Dish gets into the smartphone repair business, gives its idle techs something to do

Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) announced its entry into what seems to an unlikely new business venture, launching a new smartphone repair business. 

The company's new venture, branded simply as "Smart Phone Repair," will focus only on Apple's iPhone, 5, 5c, 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus at the start, with other devices being added in the coming months. Dish said the service is available in all 50 states. 

For $35, Dish will send a tech to visit a customer in need of iPhone repair, whether or not they're a satellite TV customer. The service isn't cheap — a screen repair on an iPhone 6 Plus will set you back $185, for example. 

"Fixing your phone shouldn't mean losing your phone for days on end, so we come to you – whether you're at the office, the gym or even the coffee shop," said John Swieringa, Dish's executive vice president of operations. "Dish is uniquely positioned with the technical know-how and ability to respond to a customer's needs in every state across the country."

So why is a satellite company fixing smartphones? Perhaps because beats laying off installation techs. Dish reported continuing subscriber losses in the first quarter — 23,000 customers — but the attrition for physical services is probably greater than that, with the company's fast-growing virtual service, Sling TV, now included in its subscriber metrics.

With fewer CPE installs, that crew of techs can now be used to infiltrate a new business venture. 

For more:
- read this Dish press release

Related articles:
Dish 'desirous' about adding ESPN to new Sling TV multi-viewer tier
Dish deal shows Viacom channels haven't lost their value, analysts say