Michigan father-son duo fix, customize smartphones

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

ROCHESTER, Mich. - It's the father and son team with all the right tools and passion to change the way smartphones are protected and fixed.

Robert Carter and his son, who goes by Rob, run "The Pod Drop" in downtown Rochester.

"Everyone that knows us knows we could have a reality show because always butt heads," Rob said.  

The Pod Drop is where iPhones, iPads, and just about any device goes to get new life.

"I've always had a passion to help people," Robert added.

While many may have heard about them, few know the whole story.  

"I started dabbling into these things, and what started as a hobby, evolved into a business," Robert said.

It's a business he's grateful for.

At the same time iPods made their debut, a degenerative disc disease forced Robert to switch careers. Apple products helped turn a low point in his life into one that's still soaring. 

"I was in the right place at the right time," he said. "If it wasn't for my health situation, I probably still wouldn't know how to turn one of these things on today." 

These days, he's smashing the competition, literally. Robert is one of the first in the country to market a product that will prevent the glass screen on iPhones and Galaxys  from cracking and shattering.

"It's called tempered glass," Robert explained. "It's something that's been out there, but no one's every marketed it the way we are. We found the right manufacturer that makes it right and it works."

So how does it work?

Step 1. Wipe the phone down the provided alcohol wipe.

Step 2. Dry the phone off with provided cloth

Step 3. Peel the sticker off the tempered glass and lay it on top of your screen

"You'll actually see the tempered glass seal itself to your phone. Your days of cracked screens are over," said Robert.

Local 4 put the product to the test, smashing an iPhone with a hammer. It never broke.

The product runs around $29.99. 

Impressed? Well wait until you hear about their celebrity clientele.  

"We've done phones for Dwight Howard, CeeLo Green, Wiz Khalifa, Kevin Durant, Josh Turner," Rob said.

One of their biggest clients: Kim Kardashian.

Ever notice that Kim had a gold iPhone before Apple made one? Well, she has Rob to thank.

"She loved it! She put it on Instagram. She put a little gold rush quote and a link to our website, and within minutes of her posting it, we got thousands of people on our website," Rob said.

What all the celebs are after is called "AnoStyle," a way to completely customize your device without stepping on Apple's copyright rules.

Kim heard about it after a technology website editor in New York caught wind of Rob's work. She wanted a gold phone and Rob made it.

In fact, Rob can change your phone to just about any color or logo you want, leaving the Apple logo in place. 

"It's a tedious process," Rob said. "It'll take me one or two weeks to finish one device."

Something important to point out: While the Carter's are repairing iPhones and iPads, even changing the way they look, everyone involved in The Pod Drop business has a deep respect for the monster company that is Apple. 

"We're honored and privileged to be able to fix these things," said Robert. "We don't want to ruin our relationship, it's a partnership. 

To learn more about The Pod Drop click here: http://www.thepoddrop.com/

For their different locations: http://www.thepoddrop.com/stores.htm

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