June 25, 2008
This iPod Doctor makes house calls too
Demetrios Leontarisis poular as the iPod Doctor. This self-taught tecnician spends his days touring Manhattan and tending to the needs of distressed owners of Apple’s ubiquitous portable music player. The iPod Doctor collects standard $70 fee for a repair and rushes from one appointment to another. Leontaris, a 33-year-old father of three, runs one of at least half a dozen iPod repair services that have sprung up in recent years in New York City. Apple has sold 150 million iPods since it introduced its digital music player in 2001, thus providing plenty of work to this offshoot industry. Apple does some repairs under its warranty program – but not if the damage is the customer’s fault. “If you are Apple,” says Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director for Jupiter Research, “your ideal scenario is to sell someone a new iPod, not repair an old one.” Apple declined to comment for this story.
The iPod Doctor makes house calls “Eighty percent of the repairs I can do on the spot,” he boasts. Leontaris gets some spare parts – headphones input jacks, screens and batteries – from Chinese manufacturers. He extracts the rest out of used and broken iPods he buys from customers.