Though best known for its on-demand phone repair services, startup iCracked has even bigger ambitions.
The company is on its way to being a full-service consumer electronics sales service, and it’s starting by automating the entire smartphone trade-in process, from contract renewal to data transfer.
“There’s going to be a day where you press a button and an iTech shows up, delivers you a new phone, trades in your old one, and attaches a damage plan,” says iCracked founder AJ Forsythe.
Forsythe says iCracked is partnering with large distributors of smartphone plans (though wouldn’t specify whether he’s targeting wireless carriers like Verizon or big box stores like Best Buy), and he expects the service to launch in Q1 of next year.
Today, the company is getting closer to that goal with the launch of iCracked Advantage, a new type of warranty program for the 40 million people who Forsythe says will break their phones in the next year.
With the Advantage plan, users pay a membership fee of $7 per month for same-day, on-demand phone repair service by a local iTech. Each time you break your phone, it costs a flat fee of $25 — this includes cracked screens, water damaged devices, faulty batteries, and home button replacements.
iCracked is offering family plans as well, at $25 per month for up to five devices covered, and $45 per month for up to ten.
According to Forsythe, about 30 percent of smartphone owners currently have an insurance plan, whether that’s AppleCare, SquareTrade, or insurance through their carrier. That leaves 70 percent of people completely uninsured, which is a massive number considering that the number of worldwide smartphone users is expected to surpass 2 billion this year.
“Our goal is to complete the end-to-end lifecycle for consumer electronics,” says iCracked founder AJ Forsythe. “Repairing stuff when it breaks, delivering new products and buying back your old ones, and finally a membership plan so you never have to worry about your device.”
Forsythe started iCracked as a side business fixing broken iPhone screens when he was a college student at Cal Poly in 2011.
“The name iCracked started as a joke, because I would break my phone all the time and joke to my friends that I had downloaded the iCracked app again,” Forsythe tells me.
Four years later, iCracked is available in 13 countries, where more than 2,500 iTechs have already fixed hundreds of thousands of devices. And Forsythe tells me his product roadmap for iCracked extends well beyond fixing and replacing smartphones.
“You should never have to worry about upgrading, repairing, or selling your consumer electronics,” Forsythe says. “It starts with smartphone and tables, but of course we will be moving to connected home and office devices as well.”
Big dreams for a repair company started out of a college dorm room.