Phone damage happens constantly. In the United States, this is an especially relevant issue. 72% of Americans have broken a smartphone; every second, 2 smartphone screens are cracked. In addition to the majority of people breaking their phone at least once, those who have previously broken a device are two times as likely to do so again. To further illustrate this, 95 million smartphones are damaged by drops every year, amounting to almost $30 billion in electronic devices.
Why do breaks happen so consistently? Many individuals don’t take the steps to safeguard their devices. 44% of people weren’t using a case when their phone broke, and after damaging a device, 55% of people add or upgrade their phone case. Movement puts your phone most at risk because breaks usually happen if someone is on the go. The car or in a parking lot is the most dangerous for your smartphone, accounting for 32% of breaks.
As the lifecycle of our phones steadily increases, breaks increase as well. Americans upgraded or replaced their phones after 23 months in 2016, and this rose to 33 months by 2019. People are keeping their phones longer because of increasing prices, new carrier contracts, and less tempting new features. From 2016 to 2019, the world’s top three smartphone brands saw prices increase by over 50%. This price increase is causing consumers to delay upgrades.
Phone companies are also contributing to the lengthened time between upgrades. Revamped carrier contracts break the 2-year upgrade cycle. Now, consumers are more likely to pay the full retail price for a new smartphone. Because of this and the rise in price, payment plans can take longer than two years to pay off. Finally, new features aren’t tempting consumers in the way they used to. Just 1 in 3 Americans is interested in upgrading their devices to take advantage of new innovations and “wow features.”
Because Americans are keeping our phones for longer, chances are you have experienced a broken piece of technology. Before rushing to replace it with the next new device, consider the alternatives. When deciding whether to repair or replace, think about what would be best for your lifestyle and wallet. 21% of people will continue using their phone until it stops working completely. 59% of people would rather upgrade their device than fix an old one, but this is slowly decreasing as the benefits of repairing outweigh the benefits of replacing.
Repairing a device rather than replacing benefits the environment and your wallet. Electronic devices contain hazardous chemicals, and rather than replacing the devices and creating more pollution, repairing reduces the pollutants created by this process. Repairing reduces the need to mine new materials. In addition, fewer devices manufactured can help lower greenhouse gas emissions from factories, and repairing devices save energy.
Not only is it environmentally friendly, but replacing is also more convenient. Instead of having to adjust to a new device, you can effortlessly keep all your settings, files, and habits. Consumers typically spend far less money on repairs than a new device that can cost over $1,000. Whether you are trying to save money or help the environment, considering repairing your device rather than replacing it can go a long way.