Being hip is spendy as nearly $6b spent on iPhone repairs

Broken iPhone

iPhones are lovely but are fragile and not cheap to fix, as iPhone repairs are estimated to have cost $5.9 billion in the past five years. Photo Credit: Cameron Parkins/

Being hip is an expensive habit. The smartphone of choice for the “hipper” among us is without doubt the iPhone and while certainly stylish and so forth, it’s also a bit of a fussbudget as $5.9 billion has been spent on iPhone repairs since 2007.

Some sticker iShock for iPhone repairs

Crack open the business or technology section of most any major newspaper or magazine and usually there will be a new weekly heap of praise for Apple and the iPhone and/or the iPad. It’s only going to get worse when the iPhone5 comes out, which is going to take the brown-nosing to disgusting new lows. The obsequiousness of the press knows no boundaries for some time, but perhaps they might want to slow it down a bit.

Something that might give a person pause is the cost of iPhone repairs. According to Time magazine, SquareTrade, a company that sells aftermarket warranties to people looking for more extensive guarantees than manufacturers provide, estimates that $5.9 billion has been spent on iPhone repairs since the thing came out in 2007.

Clumsy owners most likely cause

SquareTrade surveyed roughly 2,000 iPhone owners, analyzing the data and extrapolating an estimate from there. According to Businessweek, the survey also found 30 percent of owners had damaged their iPhone within the past year and, according to Time, that 11 percent of iPhone owners with damaged phones keep their phone with a cracked screen and 6 percent keep their phone held together with tape.

However, it also found that most of the damage was self-inflicted. Damage from accidents was 10 times more likely than losing the phone or it being stolen. The most common sources of damage were from the owner dropping their iPhone or accidentally dunking it in liquid or getting it showered with liquid otherwise, such as dropping one in the toilet or a pool. Screens cost upward of $150 to replace, enough to send most people running for small short term loans.

Perhaps one incentive toward buying the iPhone 5 is that it has only one pane of glass, the screen, instead of two. The case is also made from aluminum, rather than composite.

Going Google won’t save you

The estimated cost of iPhone repairs might seem a reason for Android owners to rub it in, but switching to a phone with Google’s OS won’t save you. According to Wired, a survey last year by WDS, a wireless services company, found that Android owners were far more likely to call into repair and customer services centers than iPhone owners.

Roughly 14 percent of calls to service centers concerning Android phones in the WDS study were for issues with hardware. Just 11 percent were for iPhones. Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices were even less likely to break down. WDS estimates fielding complaints and issues with Android phones costs telecom companies $2 billion per year, globally.





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