The phone repair revolution is happening around us. The lifecycle of our phones is steadily increasing. With the rise in phone prices, less tempting new features, and revamped carrier contracts, Americans are keeping their phones for longer. Compared to 2016, the average American waited 23 months before repairing or upgrading their device. By 2018, the time between devices was 25 months, and in just one year, it rose to 33 months in 2019.
Not only are consumers waiting to purchase new devices, but also revamped carrier contracts are breaking the 2-year upgrade cycle. Combined with the high prices pushing consumers to delay upgrades, consumers are now more likely to pay the full retail price for a new smartphone. From 2016 to 2019, the world’s top 3 smartphone brands saw prices increase by 52%. Because of this price increase, many consumers can’t afford to pay off their devices within two years; now, payment plans can take longer than two years to pay off in order to combat this.
Finally, the new “wow features” pushed forward by tech companies are less tempting. Americans are less likely to upgrade their devices because of new innovations, something that was very common just 5 years ago. Just one-third of Americans are interested in upgrading their device because of a new feature. In addition, less than 10% of those who have spent over $1,000 on phone technologies say they will likely purchase a new 5G device as soon as it is available to them.
Repairing vs Getting a New Phone
Keeping our phones for longer means we are more likely to see something break. The factors increasing the time between purchasing new devices means extending the life of your phone now includes consciously protecting your device from damage. In the United States, 2 smartphone screens are cracked every second. Over 70% of phone users have broken a smartphone, which then increases the likelihood they will break a phone again by two times.
Protecting your device from damage is now more important than ever. Using a case and screen protector while also being aware of how you charge your phone are all ways to decrease the likelihood of a break. A protective case made of shock-absorbent materials like silicone or rubber will guard against drops and other damages. Some manufacturer’s websites will have drop-test results to see how effective their product is. A screen protector will prevent scratches on your device. Finally, maintaining at least 50% charge whenever possible and using a charger that automatically stops when your battery is full helps maximize battery life.
Rather than rushing to replace a device in the event that it breaks, consider repairing it for three reasons: it’s better for the environment, saves money, and is more convenient. Manufacturing and recycling digital devices require more energy than making repairs. Fewer new devices manufactured can lower greenhouse gas emissions from factories, and repairing helps reduce the need to mine new raw materials. In addition, electronic devices contain hazardous chemicals; repairing reduces the pollution from discarded devices. Consumers will spend less on repairs than purchasing a replacement, while effortlessly keeping all files, settings, and habits. Break the phone replacement cycle by choosing to repair.