There may soon be a different company named after a fruit controlling Silicon Valley. As the third quarter of 2018 begins to wind down, a new smartphone startup company aims to step-in between Apple and Samsung. The corporation, Pomme, despite entering the market last fall, is projecting a 350 percent increase in revenue over last quarter. Founder and former UCSD student Jean Lacroix described the project originally intended to pay for his tuition as “one donation from having his name emblazoned on the Old Student Center.
“I was already working pretty heavy hours at 64, but my situation still looked dire. The way things were, I considered myself lucky whenever I ate two meals in a day.”
Lacroix fused his knowledge of computers and dexterity in smartphone repair, working with what he could spare of his salary.
“It was a massive risk, funneling all of my funds into this long-shot project. However, I figured that I had little to lose. Paying tuition without acquiring massive debt didn’t seem especially more likely than successfully launching a tech company.”
Lacroix eventually started attracting customers and spreading his business. After four weeks, he earned double his initial investment.
“It’s a super simple trick, really,” he explained. “People drop off their phones for a new battery, screen, or whatever, and I do that and add my signature,” Lacroix smiled as he revealed his logo, nearly a carbon copy of Apple’s. The only modification is relocating the bite to the fruit’s other side.
“This way, I’m fairly certain we’re safe from copyright laws; I really owe it all to my friend,” he commented. “Guy’s a brilliant artist and after telling me that I needed publicity, he offered to set me up. We work really well together. Even now it’s still just the two of us.”
The pair eventually expanded their services beyond repairs to custom paint jobs and, ultimately, selling refurbished phones. Pomme now purchases supplies from eBay, wholesalers, and other inexpensive sources, and tinkers with them to revitalize dying devices. Add in the duo’s logo, Lacroix says, and it becomes identical to a brand new iPhone to 98 percent of consumers.
At a recent TED talk advising aspiring tech companies, he qualified his founding principles, claiming, “If you fill a room with self-declared Apple fangirls, odds are half of them can’t even remember which direction the bite faces if you ask them point-blank. With Guy’s beautifully designed, Pomme-branded phone cases, most of our customers believe we’re just a classy, French Cupertino subsidiary.”
Since the duo use inexpensive materials, they can keep their prices far below Apple’s. Within days of their initial eBay listings, Pomme was overwhelmed with orders. Lacroix, now with “more money than [he knows] what to do with,” promptly dropped-out of UCSD. His partner followed suit and the pair now work out of Lacroix’s Sunnyvale apartment to keep up with Pomme’s ever-swelling demand.
“Apple’s beyond furious with us,” he smirked, “but I did my research and we’re safe for now. Besides, it’s funny to watch when their employees get confused trying to fix customers’ phones and nobody realizes that it is a Pomme. Look at this,” he held out an image of Tim Cook at a recent exhibition. “Check out which way the bite’s facing. You can bet Pomme is going to make some lawsuit money from this.”