Demetrios Leontaris knows more about your iPod than Steve Jobs ever will. He cruises around New York City, using his car as his mobile office/workshop, and fixes whatever ails your little Apple wonders, generally right on the spot for a flat $70 fee. He's not alone either; Fortune identifies at least half a dozen iPod repair services in NYC alone. There are 150 million iPods out there, and Apple really isn't all that interested in fixing them -- they want to sell you another one.
Apple does some repairs under its warranty program - but not if the damage is the customer's fault. "If you are Apple," says Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director for Jupiter Research, "your ideal scenario is to sell someone a new iPod, not repair an old one." Apple declined to comment for this story.
That's fine with Leontaris. He makes a living attending to broken iPods that Apple won't touch. And unlike those guys at the Genius Bar at your local Apple Store, the iPod Doctor makes house calls "Eighty percent of the repairs I can do on the spot," he boasts.
Leontaris keeps his costs down by getting spare parts direct from Chinese manufacturers, and salvages the rest from broken iPods he buys from his customers. He'll fix your Zune, Lyra, MacBook, or PDA too, while you wait. Why, that's just the entrepreneurial spirit that companies like Apple were founded on -- and have generally forgot all about by now.