The Phone Repair Economy

Our phones break all the time. It’s just one of the aggravating things we’ve gotten used to since we started carrying these mini-computers with us everywhere we go. In 2021 alone, Americans are expected to spend 4 billion dollars on phone repairs and 59 billion on new phones. So, is a new phone always worth it? Sometimes, a phone repair may actually be the better answer. 


The lifecycle of the average smartphone is actually on the increase. From 2016 to 2019, smartphone lifecycles grew from 23 to 33 months. The reasons for this are largely due to increased cost, phone evolution, and revamped carrier contracts. 


We simply aren’t as excited about new features as we once were. Phone evolution seems to have peaked in many ways. For many years, new phones included new “wow features” that got everyone talking and eager to upgrade, but these days the newest features just aren’t as big of a deal. They’re more like a minor tweak of the old rather than an overhaul or an entirely new feature. Of people who spend over $1000 on new phones, only 7% say they’re likely to purchase a 5G device as soon as it’s available. 


High prices are also a significant deterrent to purchasing a new phone. From 2016 to 2019 the top three smartphone brands hiked up their prices by 52%. Many of us just can’t afford the price anymore, especially since new carrier contracts often no longer include the 2-year upgrade cycle. These days, consumers are more likely to pay full prices and it can take 2 years or longer to pay off the new phone. 


Sometimes a new phone just isn’t worth it. Repairing your broken phone might actually be the better solution. The benefits of repair vs. replace are not only to our personal wallets, but it’s also better for the environment. Repairing reduces energy emissions and e-waste as fewer phones are having to be produced. It also saves energy as manufacturing new devices takes more energy than repairing old ones. Repairing is also more convenient for the consumer since they don’t need to set up a new phone, and of course, it’s usually cheaper than buying a new phone. Next time your phone breaks, take the time to consider all your options before jumping to a phone upgrade. 

A Look at the Phone Repair Economy