Who you gonna call? GBHS phone repair!


Illustration by Lichen Fischer

Mahmood Osmani has started a phone repair business for his fellow students at GBHS

With his tools on hand, Granite Bay High School junior Mahmood Osmani gets to work on replacing the shattered screen of an iPhone 12 as a result of a dropped dumbbell. Within 30 minutes, Osmani fully replaces the screen and has the phone ready to be given back to his friend the next day—all for a fraction of the price of what Apple would charge.

Osmani started his Instagram account, @gbhs_phonerepair, on Oct. 5, 2022, and has since then established himself as the GBHS’ go-to for all things phone repair, with over 40 successful repairs in just over a month.

Osmani, born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan until the age of 12, saw his passion for technology start at a very young age.

“In Afghanistan there wasn’t a whole lot of technology; there wasn’t even electricity throughout the day most of the time. So when we came to America and my dad bought me my first laptop, I fell in love with technology and all the potential it has,” Osmani said. “You really can’t be thankful for something until you haven’t had it.”

In Afghanistan, Osmani’s uncle had owned a technology repair shop, Pro Device Repair. After moving to California, the shop took a Rancho Cordova location. It was at this shop in the summer of 2021 that Osmani got his first experience with phone repair. 

“I stayed the summer with my uncle and he would bring me to his store every day, and I would go there and watch him fix phones and just learn,” Osmani said.

According to Osmani, it was never his intention to pursue phone repair as a business in any way, rather he learned from his uncle just for the sake of acquiring a new skill.

It was only after fixing his friend’s phone screen for no additional costs outside of supplies that Osmani realized the possibility of utilizing the skills and resources he has to make this a business. 

“Apple and these big tech companies, they charge a whole lot of money for simple repairs that I can do. And so I started this business for my peers, so they didn’t have to pay so much money to Apple, and I just charge very little for the repair,” Osmani said.

The main cost of the repair comes from the price of the replacement part, whether it be a screen, back glass, battery, camera glass, or any number of other damageable phone parts. While Osmani does all of his work in his uncle’s shop, as an independent worker and not an employee, he must pay for all his supplies and does not get any discounts from his uncle.

Just as every third party repair business works, the replacement parts will never be official Apple products, as only Apple stores can do repairs with official replacements. However, Osmani says that all replacement parts used by him are to the same quality standard as an Apple part.

As of November 2022, Osmani’s Instagram account has over 200 followers and 12 posts showing different repairs. Osmani notes his rise to small local fame was not by pure chance but through social media marketing.

“Since everyone is on their phones nowadays, I thought about creating an Instagram account. I then went to the Instagram account of the school and followed whoever follows that account. People followed me back, and through that I got more and more followers and people to repair,” Osmani said.

However, Osmani has hopes for the future to exceed beyond just a school repair business, and rather into a literal “mobile” repair shop. Sparked by his recent success, Osmani hopes to launch a phone repair station in the back of his car. He would drive house to house, amplifying his community outreach and making the repair process more convenient for customers. 

As of now though, GBHS Phone Repair remains an entrepreneurial dive into a relatively untapped local school market, with about 2 hours of total work time per day for Osmani. But with his aspirations and dreams for his business, it could soon turn into something a whole lot more.

As a face of student entrepreneurship, Osmani offers a simple recommendation to those aspiring to create their own business.

“Just take the first step to what you want to do – as for me, it was creating an Instagram account,” Osmani said.