Not So Smart: The Common Causes of Smartphone Damage

Gone are the days of cell phones seemingly being made of concrete. The old Nokia devices that could be dropped and soaked (and most probably crushed) yet still come out playing the Grande Valse are long gone.

Technology has evolved. We now have video, colour, touch screens, and HD cameras as well as much faster processing power. However, our hands have not evolved and many of us still have the incredible knack of inadvertently smashing or scratching our cell phones (and even dropping them down the toilet).

Here at Fix Apple Now, we’re continually inundated with iPhone repairs. While it’s great business for us, we’ve been thinking about just how many people are damaging their devices. In order to answer this conundrum, we decided to run a survey to uncover just how many people are accidently breaking their devices, including which states are the clumsiest and the most common methods by which people are damaging their phones.

The State of Rings: Which States are the Worst Offenders?

From major breakages and scratches to water damage and battery issues, almost half of US adults (45%) have damaged their cell phone – with a quarter (26%) of that number having damaged their device in the last 12 months.

The state of Texas sees the highest proportion of adults breaking their cell phone, with 73% admitting they’ve broken their phone (45% of those in the past year).

New York came second when it came to admitting cell phone damage (68%), with Big Apple folk most likely to have smashed their screens (37%). The most common cause of a smashed screen was dropping the phone on a hard surface.

Top Five States By Cell Phone Breakages:

RANKSTATE% of CELL PHONES BROKEN% of CELL PHONES BROKEN
IN THE LAST YEAR
1Texas72.5
44.8
2New York67.537
3Florida6542.3
4Nevada6550
5Massachusetts62.528
5Pennsylvania62.536

From major breakages and scratches to water damage and battery issues, almost half of US adults (45%) have damaged their cell phone – with a quarter (26%) of that number having damaged their device in the last 12 months.

The state of Texas sees the highest proportion of adults breaking their cell phone, with 73% admitting they’ve broken their phone (45% of those in the past year).

New York came second when it came to admitting cell phone damage (68%), with Big Apple folk most likely to have smashed their screens (37%). The most common cause of a smashed screen was dropping the phone on a hard surface.

Top Five States By Smashed Screen Percentage:

RANKSTATE% of CELL PHONES BROKEN
DUE TO A SMASHED SCREEN
1Oregon47.1
2Georgia46.7
3Nevada46.2
4Indiana44.4
4North Dakota44.4

Phone Breakages By Age: The iPhone Generation That Loves To Smash Their Phones

Young adults are always believed to be the most tech savvy generation, but when it comes to looking after their devices, those aged 18-24 are considerably more likely to break their cell phones compared to those aged 60+.

Our survey found that almost 70% of adults under 25-years-old have broken their devices at some point in the past, with around 1-in-10 having done so in the past year.

Over half (55%) of those aged 25-39 had also broken their cell phone previously, compared to just 16% of over 60s. Those aged between 40 and 59 were also prone to damaging their devices, with 40% having done so in the past.

However, US adults aged 40-59 are also among the safest when it comes to trying to prevent cell phone damage, with 50% of respondents admitting to using a cover/case on their device. Contrast this to only a third of 18-to-24-year-olds who admit to the use of a protective cover or case.

Full Breakdown:

AGE16 - 2425 - 3940 - 5960+
% of CELL PHONES BROKEN69.655.2
39.615.6
% of CELL PHONES BROKEN IN THE LAST YEAR10.68.44.72.3

The most common method of breakage for all ages was a smashed screen, contributing to around 40% of breakages for 18-to-39-year-olds and over 60s.

Battery problems contributed to around 1-in-5 problems for those aged 40-60, while water damage was an issue for around 1-in-10 across the board.

Phone Breakages By Gender: A Breakdown of Cell Phone Issues By Sex

Females are around 9% more likely to break their phone according to our study, with almost 50% of women having broken their devices in the past. 41% of males have previously broken their phones, with 30% of those having done so in the last year compared to just 23% of females.

Female cell phone owners are more likely to have a cover or case on their device, but are still more likely to smash the screen according to the statistics, with 40% of females citing this as the reason for breakage compared to 36% of males.

Men are more likely to see their cell phones damaged by water, while women report more problems with their battery.

Full Breakdown:

GENDERMALEFEMALE
% of CELL PHONES BROKEN40.649.4
% of CELL PHONES BROKEN IN THE LAST YEAR30.322.5

Top Tips To Keep Your Cell Phone Safe & Scratch Free

Accidents with cell phones do happen – as you can see from the statistics above, they happen a lot! Of course, there are ways to avoid causing damage to your phone.

Here at Fix Apple Now we’d always recommend protecting your device as much as possible. Below you’ll find some of our top tips to help keep your device safe and scratch free.

  • Invest In A Case

The most useful piece of advice we can give you is to invest in a case. There are thousands of different types of cases available to suit all budgets, so there’s no excuse for not protecting your phone. You can get heavy duty cases as well as lighter versions, all of which will give you added protection should you drop your device. In fact, you can even pick up waterproof pouches and cases if you’re spending time near water.

  • Add a Screen Protector

As well as a case to surround your phone, you can also add a screen protector to fully armour your device. It’s so easy to scratch or smash your screen (a key in your pocket or handbag can quite often be the cause, or a loose few cents). You can purchase screen protectors relatively cheaply. Some cases will even protect your device against fingerprint marks or smudges thanks to oil resistant layers.

  • Keep Your Device Away From Moisture & Humidity

Many of us will browse the web during a hot and steamy bath but the moisture could be significantly harmful to your device. Water was the cause of damage in around 1-in-10 breakages reported in our study. Typical causes cover a number of scenarios, whether it be leaving your device in your pocket while exercising or leaving it in a hot bathroom, sauna, or steam room. Avoid using your phone in these environments or take precautionary steps to avoid exposing your device to excess levels of moisture. As mentioned above you can purchase waterproof pouches, while there are many accessories available to store your phone while taking part in exercise.

  • Be Sensible

Quite simply, the best advice we can give is to be sensible. As mentioned, accidents happen. While there’s no way to completely protect your device, taking simple and safety conscious steps can make all the difference.

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