Cost of repair means many users live with a damaged smartphone

Almost half the country can’t be without their device for even a day

Is your smartphone broken? Have you been walking around with a cracked screen or other damage to your device? You are not alone.

According to a new ‘save our smartphone’ survey released by smartphone case manufacturer OtterBox, 56 per cent of Australian smartphone users have damaged their device. One in five have had to fork over between $100-$500 to get their device repaired or replaced.

Otterbox also said Australians will spend, on average, less than 12 months with a damage-free device, with 80 per cent of smartphone damage occurring in the first year and 25 per cent in the first three months.

The survey was commissioned by Otterbox and conducted by Pureprofile in April 2014. It is based on 1000 Australian respondents over 18 years of age.

Key findings from the survey include: 80 per cent of smartphone damage occurred in the first year, 25 per cent damaged their phone in the first three months, 31 per cent of users had a scratched screen, 21 per cent of respondents broke or cracked their own screens and 13 per cent were affected by water damage.

Perhaps the most revealing figure to emerge from the study is that 47 per cent of respondents said they can’t be without their device. This supports a long held view by many in the industry that Australians are one of the most tech-savvy and dependent populations in the world.

Otterbox managing director Asia-Pacific, Steve Nisbet, said Australia is a country of smartphone enthusiasts.

“Our research shows that Aussies are not okay going without their mobile device even for a day, so they often don’t fix their broken phone. When you’re spending up to $1500 for a phone contract and for those signed up to a 24-month contract, breaking your phone is a lot of hassle and can be expensive.”

Nisbet said Australians are evidently reluctant to pay for repairs. To avoid having to pay yet another $100-$500 to repair or replace a smartphone, he said prevention is the key.

Read more: How to watch all FIFA World Cup games at home or on the go

Many users will leave their phone at home when traveling to a festival or the beach believing they could avoid potential damage. This may not be that much of a mitigator, with Otterbox saying that the home is the most common place smartphones get damaged followed by public transport and getting in and out of a car.

If you think a case will save you from the trauma of a broken smartphone, think again. Otterbox said as many as 62 per cent of smartphone users said they did have some sort of phone protection when the damage happened.

With iPhone 5 screen repairs costing around $140 from some third party repairers, and Samsung Galaxy S5 screens costing $250, many users will find theses costs a disincentive to repair their phone. As the survey showed, this additional cost along with the potential time they will be without their device mean that many users will simply suffer through the inconvenience instead of biting the bullet and getting their phone repaired.

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Tags Otterboxsmartphone repairsmobilitysmartphonessmartphone damagemobileSteve Nisbet

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Chris Player

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