Americans break 5,761 smartphone screens every hour and underestimate repair costs, says report

A new report on smartphone damage trends offers some interesting details on how many devices were broken in 2018, how much consumers paid to fix them, and how repair costs have increased significantly in the last few years.

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Insurance provider SquareTrade put out the new report that says US smartphone owners broke over 50 million displays and paid $3.4 billion in repairs.

The company believes those broken screens along with failed batteries, touchscreen issues, and scratched screens tallied up to 66% of smartphone owners damaging their devices this year.

The most common way consumers damaged their device was drops on the ground. Other common scenarios were smartphones falling out of pockets, being dropped into water, knocking it off a table, and you guessed it, plopping into the toilet.

The report shared a sad, but fascinating fact: 5,761 smartphones are broken every hour in America. With about 50% of consumers underestimating repair costs, 65% opt to just live with a broken display, while another 59% choose to upgrade to a new device rather than pay for a repair.

Depending on whether iPhone owners need a full replacement or just a new display, the costs range from $199 up to $599 for a full replacement for the XS Max. The iPhone XR is a bit more reasonable to repair, but still more than most Americans anticipate.

SquareTrade found 46% of smartphone owners thought a display repair would cost $150 or less. The iPhone XR, Apple’s most affordable new flagship, costs $199 for a new display and $399 for a full replacement.

How about you? Have you considered purchasing insurance like AppleCare or SquareTrade with the rising repair costs? Or do you prefer to self-insure your devices?

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.