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10 Years, 15 Models Later: iPhone Owners Have Spent $14B Repairing and Replacing Devices, with Cracked Screens Still the Most Common Cause of Damage

iPhone® models have shown continued improvements in durability, yet study reveals people are six times more likely to damage their iPhone than have it lost or stolen

June 27, 2017 – SAN FRANCISCO – In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the iPhone’s availability to consumers on June 29, SquareTrade, the highly rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, has released the results of its iPhone Decade of Damage Study, which looks at how people have used and abused different iPhone models over the past decade. While each new iPhone design has become increasingly resistant to everyday drops, spills, cracks and even bends, iPhone owners have still spent a staggering $14 billion repairing and replacing them since they first hit stores.

In addition, SquareTrade has compared the very first iPhone with the latest iPhone 7 in an anniversary edition of its notorious Breakability Test that uses robots to test devices to destruction. It dramatically shows, how tougher glass, thinner designs and advances in electronics have contributed to make 2017 devices slightly more forgiving to their accident-prone owners. Taking a closer look at the survey results, SquareTrade found:

  • Cracked screens galore – Despite using a screen protector (26 percent) or a phone case (35 percent), nearly half (49 percent) of owners have cracked their screen. These cracks happen at home (40 percent), during falls of less than 3 feet (49 percent) or when people are multitasking (68 percent). The worst part? If owners have ever cracked their screen, they’ve done so an average of 2 times, making repeat incidents fairly common.
  • Comparing Apples to Apples – While the iPhone 6 grabbed the headlines with Bendgate, the iPhone 5c was 2 times more likely to be crushed into pieces than other models. The device owners most reported falling foul of spills was the iPhone 5s, which was a whopping 49 percent more likely to sustain water damage than other iPhone models.
  • Surprising factors affect likelihood of damage – Mode of travel and even users’ height can all affect the likelihood of damage. iPhone owners who walk, bike or take public transit to work are 46 percent more likely to suffer phone damage. With height, owners who are 5’ 4” or less are 16 percent more likely to suffer phone damage. Meanwhile, owners over 6’ are 32 percent less likely to suffer the same fate. Twenty seven percent of accidents have occurred on vacation, 21 percent while playing a sport, 15 percent while snapping a photo and 18 percent while consuming alcohol.
  • Siri-ous Brand Loyalty – Most iPhone owners have only ever owned an iPhone (43 percent) making them a pretty loyal group. But they aren’t upgrading every year, as current owners have only owned an average of 2.5 different models. What are they holding on to? Maybe it’s the iPhone 4, which is the longest kept iPhone and also the first iPhone most owned (23 percent).
  • Social Media use is common and dangerous – More than half (55 percent) of iPhone owners reported spending less than 30 minutes a day making calls. However, a quarter spend two or more hours a day using social media. The top five most used apps – outside of Mail, iMessage, Phone and Safari – are the Facebook, Camera, YouTube, Instagram and Google Maps apps. Just be careful, as owners who use social media four or more hours a day are 57 percent more likely to suffer phone damage!

“After 10 years of iPhone, two things are clear. First, even with all of Apple’s amazing innovations, the iPhone isn’t indestructible—same as any smartphones. Second, iPhone owners are a fiercely loyal group,” said Jason Siciliano, vice president global creative director at SquareTrade. “With 44 percent of current iPhone owners already planning to purchase the new model this fall, we expect that trend to continue.”

For SquareTrade’s full iPhone Decade of Damage Study head to:

Ten Years of Toughness

To test the latest iPhone 7 against the original iPhone design, SquareTrade put both devices through its drop and dunk tests. To check out the shattering results of SquareTrade’s test, view the full Breakability video

  • Drop Test – Both models were dropped once, face down to test Apple’s continued strides in glass innovation. While both screens left with screens in desperate need of repair. The original iPhone showed its age with shards of glass flying off its screen as soon as it hit the sidewalk.
  • Dunk Test – The iPhone 7 came with Apple’s first ever claim to water resistance leaving the dunk test with minor audio muffling. However, the original iPhone only lasted a minute before flickering on and off and ultimately shutting down completely as the phone filled with water.

“Thanks to improved manufacturing techniques like secure seals, water-resistant electronics, and Gorilla Glass, the latest iPhones can survive accidents like drops and spills so much better than 10 years ago.” continued Siciliano. “However, our research still shows that you’re six times more likely to damage your iPhone than lose it or have it stolen. It’s a clumsy world out there. So hold on tight.”

To guard against the worst, SquareTrade always advises people to use screen protectors and phone cases and, of course, get covered by a protection plan.

In celebration of the iPhone anniversary, SquareTrade is offering 10% off all mobile plans with the “iphone10” promo code. For more information about SquareTrade’s iPhone warranties, visit:


About SquareTrade

SquareTrade is a highly rated protection plan provider trusted by millions of customers for its fast and efficient service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life's frequent mishaps. A member of the Allstate family, SquareTrade is headquartered in San Francisco and London. For more information, go to

Data Sources: 1. SquareTrade’s 2017 iPhone Owners Survey conducted in April 2017 using Qualtrics Panels. Feedback was collected from 1,034 current iPhone owners. 2. SquareTrade’s 2017 Smartphone Owners Survey conducted in April 2017 using Qualtrics Panels. Feedback was collected from 1,550 smartphone owners. 3. Pew Research Center’s 2016 Mobile Fact Sheet. 4. U.S. Census QuickFacts

Please note: Total dollars spent figures based on a combination of data sources 1-4.

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