ZAGG, Utah-based smartphone accessory manufacturer, have released the results from a survey asking 768 US residents questions about their smartphone and tablet devices. The results are a little surprising: just under half of respondents reported that their device was damaged and of these, half again were reporting a scratched, cracked or shattered screen. With tablets, it appears we take better care of these devices as only one in four are damaged. Of the damaged smartphones, half of respondents continued using their device as it was, one third replaced it with a new device. Only two percent replaced it with an older ‘phone. For those people who had the damage repaired, the average cost was $144.
And then we look at how our devices were damaged. It’s no surprise that half of us report we damaged our smartphone by dropping it and one in four report liquid damage. The remainder damaged their devices either through it being scratched, wear and tear or the ubiquitous “other” category. Things are a little different in tablet-land where one in three damaged tablets were dropped, one in six live in the “damaged by kids” camp. Roughly one in ten was scratched and another one in ten has suffered from liquid damage. Digging a little deeper into the statistics, three percent of smartphone owners interrogated by ZAGG have dropped their current smartphone into the toilet and one and a half percent have kept on using it afterwards. Ultimately, gravity and liquids are the biggest danger to our precious electronic devices, but ZAGG’s survey reports that almost three quarters of us worry about losing the device more than dropping it.
My biggest surprise looking into these statistics is how few people switch to an older device when theirs is too badly damaged to continue. As a habit, I have sold most of my devices but I’ve kept one back for emergency purposes. Currently, my backup device has 768 MB of RAM (kudos if you can guess what this is?), which is also the number of people who responded to ZAGG’s online survey back in June. I don’t believe it’s representative of the North American market. Depending on where one looks, it’s believed that there are approximately 200,000 smartphones in use and somewhere close to 90,000 tablets in the US market today. Still, ZAGG are in the business of selling cases that can help prevent our devices from being smashed or scratched and by their research, it’s a common enough occurrence and a reminder for us to keep our devices safe.