Interview​ ​With​ ​Rich​ ​Edwards​ ​On​ ​Apple, ​​Smartphones & Beyond

iPhone

With only a few hours left for the launch of the next-generation iPhone series, we managed to touch base with Rich Edwards to gauge his opinion about the Apple ecosystem. If you are unaware, Edwards is the CEO of the world’s #1 on-demand repair service company Repairly.

Rich Edwards was part of the early team behind Hassle.com as city launcher & head of marketing. He studied business at the University of Manchester. Edwards is a well-known expert in the area of the Apple ecosystem and is leading a team of 25+ people doing repair services for not only iOS-based phones and tablets but also Android-based devices.

What are the points to be kept in mind during the purchase of a smartphone?

The main point to be kept in mind when purchasing a smartphone is the suitability of the device to the customer who is purchasing the smartphone. The consumer should know how/want to use the smartphone to a certain degree. E.g. if the consumer has no desire to take high definition images then a smartphone with an average camera will suffice. Another point to be kept in mind is that if the smartphone is giving the consumer what they want out of a smartphone it needs to meet the specific requirements of that consumer.

Why is Apple hesitant to manufacture smartphones in the United States?

Apple is hesitant to manufacture their smartphones in the US due to them not wanting to pay increased manufacturing costs and increased tax liabilities. It would also make the cost of making the iPhone increase exponentially, harming their margin as they will be unable to increase price much further.

Do you think Apple will ever shift their manufacturing facility to the US?

Unlikely given the tax incentives and labour costs of external manufacture. Though never say never…

Do you think the upcoming iPhone 8 will change the life of people?

That depends on your definition of changing lives 😉 It will make life easier for people with the new rumoured features that’s for sure. The iPhone 8 is the next step in the continuing evolution of the iPhone series so that comes with improvements that continue to make life easier and more enjoyable for us. We are not holding our breath for anything that will solve our big problems though!

What will be the possible design related features of iPhone 8?

From rumoured leaks from trusted sources, it seems that the iPhone 8 will have design features such as edge to edge display, it will no longer have a home button, they will replace the touch ID with facial recognition software and finally the iPhone 8 will come in the colours of white, black and blush gold.

It’s interesting to see how they are including more glass in their designs, including a potential glass back. This would likely increase the number of repairs that need to be carried out.

What will be the cost of iPhone 8?

It is rumoured that the iPhone 8 will cost over £800 pounds it will be the most expensive iPhone to date. It’s interesting to see how they are increasing the price. Some models will now be as expensive as a laptop. We’re hoping the new features make up for this increased price!

What benefit does OLED display bring to the table?

Multiple:

Increased brightness for extremely vivid displays
Less energy required whilst active
Less energy required for production

Overall, a great step forward in screen technology. Factories all over china have been re-gearing ready for the switch from LCD to OLED screens. The increased production of these screens will hopefully bring down the overall price of replacing your screen when you break it, but probably not initially.

From your point of view, why is iPhone costly than other smartphones? I see two main reasons why Apple are able to charge significantly more for their devices…

And both of them boil down to customer experience.

1. The Experience With The Device The iOS software combined with an extremely ergonomic physical experience make for a delightful user experience that is far superior to their competitors.

2. Experience Without The Device The unboxing of the phone, the customer service in an Apple store, their eCommerce experience… All add to the Apple experience, which currently is the best in the world.

Why is Apple not handing over iOS API to other smartphone manufacturers?

Why would they? From their history, it is clear that Apple obsess over customer experience. If Apple open up their OS, they will lose control over parts of the customer experience on the Samsung devices.

Do you think Tim Cook is the right person to lead Apple?

Yes I do he has been leading them successfully after Steve Jobs why change now?

Apple are market leaders and are only consistently improving with brand loyalty as strong as ever so Tim Cook must be doing something right. It’s true, we haven’t seen a ground-breaking release yet. But with Apple’s recent focus on AR (such as with AR Kit), we have our fingers crossed for a new AR-driven device.

Why American CEOs angry with Donald Trump?

I think Trump is keen to create more jobs in the US. Is it harmful? I do not believe that American CEO’s are angry with Donald Trump due to his desire to create more American jobs. they may be angry at him for other things beyond the scope of this interview.

American CEO’s want the best for both America and their corporations, so if they are able to produce the best result for both parties by employing more American’s then they will do so 🙂

Do you think Teardown videos on the web are helpful?

Yes I do. Not only do they provide a useful educational resource for hungry engineers, they increase the ability of individuals external to the manufacturer to innovate on top of the device.

Can you point out one challenging incident you faced while repairing a smartphone?

We rarely face challenges with repairing smartphones these days as we have successfully repaired 000’s. Though we do occasionally face challenge with the logistics of picking up, repairing and dropping off smartphones within our 3-hour window. To overcome these, we have built a network of couriers in the London area (as soon other cities in the UK) that work just with Repairly to ensure we keep our 3-hour commitment to our customers.

One thing we have noticed is that when a new phone comes out, the replacement screens can be extremely expensive. This is because the screen market takes some time to catch up with the phone release. It’s hard to quote a customer such a high price. If you’re buying a new phone, I would recommend being extra careful!

People say smartphones cause radiation hazards. Do you believe in this theory?

I believe that smartphones emit radiation yes… the impact that this has on human beings is yet to be proven, so I will reserve judgement on this one 😉

Thanks to Rich.

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Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and currently part of MVP Reconnect program. He is also part of the prestigious ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com

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