBerry fans out there and the Canadian company unveiled the Classic to please them all. An old-school QWERTY keyboard, a familiar operating system and user interface, a design that doesn’t age and the enterprise-grade security are all on the feature list of this smartphone. Sure, Android might well have the upper hand when it comes to market share and the sheer number of applications but BlackBerry provides with yet another attractive alternative when it comes to business smartphones. It runs BlackBerry OS 10 with a square 720×720 pixel touchscreen display, a touchpad and up to 22-hour battery power.

    4. Samsung Galaxy S6

    A secure and compelling offering for BYOD aficionados

    Disappointing battery longevity

    With every iteration of its Galaxy S series, Samsung edges towards the business user. The S6 (and its partner the S6 Edge) saw the inclusion of Microsoft Office Android applications as well as Samsung’s own mobile device management container solution, Knox. The latter provides military-grade, multi-layered mobile security. Siloed personal and work partitioning containers (Knox Workspace) means that employers can separate work and personal life in a near seamless way. Great for BYOD aficionados. Samsung also wisely scrapped the plastic finish for a more upmarket design that blends glass and metal.

    5. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

    A more productive way to be mobile

    Oodles of power

    Some will find it too big

    Since the Note 5 is not officially available in the UK, the best Android-based device with a pen remains the Note 4, still a very capable device. Multi-tasking is part of the parcel of business these days and what better phone to handle this than the Galaxy Note 4 with its stunning QHD (better than full HD) 5.7-inch display, 3GB of RAM and serious power inside. A great battery life and expandable memory have always been key Galaxy Note features, but you can now add a more premium design to that list. A metal frame runs round the circumference of the handset, and while the rear is still plastic it’s a big step forward for Samsung and it’s a welcome addition. The S Pen has been given a boost with greater accuracy, making handwriting and multi-tasking even easier. Snap two apps side by side on screen if you want to up your efficiency even more.

    6. Apple iPhone 6S Plus

    The alternative business smartphone

    Bright and vibrant screen

    3D Touch has definite potential

    Supersized smartphones are all the rage these days, even Apple has one, and if the Cupertino firm’s styling and iOS heritage appeals to your business then check out the excellent iPhone 6S Plus. Its 5.5-inch display is one of the best on the market and the A9 processor that powers it regularly ranks amongst the most powerful in smartphone-dom. It supports more LTE bands than most smartphones and its enclosure is made of the same grade of aluminium alloy as used in the aerospace industry. Add in Siri and a bunch of other innovations (like Touch ID and 3D Touch) and you have a very capable business phone, one whose profile was raised by Apple’s close collaboration with IBM.

    7. Lenovo K80M

    A handset which boasts sizzling bang for buck

    Great value for money

    Plentiful RAM and storage

    No local warranty

    Some pre-installed bloatware

    This smartphone is worthy of a special mention on this list as a business phone for a number of reasons. It is built by Lenovo, the biggest PC manufacturer on the planet, one who also owns Motorola as well. It’s shipped directly from China which is a novel but growing shift in the way products are purchased. It has a headline-grabbing 4GB of RAM, same as most desktop PCs, and 64GB of storage. Despite these specs and a quad-core Intel CPU it retails for a fraction of what similar smartphones will cost over here. Sadly though, because it doesn’t have a local warranty you will need to send it back for repairs.

    Article continues below

    Most-read articles

    Best Nintendo 3DS games: 18 titles you should take on the go There’s much more than Mario

    Mac Pro 2016 release date, news and rumours Is a new desktop powerhouse about to be revealed?

    HP 250 G4 review A full-fat Intel Core processor makes this a bargain laptop



    Top 7 best business mobiles in the UK in 2016: top smartphones

    #business phones

    #

    TechRadar pro

    Top 7 best business mobiles in the UK in 2016: top smartphones for work

    Impressive security features

    Not premium build quality

    When the Priv launched, it took a lot of analysts by surprised because of radical step involving the OS. BlackBerry had finally decided to embrace Android and re-introduce the keyboard (albeit a slide out one) on a flagship handset. It is, as techradar’s John McCann candidly puts it, the mullet of the smartphone world. “It’s still business in the front, but now there’s a party in the back too. It will divide opinion, but this is the best BlackBerry in years,” he added. The device will appeal to those who wants the security halo associated with BlackBerry with the ubiquity of Google’s Android. Overall, it remains a stunning piece of kit, and probably one bound to become a classic.

    3. BlackBerry Classic

    For those who yearn for the golden age of BB OS

    Great messaging capabilities

    Old-school QWERTY keyboard

    Square screen not for everyone

    Pretty hefty phone

    There are still BlackBerry fans out there and the Canadian company unveiled the Classic to please them all. An old-school QWERTY keyboard, a familiar operating system and user interface, a design that doesn’t age and the enterprise-grade security are all on the feature list of this smartphone. Sure, Android might well have the upper hand when it comes to market share and the sheer number of applications but BlackBerry provides with yet another attractive alternative when it comes to business smartphones. It runs BlackBerry OS 10 with a square 720×720 pixel touchscreen display, a touchpad and up to 22-hour battery power.

    4. Samsung Galaxy S6

    A secure and compelling offering for BYOD aficionados

    Disappointing battery longevity

    With every iteration of its Galaxy S series, Samsung edges towards the business user. The S6 (and its partner the S6 Edge) saw the inclusion of Microsoft Office Android applications as well as Samsung’s own mobile device management container solution, Knox. The latter provides military-grade, multi-layered mobile security. Siloed personal and work partitioning containers (Knox Workspace) means that employers can separate work and personal life in a near seamless way. Great for BYOD aficionados. Samsung also wisely scrapped the plastic finish for a more upmarket design that blends glass and metal.

    5. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

    A more productive way to be mobile

    Oodles of power

    Some will find it too big

    Since the Note 5 is not officially available in the UK, the best Android-based device with a pen remains the Note 4, still a very capable device. Multi-tasking is part of the parcel of business these days and what better phone to handle this than the Galaxy Note 4 with its stunning QHD (better than full HD) 5.7-inch display, 3GB of RAM and serious power inside. A great battery life and expandable memory have always been key Galaxy Note features, but you can now add a more premium design to that list. A metal frame runs round the circumference of the handset, and while the rear is still plastic it’s a big step forward for Samsung and it’s a welcome addition. The S Pen has been given a boost with greater accuracy, making handwriting and multi-tasking even easier. Snap two apps side by side on screen if you want to up your efficiency even more.

    6. Apple iPhone 6S Plus

    The alternative business smartphone

    Bright and vibrant screen

    3D Touch has definite potential

    Supersized smartphones are all the rage these days, even Apple has one, and if the Cupertino firm’s styling and iOS heritage appeals to your business then check out the excellent iPhone 6S Plus. Its 5.5-inch display is one of the best on the market and the A9 processor that powers it regularly ranks amongst the most powerful in smartphone-dom. It supports more LTE bands than most smartphones and its enclosure is made of the same grade of aluminium alloy as used in the aerospace industry. Add in Siri and a bunch of other innovations (like Touch ID and 3D Touch) and you have a very capable business phone, one whose profile was raised by Apple’s close collaboration with IBM.

    7. Lenovo K80M

    A handset which boasts sizzling bang for buck

    Great value for money

    Plentiful RAM and storage

    No local warranty

    Some pre-installed bloatware

    This smartphone is worthy of a special mention on this list as a business phone for a number of reasons. It is built by Lenovo, the biggest PC manufacturer on the planet, one who also owns Motorola as well. It’s shipped directly from China which is a novel but growing shift in the way products are purchased. It has a headline-grabbing 4GB of RAM, same as most desktop PCs, and 64GB of storage. Despite these specs and a quad-core Intel CPU it retails for a fraction of what similar smartphones will cost over here. Sadly though, because it doesn’t have a local warranty you will need to send it back for repairs.

    Article continues below

    Most-read articles

    Best Nintendo 3DS games: 18 titles you should take on the go There’s much more than Mario

    Mac Pro 2016 release date, news and rumours Is a new desktop powerhouse about to be revealed?

    HP 250 G4 review A full-fat Intel Core processor makes this a bargain laptop



    A Few Broken Smartphones Lead to a Fix-It Franchise #home #based #business


    #business ideas

    #

    A Few Broken Smartphones Lead to a Fix-It Franchise

    iDropped retail stores fix broken smartphones and tablets for less than the cost of buying a new one. / Credit: Josiah Lewis

    Charles Hibble never intended to make a career of repairing smartphones; he was just tired of replacing his wife s broken one.

    She dropped her iPhone and smashed it two or three times, and anothertime, it slipped out of her hands into a hot tub, he said. Hibble, who runs a real estate company in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, was burning through upgrades. So he figured out how to fix damaged smartphones himself.

    This started just to fix my wife s phone. Then word started to spread to friends and family members, Hibble said. It started to get so busy that we had to open a retail store. I had 50 or 60 people a month coming to me.

    And so began Hibble s unlikely journey from real estate executive to franchise company CEO. He teamed up with a friend and business partner to open the first iDropped store in a mall inScranton, Pennsylvania,in 2011. The store was so popular thatthe team opened four more, all company-owned, and then sold its first franchise. Now, Hibble is focusing on franchising,with an aggressive plan to grow the business nationwide.

    The demand has been overwhelming, said Hibble, who still serves as president of his real estate company, Weichert Realtors Hibble Associates. We re hoping to a have a few hundred locations in the next couple years.

    Hibble may have fallen into this business, but he tapped an industry with high demand. A market research report by IBISWorld released in May said cellphone repair is now a $1.4 billion industry in the United States alone. The industry has grown about 5percent in each of the last five years, yet there are still no companies with a dominant market share. This large industry is made up mostly of sole proprietors and small businesses.

    The cellphone repair industry has profoundly grown over the past five years due to several factors, including cheaper and more reliable mobile Internet and the exploding popularity of smartphones, which are more fragile and therefore more likely to need repairs, the report said. Smartphones also feature higher price tags, which have led consumers to repair [them] rather than replace them.

    However, as smartphone replacement becomes less expensive and the market becomes more saturated, demand is expected to stall somewhat, the report said.

    The cost of a repair at iDropped varies based on the type of phone and repair, Hibble said. Screen repairs, for example, cost an average of $99.99 for the iPhone 5 and $109.99 for the iPhone 5cand 5s. Hibble said prices are dropping almost monthly due to price decreases forparts. No appointment is needed for a repair, and work is guaranteed for one year.

    Hibble s smartphone repair skills were completely self-taught. He had always been technically inclined, so he researched suppliers for Apple replacement parts and taught himself how to fix them. The company has since expanded to other types of cellphones, though it specializes in Apple products, including iPads, and the Samsung Galaxy series. Hibble has personally trained all of his 20 or so full-time employees toreplace screens, dock connectors, power buttons, volume buttons and batteries just about everything but the motherboard.

    Hibble set out to make the stores lookappealing to smartphone customers. They are designed to be reminiscent of Apple stores, with clean layouts, bright lighting and no clutter.

    iDropped has worked in the retail space, in partbecause malls nationwide are looking to fill vacancies, which has kept rental rates low. The U.S. mall vacancy rate reached a 12-year high of 9.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011, according to data from research firm ReisInc. It has fallen slowly since, but progress has stalled over the last year,with the vacancy rate remaining at 7.9 percent for four straight quarters.

    To succeed in the future, Hibble said he knows the company will have to adapt to the times. New devices are being released every few months, and the company will have to keep up with the technology.

    However, iDropped can already claim one success, aside from its rapid growth: curing Hibble s wife of her clumsy fingers.

    Ever since I started this,she hasn t dropped her iPhone, he said.

    You May Also like

    How to Turn Your Startup Into a Franchise

  • Should You Franchise Your Business? 4 Questions to Ask

  • 4 Franchise Trends That Are Good News for Entrepreneurs



  • Top 7 best business mobiles in the UK in 2016: top smartphones

    #business phones

    #

    TechRadar pro

    Top 7 best business mobiles in the UK in 2016: top smartphones for work

    Impressive security features

    Not premium build quality

    When the Priv launched, it took a lot of analysts by surprised because of radical step involving the OS. BlackBerry had finally decided to embrace Android and re-introduce the keyboard (albeit a slide out one) on a flagship handset. It is, as techradar’s John McCann candidly puts it, the mullet of the smartphone world. “It’s still business in the front, but now there’s a party in the back too. It will divide opinion, but this is the best BlackBerry in years,” he added. The device will appeal to those who wants the security halo associated with BlackBerry with the ubiquity of Google’s Android. Overall, it remains a stunning piece of kit, and probably one bound to become a classic.

    3. BlackBerry Classic

    For those who yearn for the golden age of BB OS

    Great messaging capabilities

    Old-school QWERTY keyboard

    Square screen not for everyone

    Pretty hefty phone

    There are still BlackBerry fans out there and the Canadian company unveiled the Classic to please them all. An old-school QWERTY keyboard, a familiar operating system and user interface, a design that doesn’t age and the enterprise-grade security are all on the feature list of this smartphone. Sure, Android might well have the upper hand when it comes to market share and the sheer number of applications but BlackBerry provides with yet another attractive alternative when it comes to business smartphones. It runs BlackBerry OS 10 with a square 720×720 pixel touchscreen display, a touchpad and up to 22-hour battery power.

    4. Samsung Galaxy S6

    A secure and compelling offering for BYOD aficionados

    Disappointing battery longevity

    With every iteration of its Galaxy S series, Samsung edges towards the business user. The S6 (and its partner the S6 Edge) saw the inclusion of Microsoft Office Android applications as well as Samsung’s own mobile device management container solution, Knox. The latter provides military-grade, multi-layered mobile security. Siloed personal and work partitioning containers (Knox Workspace) means that employers can separate work and personal life in a near seamless way. Great for BYOD aficionados. Samsung also wisely scrapped the plastic finish for a more upmarket design that blends glass and metal.

    5. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

    A more productive way to be mobile

    Oodles of power

    Some will find it too big

    Since the Note 5 is not officially available in the UK, the best Android-based device with a pen remains the Note 4, still a very capable device. Multi-tasking is part of the parcel of business these days and what better phone to handle this than the Galaxy Note 4 with its stunning QHD (better than full HD) 5.7-inch display, 3GB of RAM and serious power inside. A great battery life and expandable memory have always been key Galaxy Note features, but you can now add a more premium design to that list. A metal frame runs round the circumference of the handset, and while the rear is still plastic it’s a big step forward for Samsung and it’s a welcome addition. The S Pen has been given a boost with greater accuracy, making handwriting and multi-tasking even easier. Snap two apps side by side on screen if you want to up your efficiency even more.

    6. Apple iPhone 6S Plus

    The alternative business smartphone

    Bright and vibrant screen

    3D Touch has definite potential

    Supersized smartphones are all the rage these days, even Apple has one, and if the Cupertino firm’s styling and iOS heritage appeals to your business then check out the excellent iPhone 6S Plus. Its 5.5-inch display is one of the best on the market and the A9 processor that powers it regularly ranks amongst the most powerful in smartphone-dom. It supports more LTE bands than most smartphones and its enclosure is made of the same grade of aluminium alloy as used in the aerospace industry. Add in Siri and a bunch of other innovations (like Touch ID and 3D Touch) and you have a very capable business phone, one whose profile was raised by Apple’s close collaboration with IBM.

    7. Lenovo K80M

    A handset which boasts sizzling bang for buck

    Great value for money

    Plentiful RAM and storage

    No local warranty

    Some pre-installed bloatware

    This smartphone is worthy of a special mention on this list as a business phone for a number of reasons. It is built by Lenovo, the biggest PC manufacturer on the planet, one who also owns Motorola as well. It’s shipped directly from China which is a novel but growing shift in the way products are purchased. It has a headline-grabbing 4GB of RAM, same as most desktop PCs, and 64GB of storage. Despite these specs and a quad-core Intel CPU it retails for a fraction of what similar smartphones will cost over here. Sadly though, because it doesn’t have a local warranty you will need to send it back for repairs.

    Article continues below

    Most-read articles

    Best Nintendo 3DS games: 18 titles you should take on the go There’s much more than Mario

    Mac Pro 2016 release date, news and rumours Is a new desktop powerhouse about to be revealed?

    HP 250 G4 review A full-fat Intel Core processor makes this a bargain laptop



    A Few Broken Smartphones Lead to a Fix-It Franchise #government #small #business

    #business ideas

    #

    A Few Broken Smartphones Lead to a Fix-It Franchise

    iDropped retail stores fix broken smartphones and tablets for less than the cost of buying a new one. / Credit: Josiah Lewis

    Charles Hibble never intended to make a career of repairing smartphones; he was just tired of replacing his wife s broken one.

    She dropped her iPhone and smashed it two or three times, and anothertime, it slipped out of her hands into a hot tub, he said. Hibble, who runs a real estate company in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, was burning through upgrades. So he figured out how to fix damaged smartphones himself.

    This started just to fix my wife s phone. Then word started to spread to friends and family members, Hibble said. It started to get so busy that we had to open a retail store. I had 50 or 60 people a month coming to me.

    And so began Hibble s unlikely journey from real estate executive to franchise company CEO. He teamed up with a friend and business partner to open the first iDropped store in a mall inScranton, Pennsylvania,in 2011. The store was so popular thatthe team opened four more, all company-owned, and then sold its first franchise. Now, Hibble is focusing on franchising,with an aggressive plan to grow the business nationwide.

    The demand has been overwhelming, said Hibble, who still serves as president of his real estate company, Weichert Realtors Hibble Associates. We re hoping to a have a few hundred locations in the next couple years.

    Hibble may have fallen into this business, but he tapped an industry with high demand. A market research report by IBISWorld released in May said cellphone repair is now a $1.4 billion industry in the United States alone. The industry has grown about 5percent in each of the last five years, yet there are still no companies with a dominant market share. This large industry is made up mostly of sole proprietors and small businesses.

    The cellphone repair industry has profoundly grown over the past five years due to several factors, including cheaper and more reliable mobile Internet and the exploding popularity of smartphones, which are more fragile and therefore more likely to need repairs, the report said. Smartphones also feature higher price tags, which have led consumers to repair [them] rather than replace them.

    However, as smartphone replacement becomes less expensive and the market becomes more saturated, demand is expected to stall somewhat, the report said.

    The cost of a repair at iDropped varies based on the type of phone and repair, Hibble said. Screen repairs, for example, cost an average of $99.99 for the iPhone 5 and $109.99 for the iPhone 5cand 5s. Hibble said prices are dropping almost monthly due to price decreases forparts. No appointment is needed for a repair, and work is guaranteed for one year.

    Hibble s smartphone repair skills were completely self-taught. He had always been technically inclined, so he researched suppliers for Apple replacement parts and taught himself how to fix them. The company has since expanded to other types of cellphones, though it specializes in Apple products, including iPads, and the Samsung Galaxy series. Hibble has personally trained all of his 20 or so full-time employees toreplace screens, dock connectors, power buttons, volume buttons and batteries just about everything but the motherboard.

    Hibble set out to make the stores lookappealing to smartphone customers. They are designed to be reminiscent of Apple stores, with clean layouts, bright lighting and no clutter.

    iDropped has worked in the retail space, in partbecause malls nationwide are looking to fill vacancies, which has kept rental rates low. The U.S. mall vacancy rate reached a 12-year high of 9.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011, according to data from research firm ReisInc. It has fallen slowly since, but progress has stalled over the last year,with the vacancy rate remaining at 7.9 percent for four straight quarters.

    To succeed in the future, Hibble said he knows the company will have to adapt to the times. New devices are being released every few months, and the company will have to keep up with the technology.

    However, iDropped can already claim one success, aside from its rapid growth: curing Hibble s wife of her clumsy fingers.

    Ever since I started this,she hasn t dropped her iPhone, he said.

    You May Also like

    How to Turn Your Startup Into a Franchise

  • Should You Franchise Your Business? 4 Questions to Ask

  • 4 Franchise Trends That Are Good News for Entrepreneurs



  • A Few Broken Smartphones Lead to a Fix-It Franchise #ideas #for #starting

    #business ideas

    #

    A Few Broken Smartphones Lead to a Fix-It Franchise

    iDropped retail stores fix broken smartphones and tablets for less than the cost of buying a new one. / Credit: Josiah Lewis

    Charles Hibble never intended to make a career of repairing smartphones; he was just tired of replacing his wife s broken one.

    She dropped her iPhone and smashed it two or three times, and anothertime, it slipped out of her hands into a hot tub, he said. Hibble, who runs a real estate company in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, was burning through upgrades. So he figured out how to fix damaged smartphones himself.

    This started just to fix my wife s phone. Then word started to spread to friends and family members, Hibble said. It started to get so busy that we had to open a retail store. I had 50 or 60 people a month coming to me.

    And so began Hibble s unlikely journey from real estate executive to franchise company CEO. He teamed up with a friend and business partner to open the first iDropped store in a mall inScranton, Pennsylvania,in 2011. The store was so popular thatthe team opened four more, all company-owned, and then sold its first franchise. Now, Hibble is focusing on franchising,with an aggressive plan to grow the business nationwide.

    The demand has been overwhelming, said Hibble, who still serves as president of his real estate company, Weichert Realtors Hibble Associates. We re hoping to a have a few hundred locations in the next couple years.

    Hibble may have fallen into this business, but he tapped an industry with high demand. A market research report by IBISWorld released in May said cellphone repair is now a $1.4 billion industry in the United States alone. The industry has grown about 5percent in each of the last five years, yet there are still no companies with a dominant market share. This large industry is made up mostly of sole proprietors and small businesses.

    The cellphone repair industry has profoundly grown over the past five years due to several factors, including cheaper and more reliable mobile Internet and the exploding popularity of smartphones, which are more fragile and therefore more likely to need repairs, the report said. Smartphones also feature higher price tags, which have led consumers to repair [them] rather than replace them.

    However, as smartphone replacement becomes less expensive and the market becomes more saturated, demand is expected to stall somewhat, the report said.

    The cost of a repair at iDropped varies based on the type of phone and repair, Hibble said. Screen repairs, for example, cost an average of $99.99 for the iPhone 5 and $109.99 for the iPhone 5cand 5s. Hibble said prices are dropping almost monthly due to price decreases forparts. No appointment is needed for a repair, and work is guaranteed for one year.

    Hibble s smartphone repair skills were completely self-taught. He had always been technically inclined, so he researched suppliers for Apple replacement parts and taught himself how to fix them. The company has since expanded to other types of cellphones, though it specializes in Apple products, including iPads, and the Samsung Galaxy series. Hibble has personally trained all of his 20 or so full-time employees toreplace screens, dock connectors, power buttons, volume buttons and batteries just about everything but the motherboard.

    Hibble set out to make the stores lookappealing to smartphone customers. They are designed to be reminiscent of Apple stores, with clean layouts, bright lighting and no clutter.

    iDropped has worked in the retail space, in partbecause malls nationwide are looking to fill vacancies, which has kept rental rates low. The U.S. mall vacancy rate reached a 12-year high of 9.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011, according to data from research firm ReisInc. It has fallen slowly since, but progress has stalled over the last year,with the vacancy rate remaining at 7.9 percent for four straight quarters.

    To succeed in the future, Hibble said he knows the company will have to adapt to the times. New devices are being released every few months, and the company will have to keep up with the technology.

    However, iDropped can already claim one success, aside from its rapid growth: curing Hibble s wife of her clumsy fingers.

    Ever since I started this,she hasn t dropped her iPhone, he said.

    You May Also like

    How to Turn Your Startup Into a Franchise

  • Should You Franchise Your Business? 4 Questions to Ask

  • 4 Franchise Trends That Are Good News for Entrepreneurs



  • Top 7 best business mobiles in the UK in 2016: top smartphones

    #business phones

    #

    TechRadar pro

    Top 7 best business mobiles in the UK in 2016: top smartphones for work

    Impressive security features

    Not premium build quality

    When the Priv launched, it took a lot of analysts by surprised because of radical step involving the OS. BlackBerry had finally decided to embrace Android and re-introduce the keyboard (albeit a slide out one) on a flagship handset. It is, as techradar’s John McCann candidly puts it, the mullet of the smartphone world. “It’s still business in the front, but now there’s a party in the back too. It will divide opinion, but this is the best BlackBerry in years,” he added. The device will appeal to those who wants the security halo associated with BlackBerry with the ubiquity of Google’s Android. Overall, it remains a stunning piece of kit, and probably one bound to become a classic.

    3. BlackBerry Classic

    For those who yearn for the golden age of BB OS

    Great messaging capabilities

    Old-school QWERTY keyboard

    Square screen not for everyone

    Pretty hefty phone

    There are still BlackBerry fans out there and the Canadian company unveiled the Classic to please them all. An old-school QWERTY keyboard, a familiar operating system and user interface, a design that doesn’t age and the enterprise-grade security are all on the feature list of this smartphone. Sure, Android might well have the upper hand when it comes to market share and the sheer number of applications but BlackBerry provides with yet another attractive alternative when it comes to business smartphones. It runs BlackBerry OS 10 with a square 720×720 pixel touchscreen display, a touchpad and up to 22-hour battery power.

    4. Samsung Galaxy S6

    A secure and compelling offering for BYOD aficionados

    Disappointing battery longevity

    With every iteration of its Galaxy S series, Samsung edges towards the business user. The S6 (and its partner the S6 Edge) saw the inclusion of Microsoft Office Android applications as well as Samsung’s own mobile device management container solution, Knox. The latter provides military-grade, multi-layered mobile security. Siloed personal and work partitioning containers (Knox Workspace) means that employers can separate work and personal life in a near seamless way. Great for BYOD aficionados. Samsung also wisely scrapped the plastic finish for a more upmarket design that blends glass and metal.

    5. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

    A more productive way to be mobile

    Oodles of power

    Some will find it too big

    Since the Note 5 is not officially available in the UK, the best Android-based device with a pen remains the Note 4, still a very capable device. Multi-tasking is part of the parcel of business these days and what better phone to handle this than the Galaxy Note 4 with its stunning QHD (better than full HD) 5.7-inch display, 3GB of RAM and serious power inside. A great battery life and expandable memory have always been key Galaxy Note features, but you can now add a more premium design to that list. A metal frame runs round the circumference of the handset, and while the rear is still plastic it’s a big step forward for Samsung and it’s a welcome addition. The S Pen has been given a boost with greater accuracy, making handwriting and multi-tasking even easier. Snap two apps side by side on screen if you want to up your efficiency even more.

    6. Apple iPhone 6S Plus

    The alternative business smartphone

    Bright and vibrant screen

    3D Touch has definite potential

    Supersized smartphones are all the rage these days, even Apple has one, and if the Cupertino firm’s styling and iOS heritage appeals to your business then check out the excellent iPhone 6S Plus. Its 5.5-inch display is one of the best on the market and the A9 processor that powers it regularly ranks amongst the most powerful in smartphone-dom. It supports more LTE bands than most smartphones and its enclosure is made of the same grade of aluminium alloy as used in the aerospace industry. Add in Siri and a bunch of other innovations (like Touch ID and 3D Touch) and you have a very capable business phone, one whose profile was raised by Apple’s close collaboration with IBM.

    7. Lenovo K80M

    A handset which boasts sizzling bang for buck

    Great value for money

    Plentiful RAM and storage

    No local warranty

    Some pre-installed bloatware

    This smartphone is worthy of a special mention on this list as a business phone for a number of reasons. It is built by Lenovo, the biggest PC manufacturer on the planet, one who also owns Motorola as well. It’s shipped directly from China which is a novel but growing shift in the way products are purchased. It has a headline-grabbing 4GB of RAM, same as most desktop PCs, and 64GB of storage. Despite these specs and a quad-core Intel CPU it retails for a fraction of what similar smartphones will cost over here. Sadly though, because it doesn’t have a local warranty you will need to send it back for repairs.

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