Oops! We are more careless with our phones when a newer model is nearing release, study finds



You know the drill - a newer model of your current phone nears release, and your handset of choice suddenly feels sad and useless. What to do given that you splurged so much money on it last year, and it still works perfectly fine? Well, researchers from the Columbia Business School recently plotted the amount of accidents with our phones prior to the new model release, and it turns out that they go up nearer to the event. 

There is even a phrase coined for this phenomenon - the "upgrade effect" - and it seems to be valid for a lot of things, not only handsets. The authors also focused on the peak of the amount of iPhones reported lost when a fresher model is on the horizon. 

Thus, it turns out that we may be subconsciously more careless with our oldie-but-goodies when a shinier thing is in store, and may be more prone to lose or drop them in order to justify a new purchase - you know, the "oops" factor.

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11 Comments

1. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Well... Though the excitement of having a new phone in store is great, I do not neglect or become careless with my oldies... I keep my old gadgets. Nostalgia is a better motivation for me than a new flashy phone model.

6. sissy246

Posts: 7083; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Agree I still take very good care of mine. Even though I sale mine or most of the time hand it down I take the same care of it as the day I bought it up in tell I get my new one.

2. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

You also have to factor people "accidently" breaking or losing their phones, and then get a new on insurance, sell it and buy new model.

3. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

subconsciously... indeed..

4. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I quote: "a newer model of your current phone nears release, and your handset of choice suddenly feels sad and useless." Not in case of an iPhone... An iPhone 6 user shouldn't feel "SO BAD" when he sees The iPhone 7... I mean, he should, in fact, feel HAPPY cause his 'i6' still possess a 3.5mm Jack and look almost identical physically and have the same fluidity (more or less)...! Oh well... Jobs would be real, and I mean "REAL" angry if he was still among the living... G'Day!

5. libra89

Posts: 2271; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

It makes sense, as your tolerance for whatever annoys you about it, feels like it is coming to an end.

7. civicsr2cool

Posts: 267; Member since: Oct 19, 2016

I've been using the same s4 for near 4 years.. Ive never once felt the "I want to upgrade just because" bug lol

8. sissy246

Posts: 7083; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

What!!! That can't be true. Samsung phones don't last more then a year and a half according to ifans. Wish that bug wouldn't bite me LOL, Note 8 coming in 2017, YES

10. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

no, samsung phones explode in less that 1 week according to them.. :P

9. Instructor

Posts: 21; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Absolutely. "Near the truth"

11. lainez21

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 31, 2014

I don't think people get careless when a new phone is on its way, they're simply more careful when they first get their new phone

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