Smartphone Users Will Upgrade Instead of Repair


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Smartphone owners in the United States are underestimating the cost and lifespan of repairs. TechRepublic reports that a new study conducted by Allstate Protection Plans published data surrounding smartphone damage and consumer thoughts on repairs and replacements.

Conclusions show that 87 million Americans experienced an issue with their device within the last year, and cracked screens ring in as the number one culprit. Forty-seven percent of survey respondents answered they would be embarrassed by a cracked screen, and almost half described a phone in that condition as unprofessional, according to TechRepublic.

The frequency at which consumers repair smartphones, as well as the associated cost, were both underestimated in the survey. Respondents estimated 43 percent of device owners had accidents necessitating repair, when the actual statistic is 61 percent. As for cost, respondents underestimated repairs to cost less than $150. “The more accurate bill is $279 for a iPhone 12 screen repair and $249 for a Samsung Galaxy S20 screen repair,” according to TechRepublic.  

Though underestimated, these costs deter 63 percent of survey respondents from repairing a broken smartphone, and nearly the same percentage of people reported they would rather upgrade than repair a phone with a cracked screen. However, those replaced phones do have an afterlife. According to the survey, 68 percent of respondents said they keep an old device in their home, with only 21 percent of respondents recycling a phone no longer in use. 

SquareTrade, an Allstate company, conducts tests on phones to gauge reliability. After a study done in August 2020, Jason Siciliano, vice president and global creative director at SquareTrade, reported in a blog post that the iPhone 11 Pro was the most durable iPhone the company had tested in generations. He said, “it’s the first smartphone to survive our tumble test, which simulates the effects of multiple, random impacts experienced by a smartphone during long-term use.” 

Since then, SquareTrade has tested the iPhone 12 and reported it is the most durable smartphone they have ever tested, according to TechRepublic

Even with advanced technology, reported durability and 5G capabilities, smartphone sales have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. TechRepublic reports, “smartphone sales were down 5.7 percent in Q3 of this year, which was an improvement over the 20 percent drop in Q2, according to Gartner. People bought 366 million smartphones in the third quarter. Sales improved slightly over Q2. IDC predicts that the last quarter of 2020 will bring an increase in sales. The research company’s projections suggest a 2.4 percent increase at the end of 2020 as compared to Q4 2019 and a 4.4 percent increase in 2021.”

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