POSTED: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 6:31pm
UPDATED: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 10:39pm
Texas college student does booming business fixing iPhones...
Dallas/Ft.Worth, TX -- A North Texas college student who broke his first iPhone in high school is now making money off of other people's broken phones.
Daniel Vitiello, a 19-year-old Texas Tech sophomore, taught himself to fix Apple's 3G, 3GS and 4 iPhones and now fixes dozens of them from his parent's dining room.
"I don't really like having a typical job, and so I needed an idea to make money," said Vitiello, who is home in Rockwell for the summer.
His business, Rockwall iPhone Repair, has taken off.
He can fix anything from broken buttons and damaged LCD screens to dead batteries and cracked glass screens.
"I've had firefighters drop them while they were putting out fires, to one lady threw her phone at one of her kids," Vitiello said.
Vitiello said the iPhone 4 costs the most to fix, but because two sides of the new phone are glass, he's more likely to repair one with multiple shatters.
"With the front and back being glass, it's easy to break," he said.
Vitiello advertises on Google, Facebook, Craigslist and through word-of-mouth.
He orders parts from New Jersey and China and does all the labor from the dining room table.
He said customers sometimes don't know what to think.
"A lot of times, they'll call before they come up to the door, and they'll be like, 'Is this your house?'" Vitiello said.
One customer who found him on Craigslist even asked to meet him at a Chick-Fil-A for safety reasons.
"She thought I might be the Craigslist killer," he said.
Instead, he's a young businessman using the money to pay for college tuition.
He studies finance.
"Eight a week would be able to pay off for the next couple of semesters, and I'm doing a lot more than that, so I should have some extra spending money," Vitiello said. "It's done really well and has been a good summer job so far, I guess you could say."
His parents and brother think it's a great job, but they do have a problem: He can't fix their phones.
They all have Droids, and he only fixes iPhones.