15 months. That's the average time your mobile phone will survive, if you're in the UK. According to research by Protect Your Bubble, the average mobile phone survives only 15 months before it's stolen, lost or broken.
So, what is important about 15 months? Aside from the shocking obsolescence this implies about mobile devices, that means that devices are not surviving until typical contract renewal times, which are often 18 or 24 months. According to the research, 14% of mobile phones are lost or stolen before the end of contracts.
So, what do people do when their handsets are stolen? Given the standard chance of recovering phones these days is around 2%, most people have to replace their devices. Given that new phones are needed before contract renewal, many people find that the unsubsidized cost to replace a newer model phone is too high; 26% choose a cheaper model and 13% use a hand-me-down handset from friends or family.
In the UK, it is estimated that 81% of teens use smartphones. 14% of kids aged 6-10 have experienced mobile theft in the past, where teens and youth aged 14-24 are more than twice as likely to be victims of mobile theft as other age groups in London. Given this, it should come as no surprise that this new research reveals that 18% of youth under age 16 break, lose or have their phones stolen, dropping the average handset survival duration to just 11 months. Theft figures for the under 16 go up to nearly 25%, doubling the overall average.
If you don't want to get saddled with high costs to replace your device, do what you can to protect it for the full contract length. Get a good case to avoid those breaks and protect yourself from mobile theft; if you're a parent, make sure you talk about responsible mobile use with your kids / teens.