Our phone screens keep cracking. Oh sure, we know to carry a case. We know to protect our phones, but we’re still cracking our shiny glass bricks at a rate that might frighten you. So, what’s your guess for the number of phones that are getting smashed each hour, just in the U.S. alone?
A few hundred? More. Let me help — replacing those screens cost consumers $3.4 billion across the past year. On an hourly basis during work time, that’s $1.7 million being spent on replacements and fixes.
We've all seen people rocking the cracked screen look.
More than a thousand, you guess? Getting warmer. The cost basis I just told you about is a little misleading. That’s because new research via SquareTrade suggests 65 percent of folks avoid fixing a cracked screen, and 38 percent of cracked screen owners don’t get their phones fixed at all. We’ve all seen people rocking the cracked screen look. Sometimes a phone can keep pushing through ok if the display still works. Sometimes it’s a case of glass-in-your-finger until your next paycheck.
The final number: 5,761.That’s how many phone screens are broken every hour. That’s nearly two per second, and it amounts to approximately 50 million cracked and smashed phones in the past year. The SquareTrade survey also suggested as many as 66 percent of consumers damaged their devices over the past year, including cracks, scratches, and damaged batteries. According to the numbers, in ranked order, we’re dropping phones on the ground, having them fall out of a pocket, dropping them in water, knocking our phones off a table or counter, while being dropped in a toilet and falling out of a bag round out the top six most common issues.
By comparison, there are approximately just over 600 car accidents from minor to major each hour in the U.S.
More glass, more problems
So where does this madness stop? The all-glass designs of recent premium flagships are only making the problem worse, and designs are getting increasingly attractive and colorful which are also reasons not to want a smartphone case covering it up.
Insurance and coverage for breakages is an option. Insurance is always a game of deciding if an outsized risk deserves a small payment to offset that. Tempting consumers is part of the game, and deals have become increasingly more available and attractive. Of course, part of the reason this survey exists is that SquareTrade is part of Allstate, and sells device protection insurance for a monthly fee. Carriers tend to offer the same insurance deals that go beyond a limited warranty, with Verizon offering a fair enough deal that we reported on it, about this time last year.
For mine though, it’s all about a case. A sturdy case for an outlay of between $20-$50 or so will pay off in the long run. Peace of mind, a protected device that will be in great condition when it comes time to hand off or resell, and no ongoing costs.
Yes, your shiny device won’t be as pretty, but you won’t become one of the 5,761 each hour.