How often do you buy a new smartphone?

How often do you buy a new smartphone?
With Apple's new iPhone Upgrade Program guaranteeing you the latest iPhone as soon as it comes out, and with makers like Sony accelerating their product development cycle and offering an update twice a year, it's fair to say that devices are becoming more and more disposable. Up to a point where we can't help but look back at the glory days of old, when most people measured their phone's lifespan in the years, not months.

Are we switching to new devices more often than in the past? Undoubtedly, it seems, and largely thanks to various initiatives that make the process a piece of cake in comparison to having to offload your dinged smartphone through eBay or whatever — like Verizon Edge and AT&T Next. This, in turn, made us wonder, Just how often do you buy a new smartphone? And we require answers!

Let us know by voting right below. If your answer falls between two options, just pick the one you believe more accurately represents your buying patterns in the past.

How often do you buy a new smartphone?

Every ~3 months
4.25%
Every ~6 months
5.4%
Every ~9 months
4.15%
Every year
26.91%
Every two years
35.47%
Once in more than two years
23.82%

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89 Comments

88. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

My phone cycle depends on the lower echelon of the family I take care of phones for. When they drop break, or their phone gets lost, they get one of my older phones, or the phone I have. Allowing me to upgrade. Currently at almost a year with my current crop. So about a 1+ for me depending on what happens. I usually try to stretch it to two years.

85. Jyakotu

Posts: 868; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I usually bought new smartphones only if I felt the need to get a new phone. For example, my Samsung Intercept, which was my first smartphone, was becoming even more slow and buggy due to the Android 2.2 update. I then upgraded to the Galaxy Nexus, but after the phone wouldn't charge anymore due to the charger port being messed up, I got the LG G2 came time for my upgrade. Had I not gotten my LG G4, I probably would still have my G2, as there was nothing wrong with my 2nd one (the 1st one had a screen issue, thus, I had to get a replacement from Amazon). For now, my G4 is running fine and I don't see the need to upgrade any time soon.

83. snowgator

Posts: 3630; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I have burned through 4 phones this year. Had a lot of fun, but the reality is if the HTC One M8 for Windows hadn't been a lemon with 2 returns for bad screens, I would have happily have kept that for a couple years. I absolutely want a phone to last 1.5-2 years, but I need it to satisfy all my needs and most of my wants. As soon as I get that, I will be a happy long term user. But, it is kinda fun to try new devices, and I get new on EBay or on sale, so I ain't going broke.

82. techfanatic23

Posts: 14; Member since: Aug 25, 2015

I purchase the latest Samsung Note every year on Verizon full retail to keep unlimited data. I sell my current phone just before the launch of the new note. I end up paying less than half price that way after its all said and done.

78. Coconut00

Posts: 485; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

15-24 months. (Unless something happens to the phone I use or there is an extremely good new device)

77. Amo5500

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 23, 2015

In asia, we upgrade phone anytime we can. I 'rent' 2 phones a year. I say rent, because I re-sell the phone, and lost around US$100-150. For me, it's the same as renting the phone for US$200-300/year.

79. surfboarder

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

Oh hell ya plus in Asia you guy have all the cool way ahead tech too :)) phones of the future the USA won't for years I bet the iPhone 6s is years ago tech for you guys!! Their is a guy at my job in Los Angeles from Asia and he's always got this kick ass phone everyone wants, but your luck their tech of the future there probably iPhone 10 lol or Samsung Galaxy s9 lol

74. GeekMovement unregistered

Usually every 2 years, but right now I still have the Note 2. New phone when switching carriers early next year. (and probably every 2 years after)

72. Konsento

Posts: 139; Member since: Apr 10, 2015

Around a year, more or less.

69. chenski

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Every two years i read the reviews and buy the best android according to reviews, my first was samsung s3, switched to lg g3 in last year, so next year will be upg time!

67. rsiders

Posts: 2068; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Once a year unless I buy something unlocked and then it's probably once every 9 to 10 months depending on the phone and how much I like it. Just got the LG V10 though. I'm trying to stay in that two years or more category with this one. By that time the market is going to have some crazy powerful phones with even more amazing cameras on them. Until then, this V10 will be more than enough to keep me happy.

66. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

When a great bang for buck device offers something compelling to justify upgrading or my current phone drops dead. Could be once every year, or once every 3 years or even longer. My OnePlus One works fine many of my SmartPhone needs, updates are gonna keep coming potentially forever, and the beauty of Android and Windows updates; they aren't a planned obsolescence that bring your last year device to a crawl, thus tolerating me to keep my SmartPhone/Laptop/Tablet PC for as long as I want...my next SmartPhone might just have to be the following Surface Phone to be considered for upgrading. www.pcworld.com/article/2907539/this-fake-microsoft-surface-phone-is-the-flagship-smartphone-we-want.html

62. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

Once a month.:)

61. jediprime

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 23, 2010

I need the one with the bigger GBs!!

86. surfboarder

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

Well the LG 64 gb comes free 200 gb ad card at t mobile also removable battery option

60. Dee79

Posts: 307; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Pointless upgrading every year let alone 3 months or 4 months. Every 2 years is good for me and a good upgrade it is. Who actually upgrades every 3-6 months anyways. What, to buy the iphone then the iphone S lool

58. Jason78

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 10, 2013

The longest I've had a phone is 18 months and the shortest is 2 days. I buy used flagships when they are about a year or so old and keep them until I see something else that interests me. Last week I bought 3 phones: a Nexus 5 - 32 GB ($170), Nexus 6 - 64 GB ($250), and Nokia Lumia 1520 ($150). I'll play around with them for a week or so and decide which to keep Likely I'll keep the Nexus 6 as my android phone and the Lumia 1520 as my Windows Phone. That means my Nexus 5, Lumia 1020, and Lumia 925 we be up on Ebay shortly.

57. volcano

Posts: 348; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

when the phone i use doesn't serve me well

54. cdm283813

Posts: 424; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

In the last 12 months I had a Note 4, Samsung S6 and now iPhone 6S. I'm trying to hold back from getting a Nexus 6P. I'm horrible but have decided to get pure devices from now on. So only Nexus and Apple.

53. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Once a year works fine.

52. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Almost 1/4th upgrade less than once every 2 years???

50. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Twice a year, new Note, now iPhone.

56. Plume-Veil

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 19, 2015

Same to here , new Note and new Sony Zseries.

64. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

PA, why is arte8800 not banned yet?

46. Cyberthing

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 18, 2014

I would do it every time I see a phone I like or every 2 years but "want" isn't a good enough justification for my other half lol. She's still from the old school habit of keep a phone until it breaks.

44. Shocky unregistered

12-18 months usually, depends if Samsung screw up or not. If they do I hold out a bit longer too consider my options. :D

34. nooi_c

Posts: 21; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

It started with Galaxy Note II then Xiaomi Redmi Note 2. Thank you so much modders.

31. Blest42188

Posts: 55; Member since: Aug 05, 2015

I upgrade whenver i see a phone that trumps my current phone. BUT if my current is lagfree and has a great camera and great screen, im good with it. Like Im considering a Note 5 but Im hearing about these new samsung phones next year that may have a better form factor for me.

30. geordie8t1

Posts: 345; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

1 year is sufficient for me, i used to upgrade every 6 months but as the prices have skyrocketed for flagships over the past few years and the development has slowed i have cut back to yearly, if im honest I could easily wait 18 months easily but I still like something new to look forward to as a treat yearly :-) lol

29. Bernoulli

Posts: 4364; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

3 months is excessive, 6 months is ideal.

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