Cellebrite is one of those back-end companies that consumers don’t realize they’ve been dealing for about as long as they’ve owned a cell phone. Founded in 1999, Cellebrite is the company responsible for the solution that carriers use to transfer contacts from your old phone to the fancy new one you just bought in their stores. The company also has a forensic diagnostic solution for law enforcement agencies.
More recently, Cellebrite rolled out a diagnostic solution that it hopes will help carriers cut down on the costs associated with diagnosing and fixing problems on the device in the store.
The solution addresses a huge pain point for carriers, namely the costs associated with diagnosing a device problem, which in many cases can prove to be no problem at all.
“What this solution does is it allows us to detect the problem right there in the retail store and as a result a much smaller percentage of phones are actually returned to the manufacturer for repair. So we’ve substantially reduced the number of no-trouble-found phones going back through the whole repair cycle just to find out that the phone is fine,” said Jim Grady, CEO of Cellebrite.
Grady says some cost estimates for a no-trouble-found are upwards of $100 per case.
The carriers are the only ones who suffer the woes of the cumbersome repair process. Grady notes that in some markets, customers are left without a phone for days while their device is sent back to the manufacturer for a diagnosis.
“I think every big carrier is doing something in this area…everybody has the same problem,” Grady said.
Hardware problems and the costs associated with them have not gone under the radar. A November 2011 study from WDS estimated that Android repairs and returns alone cost carriers $2 billion annually, with the top issue being hardware problems.
MetroPCS recently announced that it would be the first major carrier to launch the solution on a nationwide basis. Given that Cellebrite currently controls about 98 percent of the carrier contact-transfer market, it’s a good bet that others will be on board with the diagnostic solution in short order.