A MacBook corroded by soda. An iPhone shot with a Glock.
The “doctors” at the iHospital, an ER-inspired Apple repair store, have seen — and fixed — it all.
Adding six new shops in four months (the latest in the Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore opposite NYU on Sept. 8), the young start-up specializes in accidental damage such as cracked screens, liquid damage and data recovery after a hard-drive crash, common conditions not covered under Apple’s protection plan, AppleCare.
“People are constantly dropping their iPhones, i-Pads and computers,” said CEO Ross Newman, whose medical-themed operation evokes a brand of playfulness akin to Apple’s.
Despite appearances, the store is not affiliated with the tech giant, but run by Apple-certified technicians.
They have examined some rare cases. “We’ve had an iPad come in the shape of an L because someone smashed it over a table,” said Newman.
One of his team’s finer achievements in Apple surgery came when a police officer accidentally shot the iPhone in his cargo pocket while reaching for his gun.
The bullet never hit the device’s critical logic board, and the team was able to replace its broken parts.
Prices depend on the device: a shattered screen on a 3G iPhone costs $79 to repair, while a new screen for an iPhone 4 sets customers back $179, since the new generation’s touch-sensitive digitizer and LCD are fused and can’t be replaced individually.
For a $49 charge, iPhones can be unlocked for GSM carriers such as T-Mobile and Simple mobile.
The iHospital hopes to draw in students at its NYU and soon-to-open Hunter College locations with new features like candy-colored iPad screens and wood-paneled iPhone casings, which can be engraved with custom text, similar to Apple’s laser engravings feature.
But some students think the Apple doesn’t fall far enough from the tree.
“Honestly, I have no use for an Apple repair store when Apple’s warranty policy is so generous,” said student Tom Pisiewicc, 19.
Kristen Laffey, 18, felt differently. “I am one person to have cracked my screen multiple times, so I will definitely use it,” she said.
iHospital is working on an on-call service and will soon be able to make house calls.