Study reveals the most common reasons why a smartphone needs to be trashed

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Study reveals the most common reasons why a smartphone needs to be trashed
It's Friday so you might be ready to hear an incredible statistic. First, we'd like you to guess how many smartphones are going to be thrown out this year. Well, according to Green Smartphones, 5.3 billion handsets will be discarded in 2022. Heck, we can remember when the active number of smartphones wasn't even close to that number.

The number one reason why phones break is that they stop charging


The guys and gals at Green Smartphone were curious about what causes consumers to discard their phones. In other words, what are the most common reasons that smartphones break? So using Google, they decided to see what issues were garnering the most complaints. And at the top of the list, it is the inability of a phone to charge that sends one-third of discarded handsets to a landfill in Secaucus next to the remains of Jimmy Hoffa. And that makes sense; after all, a phone that can't charge is useless.


The most common reason for a phone to stop charging is that the charging port is full of dirt or debris; using compressed air might help you clear the port. Before throwing that phone in the trash though, you might consider changing the battery or using a different cable or plug. But if you're looking for an excuse to upgrade ("Sorry dear, I just HAVE to get a new phone since mine won't charge anymore. We can hold off on buying your insulin for 24 months, right?), this one should work. And if you have a problem with your spouse, just show him/her this article.

The study revealed that a broken touchscreen is the next most likely reason to call the time of death on a phone. Again, this makes sense because once your touchscreen can no longer register touch, there isn't much you can do with it. And the touchscreen is such a sensitive part of a smartphone that unless you have it covered by a screen protector, it lies exposed ready to be broken with a single impact. This was the reason cited by 10% of those who buried their smartphone. The next most common reason why consumers dump their smartphones with 9% of the total is that the speaker was no longer working.

What was the reason why you retired your previous phone?


When you think about it, losing the speakers on your phone is no easier than losing the touchscreen. No sound, no calls. No music or mobile games. No good. Tied with broken speakers, and making up 9% of the most common reasons that a phone breaks, is the propensity of a particular smartphone to overheat. Most phones will overheat every now and then, but constantly burning your hands while trying to make a call is not good.


The fifth most likely reason why a smartphone breaks, capturing 8% of the top 13 reasons, is a broken microphone. This ties in with a broken touchscreen and a broken speaker. Making and taking calls might be difficult without a microphone that works.

The next three reasons why a phone breaks, each garnering 7% of the total, include a battery that is draining too fast, a camera that is not working, and the inability to connect to a Wi-Fi network. A rapidly draining battery could be a software issue but it also is seen on older phones ready to be retired. If you're not running beta software and your phone is getting long in the tooth, it is time to do the humane thing and get a new device. Frankly, we would have expected battery complaints to be higher up on the list.

The ninth most common reason why a phone breaks is that Bluetooth isn't working (4% of the total). With the increasing number of wireless Bluetooth earbuds and non-cellular smartwatches in use, this problem would be enough for some (probably more than you would think) to throw out their daily driver.

The next two issues make up 2% of the most common reasons why smartphones break and they are often connected. Whether it is the volume button not working or the power button that is broken, it is a rare occurrence that can still prevent someone from using their handset.

And two less likely reasons to throw out your current phone, both happening only 1% of the time, are a malfunctioning GPS and the inability to use wireless charging.

What caused you to retire the last phone that you replaced? Was it one of the reasons that we mentioned in the article? Let us know by dropping your comments in the box below.
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