How often do you upgrade to a new phone?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
How often do you upgrade to a new phone?
Smartphones have quickly become an essential part of our lives. The question is no more if you have one, but which one you have. That comes with all sorts of implications, the worst one of which is probably people being judged by the device they own. Whether it’s the brand, the age, or the specific model, your smartphone is at least somewhat a reflection of the person you are.

The same goes when it comes to how often you switch to a newer device. People have all sorts of different approaches when it comes to deciding when it’s time for a new phone. I even made a flowchart about it if you’re facing that dilemma. This time, I’ve categorized some of the most popular philosophies into different camps, depending on the frequency of their upgrades. Check them out and tell me in the poll at the end if you identify with one of them.

Camp “Upgrade fever”



This camp consists of two very different types of users. We have all the tech junkies with deep pockets that are looking for that top performance and long features list on one side. On the other, there are those that don’t care as much about the specs, as long as it’s clear to everyone around them that they’re rocking the latest and greatest smartphone. Usually, people that upgrade frequently are riding the flagship wave and anything less than the best is a disappointment.

Camp “Whenever my contract expires”


This is where a huge part of smartphone users reside. They’re not too involved in the tech scene, but whenever the term of their carrier contract ends, they’re easily lured by the appeal of a fancy new phone. This means they usually upgrade once every two years and often go for a trade-in since they can’t be bothered with selling their old phone.

Camp “Out of spite”


Here things get tricky. The “out of spite” smartphone user is a rare breed. That’s the user that wants to upgrade but is unhappy where the industry is right now. There could be many reasons for that, from the high prices of flagships these days to notched displays or the lack of headphone jack. Whatever the reason, this user is teaching companies a lesson by not buying a new smartphone even if they objectively need one. When a quarter ends, they check the manufacturers’ financial results to see if their small rebellion had hit where it hurts the most: profits. They do crack eventually, their willpower is no match compared to that of the next camp...

Camp “Holding for dear life”



Users in this camp pride themselves with the life they can squeeze out of their devices. They often hold onto a smartphone for 4+ years. While the user experience towards the end of such a long upgrade cycle is far from ideal and borderline frustrating, the feeling when they finally get a new device, leaping over several generations, is exhilarating. These users don’t mind spending a bit more when the time comes because they’ll get their money’s worth until the last cent.

Camp “As soon as I can afford it”


Unfortunately, buying a new phone is not always up to your personal preference. Outside factors may prevent people from getting the smartphone they want. Usually, that means a lack of disposable income. Here the upgrade period varies wildly depending on when enough cash becomes available. Getting a new device is always exciting but sometimes other expenses rightfully take priority. And to be honest, people rarely really need a new smartphone.

So, do you identify with a certain camp? If not, just tell us how often you switch phones in the poll below below:

How often do you upgrade your smartphone?

At least once a year
21.23%
About once every two years
34.33%
About once every three years
23.09%
Once every four or more years
11.67%
Upgrade intervals vary depending on my financial situation
9.68%

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