We’re talking about the U.K.’s iconic red telephone box, a design which quickly became a familiar sight on the nation’s streets when it was first introduced nearly 100 years ago.
While no tourist visit to Britain would be complete without a selfie beside one of the classic booths, the proliferation of smartphones in recent years has led to their numbers dwindling.
So it seems rather fitting that one London-based company is now transforming some of the kiosks into smartphone repair shops.
Claiming to have created the “tiniest repair shop in the world” – and with floorspace of less than nine square feet, we can well believe that’s true – handset repair business Lovefone has plans for as many as 35 of the booth-based outlets across London, starting with one in Greenwich and another in the swish shopping district of Knightsbridge.
“To us, the idea to use London’s iconic phone booths as repair shops seemed obvious since we can perform repairs in the smallest spaces,” Lovefone CEO Rob Kerr told Digital Trends. “The small space also relates back to our skill of performing repairs on tiny components and devices, something that makes our business unique.”
Lovefone’s specially refurbished phone boxes incorporate a worktop with various tools for fixing damaged handset components such as displays, cameras, speakers, and power buttons. It also offers a free charging service for anyone passing by with a phone about to run out of juice.
Kerr said he was excited to be able to bring such iconic structures back into public use, though admitted the tiny shop is a bit of a squeeze.
“The main challenge now is finding skinny enough repairers to fit inside them,” the CEO joked.