iHospital Comes to the Rescue in Manhattan

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By GEORGIA SUTER

iHospital, a burgeoning repair company devoted to the health and happiness of all things Apple, recently opened its first New York location inside Shakespeare & Co. Booksellers on Broadway, across from the NYU campus. With the recent release of the iPhone 4S, followed by the death of the great founder himself, Steve Jobs, the business’ expansion into New York comes at a time when Apple seems to be on everyone’s mind.

Rapidly growing across the United States, the repair center functions as a kind of “one-stop shop,” with myriad services for Apple iDevices and computers along with knowledgeable, Apple-certified “DID”s (Doctor of iDevices), some of whom were referred by Apple Store Genius Bar experts.

From dead batteries and damaged headphones to hard drive upgrades and data transfers, the iHospital is quickly establishing itself as an alternative to the Apple Store, priding itself on free diagnostics and speedy, thorough fixes. Unlike the Genius Bar, there is no appointment scheduling required.

William Sharpe, an expert at the New York iHospital, says the problems people come into the shop with are vast, though a majority of them do involve earlier iPhone models—most notably cracked and broken screens.

Despite being in the heart of the NYU area, Sharpe says the customer base at the new location has been diverse, beyond just students and teachers.

“It’s a really wide demographic—people from all over the city, from New Jersey and Brooklyn are coming in. Apple stores have all been referring to us, even Best Buys.”

Dr. Ross Newman, founder of iHospital, has previously said, “The new iHospital location blends the classic bookstore character of Shakespeare & Co. with the high-tech expertise of iHospital. The combination of old-world charm and literary excellence of Shakespeare & Co. makes this a one-of-a-kind experience. When you combine the tradition of Shakespeare with the leading-edge technology of Apple products and our stellar repair services and accessories, you create a revolution.”

The location also ran a recent Groupon promotion that shed light on the vast number of iPhone users and attested to the demand for Apple service.

“We sold over 400 Groupons—so far, only 30 people have come in to use them,” noted Sharpe, hinting at the large customer group bound to appear at some point in the future.

Sharpe added that many of these people may have purchased the Groupon not for immediate help but to have as backup should they ever need service on their device.

In late 2009, after Newman was able to repaire a customer’s shattered iPhone screen within minutes, the iHospital idea was born. Newman, who previously worked as an Apple developer and writer of custom software for iPhone and Mac operating systems, was dubbed “the king of the global Apple community” within a year of the business’ founding by several global Apple forums.

Newman became an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician and, after posting a few ads, developed a following in a matter of weeks. He opened his first flagship store in Tampa, Fla., before opening three additional locations. This year, iHospital plans to open a second New York location, on 68th Street and Lexington Avenue near Hunter College, providing further service for the ever-growing Apple product line.

“Our whole goal,” said Sharpe, “is to make it so that people can walk in and get help right away. Most repairs can be done while you wait or by the next day.”

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