Updated 11/16/2010 06:59 AM
Dirty iPad Screens Inspire Local Business Venture
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Apple's iPad is expected to be a big seller this holiday season, but millions of owners struggle with the daily chore of keeping their screens clean, especially since the device doesn't come with a cleaning cloth. A local entrepreneur used that fact to come up with a "clean" side business.
Like many, Robert Morrison was excited to get his new iPad.
"I pull it out and 'here it is.' It's great," Morrison remembered.
But after just a few minutes, he noticed how quickly the screen became covered with fingerprints and smudges.
"I go back over to the box," said Morrison. "I'm looking through, there's no cloth, there's nothing to clean this thing with."
He went online to see if he was the only one. Sure enough he wasn't.
"There seems to be a void here," recalled Morrison. "It was the ah-ha moment where I was like I can do something about this."
Morrison found a supplier of a high quality microfiber cloth. He ordered in bulk, had the name iPadCleaningCloth.com printed on each one, and put each one in a clear pouch.
"I bought the domain name ipadcleaningcloth.com," said Morrison. "I figured if somebody was going to look for it like I did, they're gonna type in iPad cleaning cloth."
That was two months ago. In his first month he sold 30. In the second month it was almost 200.
"With the internet, anything is possible," said Morrison. "Something that you can come up with that nobody would know about before, you can reach an unlimited audience."
It's a perfect example of the new way of doing business. You don't need a big office or warehouse. Instead it's the internet and the dining room table.
"To be able to do it from home," said Morrison. "Send everything out, and my wife helps me out with shipping things."
Morrison sells each cloth for $6.99 domestically and $10.99 internationally, shipping included. Even with an iPad giveaway he's already turned a profit.
Much like the Snuggie or other items you might see on TV, it's a true case of "why didn't I think of that?"
"Somebody was gonna think of it and it was only a matter of time before somebody did," said Morrison. "Luckily I was the one to do it."