Consumer tech has been on the rise for well over a decade now, and it only looks set to continue. What started with home desktop computers shared by an entire family and the first mobile phones has evolved into something much bigger. Now it’s not uncommon for just one person to own a smartphone, tablet, laptop, smartwatch, and more all at the same time.
The number of smartphone users in the US has more than quadrupled since 2010, according to data from Statista, currently forecasted to be at 265.9 million. Equally, the cell phone repair industry has seen strong growth in recent years, coinciding with the increased use of “fragile” smartphones and tablets. Total revenues for the cell phone repair industry in the US stood at $4 billion in 2018, according to IBISWorld.
Find more statistics at Statista
But when it comes to tech repairs, people usually face two choices. Either they get their device fixed at an official brand store or they use an independent repair business. More and more people are choosing the latter, and even Apple recently announced that it would allow independent repair businesses to fix its devices.
But why? What is fueling the rise of independent tech repair stores? Let’s find out:
Consumers Want Choices
Smartphones, laptops, and other consumer electronics are not usually cheap, so people deserve to have different options available if a device is to break. In fact, Apple’s decision to allow independent businesses to fix its devices comes after mounting criticism from “right-to-repair” activists and consumers over its previous repair policy.
Independent Stores Are Often Cheaper
In many cases, independent repair stores will be cheaper than going the official route. This is because independent repair stores can maintain a smaller, more flexible workforce, as well as source lower-cost parts to fix the device. In general, having an open market with both independent and official stores competing to provide repairs will lead to lower prices for consumers. While those who run their own business can use general liability insurance online to cover the cost of repairs from official stores, independent stores represent an option for those who haven’t invested in this safety net.
Independent Stores Are Faster
Not only can independent repair stores often provide a cheaper service, but they can probably also do it faster. With tech repair stores easily found in most towns, people can simply turn up, drop off their broken devices, and then return soon after for collection. This part of the process alone is much faster than the complex ticketing systems used at many official stores.
An independent repair business can be a one-stop-shop for all your repair needs by being able to fix a wide range of devices. This means when your device breaks, you know exactly where you can go for help. That makes independent repair stores a more convenient option than using an official outlet, which would likely change for each device that breaks.