Study: Americans spent $5.9B on broken iPhones

September 19, 2012 9:02:12 PM PDT
About one in three iPhone owners have dented, bruised, cracked or shattered that expensive little device within the past year. That's according to new numbers that also show many of us are still using our broken phones and many are desperately waiting to buy Apple's new iPhone 5 when it's released on Friday.

Mitch Rice is a personal trainer. We've interviewed him before about personal training, but this time it's even more personal.

"I am holding my broken iPhone 4," said Rice.

Though he's a master of coordination with a pair of dumbbells, when it comes to his iPhone, he's a klutz.

Bloom: You drop you phone a lot.
Rice: I do, I drop it all the time.

And apparently, so does his co-worker Deborah Newman.

Newman: We broke them only a couple of days apart.
Rice: It's true.
Newman: It's been a bonding experience.

Rice and Newman may be fitness deities in the gym, but out in the world, they're just another statistic -- two out of the millions of Americans whose coveted iPhones have tumbled to their demise.

"iPhone 4S is glass on both sides," said SquareTrade's chief marketing officer Ty Shay.

SquareTrade, which sells extended warranties, has drop-tested the iPhone 4S extensively. Now, they've released a study suggesting Americans have spent $5.9 billion repairing their broken iPhones, most often because the phone slipped out of their hands, but the second most common fate is falling into water.

"They drop them into toilets, swimming pools, sinks," said Shay.

SquareTrade says Mississippi is the clumsiest state and Iowa is the most careful. However, wherever you broke your phone, there's a one in six chance you haven't gotten it fixed.

"A lot of people are walking around right now with broken devices," said Shay. "And 6 percent of people are walking around with tape on their iPhones."

For Rice, a little tape might go a long way.

"I keep getting glass in my hands and in my fingers, but I actually think it looks pretty cool," said Rice.

Not quite as cool as the new iPhone 5s he and Newman are both getting in the next few days.

SquareTrade says that drop test is coming soon.

There is a company that will repair your iPhone. It's called iCracked. They're out of Redwood City, and they have a network of 300 mobile repair technicians or "iTechs." They will also buy your old iPhone, and redistribute the ones that can be fixed, or recycle the ones that can't.


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