Damaged iPhones Cost Americans Big in Recent SquareTrade Study

By Steve Anderson September 18, 2012

It's one of the worst things that can happen in an increasingly mobile generation: that expensive new iPhone that, in some cases, may have required months of saving and weeks to actually arrive (especially for those who bought around launch time) gets somehow broken in the midst of moving from place to place or the like. It turns out that that's happened to a lot of people, and the end results have cost Americans a great amount of money, according to the results of a recent survey from SquareTrade Research.

SquareTrade's figures show that, since the iPhone's introduction back in 2007, damaged iPhones have cost users a combined total of $5.9 billion. This astronomical figure includes repair costs, replacement costs where necessary, and insurance deductibles for those who actually purchased insurance for their smartphones. Moreover, the survey found that the last 12 months seemed to be particularly rough on iPhone users, with fully 30 percent of iPhone users damaging their devices.

Image via Shutterstock

The survey also revealed that accidental damage is 10 times more common than theft, something of a surprise in a bad economy, and iPhones in the hands of users under the age of 35 are the most at risk, with half of users having some kind of accident with their phone. One of the most common accidents was simply dropping the iPhone from a hand or from the lap while it was in either location, but some were also knocked off tables, were hit by some kind of liquid, or fell directly into some kind of liquid mass, like a toilet, sink, swimming pool or hot tub.

While it may be a surprise to find that users actually have their phones around bodies of water, especially around the toilet, it's simply a sign of a more mobile-integrated culture that they show up in unusual places. It's also a sign that there are more such devices out there, and given the recent reports about huge pre-order numbers on the iPhone 5, the figures on damage repair and replacements will likely continue to climb.

The massive amount of cost involved in their repair and replacement, meanwhile, suggests that it's a smart idea to invest in a good quality iPhone case, and there are some out there that can stand up to incredible punishments. A good quality case can save a huge amount of lost time and money down the road, so it's worth the added line of defense against the slings and arrows of modern society.

Still, it will be interesting to see how the soon to be released iPhone 5 stacks up in the durability stakes against its brethren, and whether or not the numbers continue to climb or start to fall off.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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