Israeli app brings smartphone repair to the home

MOBILAB offers a network of trusted technicians who make house calls, will turn up at your doorstep in an hour

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

The MOBILAB app in action (Courtesy)
The MOBILAB app in action (Courtesy)

If you have a smartphone, then most likely you’ll have encountered that nightmare moment in which you drop your phone and the screen cracks, or it just doesn’t switch on at all.

So now you need to alert your office that you need to go fix your phone. When you get to the repair lab you are asked to take a number, wait and then are likely to be asked to leave your phone until it is repaired.

This scenario can soon be a thing of the past now that Israeli entrepreneur Kfir Maimon has introduced a new service called MOBILAB, which allows you to order a technician to fix your phone at home or the office by just clicking on their app (if your phone is still somehow working), or via their website.

The start-up, which started offering its services just a few weeks ago, is already helping customers in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak and Givatayim and will soon expand to the rest of the country, and hopefully internationally too sometime, said Maimon in an interview.

“Today there is no transparency in the market. You could pay from 200 shekels to 800 shekels to repair your screen and the process of fixing it is painful — from traffic to parking to standing in line and leaving your phone to be fixed,” he said, referring to a personal nightmare experience with his phone last year.

Kfir Maimon, CEO of MOBILAB (Courtesy)
Kfir Maimon, CEO of MOBILAB (Courtesy)

Some local companies do offer to pick up your phone from home and repair it, and others even offer a repair-on-the-premises service, but it takes days before they come and you pay extra for the service at home, he said.

MOBILAB, said Maimon, is connected to a network of vetted and trusted technicians who will turn up at your doorstep or the train station or the coffee shop within an hour of being alerted, and with original replacement parts. The service, which is being offered daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays until 3 p.m., can be paid for by credit card after the repair has been done.

The prices are competitive with those on the market and are transparent, Maimon said, and you get a price quote when you order the service.

A quick look at MOBILAB website revealed that fixing an iPhone 5 in Tel Aviv will cost about 149 shekels whereas repairing a cracked screen or a phone that doesn’t react will cost about 200 shekels.

“We are getting very good feedback and we are growing at a strong rate,” Maimon said. “Providing a good service is the key. I prefer to offer a perfect service and not expand if that means being mediocre.”

The company has to date raised $1 million from private investors, he said.

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