Average phone is broken or lost in 15 months, survey says

You're probably going to break, lose or have your phone stolen before your contract ends, leaving you stuck with an inferior phone.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

You're probably going to break, lose or have your phone stolen -- and you'll still wind up paying for it while you're stuck with an inferior phone. That's the pessimistic message of new figures revealed today.

A survey of 1,185 Britons on pay-monthly contracts by gadget insurance firm Protect Your Bubble found that the average phone goes south in 15 months -- which is a problem as many of us are tied into contracts lasting 18 months or two years.

Roughly a third of phones get broken, usually as a result of being introduced to the floor or other hard surfaces at an unfriendly pace. Sadly, after the worst happens, the majority of phone fans have to make do with a cheaper phone or a hand-me-down from friends or family rather than a straight replacement.

One in seven phones is lost or stolen, which is why it's definitely a good idea to make friends with Find My iPhone, Android Device Manager or an equivalent phone-tracking app that sniffs out your device should it go walkies -- and don't forget to register it with Immobilise, the national property register used by police forces throughout the country.

Sure, an insurance company has a vested interest in highlighting the potential for disaster, but if we extrapolate these numbers it means as many as 3.3m phone owners could be lumbered paying for a phone that didn't survive the full length of their contract.

If your phone does a Tom Daly, a watery grave isn't a certainty: here's our handy guide to saving a wet or water-damaged mobile phone. If you have butter fingers, keep a bowl of rice or a product like Reviveaphone handy, or maybe only drink through a long straw.

What's the daftest way you've lost or damaged your phone? Are you stuck with a substandard phone because something bad happened to your shiny expensive mobile? What's the shortest time you've had a phone before disaster struck? Tell me about it in the comments or drop in to our Facebook page.