Behrend student fixes iPhones in spare time

One software engineering student at Penn State Behrend is using what he learned in class to make money.  Senior Steve Kedzior fixes iPhone 4 screens and backs for students on campus.  He noticed it costs a lot to fix broken iPhones.

“I know the cheapest place to fix screens is at the mall where they charge $90 for that,” Kedzior said.

Kedzior knew he had the ability to do that himself, and he could do it for less.  He decided to start a personal business where he fixes broken screens for people.  He got the idea when he saw so many people using iPhones with cracked screens.

“I’d say one in every five people I see with an iPhone has a broken screen that needs to be fixed,” Kedzior said.

Fixing an iPhone 4 screen isn’t something anybody can do.  It wasn’t this way with the iPhone 3.  The screen was the first part that came off on the iPhone 3.  This made it easy to replace.  Kedzior used to fix iPhone 3 screens for friends and family just because they needed it.  Now, the iPhone 4 is out, and the screen is the last piece that comes off the phone.

“[Apple] realized that people were replacing broken screens easily so they decided to make this model much more complicated.  Now, you have to take apart the whole phone in order to get to the screen.  There are at least 50 screws you have to take out,” Kedzior said.

The iPhone 4 is one of the top selling products of the Apple Company.  Apple charges $200 to replace broken screens or parts.  Steve says he does it for $60.

For a college student, $60 might still sound like a lot of money, but that money isn’t all profit for Kedzior.  He uses that money to buy new parts that he is going to replace.

Kedzior asks his customers what needs fixed and which model the iPhone is.  When he gets that information, he goes online and orders the parts for that phone.

After he gets the parts, he meets the customer on campus and replaces the part of the phone that was broken in about an hour.  It wasn’t always so easy for him to replace broken parts.

“The first phone I worked on took me about an hour and a half to fix, but now I have a piece of paper with all the parts labeled so I can take apart the whole phone and fix it in about 40 minutes,” Kedzior said.

Kedzior says he gets some good experience doing this type of work, but he isn’t looking for a career in fixing iPhone screens.  He wants to work for a successful company as a software engineer.



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