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For iPhones, unauthorized repair shops flourish @ The NYTimes

Brendan McElroy’s living room in an apartment on the top floor of an East Village walk-up is crowded with anxious patients, each one jiggling a knee, or gnawing on a fingernail or lip. Mr. McElroy, right, at work on Nico Sterlacci’s iPhone in Mr. McElroy’s Manhattan apartment. Everyone is awaiting a prognosis — not for an ailing child or pet, but for an iPhone. Mr. McElroy, a lanky, clean-shaven 28-year-old who looks more likely to be playing an afternoon game of touch football than tinkering with the innards of a phone, is standing at a workstation littered with the detritus of his trade: tiny silver screws, peels of plastic and cartons overflowing with spare parts. Using a quick succession of tools — suction cup, razor blade and screwdriver — Mr. McElroy sets to work replacing a broken screen, deftly prying it off the iPhone.

Perhaps NYC or any major city is an exception right now, but I’m seeing and hearing about more “repair” businesses each week. A stroll down Broadway in NYC reveals a dozen or so shops from Canal to 14th which offer repair services, jailbreaking, hacking, modding and/or other “unauthorized” service for iProducts and beyond. I love it.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. bynk says:

    This sounds like something that you would see in a William Gibson book. Now if he worked out of a booth in a crowded shopping district, it would be nailed.