A Nielsen Digital Consumer Report revealed in 2013, at least 65 percent of all U.S. citizens had a smartphone device, which is a massive hike from the 44 percent recorded in 2011. With the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus recently being released and recording it's largest first weekend sales ever, smartphone usage is likely not receding anytime soon.
However, with these new, small, portable and delicate smartphones on us at all times, the chances increase dramatically for a broken, lost or stolen device. Apple and other phone service providers offer insurance that usually only replaces the device once and will not replace it with a brand new smartphone, but instead, a refurbished one.
Replacing a new phone not so easy
Replacing a brand new smartphone like the iPhone 6 can be very difficult if the damage was caused by the user. Whether it was an accident or not, if the Genius Bar worker deems it self-inflicted damage, a user without any warranty or insurance could be up to $949 without a new contract plan, according to Apple.
In a recent Consumer Reports guide to buying smartphones, the organization explained only 15 percent of smartphone buyers actually replace their old broken or damaged phones with a new device. Additionally, the Consumer Reports survey discovered a mere 2 percent of users replace their smartphones when the devices are lost or stolen.
Return on investment
Personal insurance can act as an investment for smartphone users because it protects their devices and replaces the products with new phones. With the newest gadgets being released, there's no reason to not protect your electronics.
Bob Hunter, director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America, explained insuring smartphones might not be worth it because you can back up critical information, NBC News reported. He added that insurance should protect only the big events, but nearly $1,000 for a brand new device could be considered a huge investment for some people.
"A better idea: Keep your old phone until the new phone's contract ends," the Consumer Reports guide stated. "If you lose or break the new phone, reactivate the old one and use it until you qualify for a free or low-cost phone."
However, for those with a new device, a broken, lost or stolen smartphone within the first couple of months might be too much agony to switch back to an older model when personal insurance could have protected it in the first place.
Consumers still want a new device
Simply put, smartphone owners want a new device every few years, and for the die-hard techies, a new phone each year. People flock to new smartphones because of several different reasons but some of the most common are battery life and security, Forbes reported.
Users want a phone that will last longer than any other as we grow closer to our phones and use them more frequently. While new apps, games and other software enhancements hit the market, the freshly created programs are making people stay on their phones longer. According to Forbes, people want to rely less on charging a smartphone throughout the day.
Other consumers want better security options as hackers get more creative with their information stealing technique for mobile devices. According to Forbes, older security clearances on outdated phones are too easy for professionals to hack, and having the newest device could be beneficial.
While smartphones are certainly not cheap, replacing them without a new contract is even more expensive. Personal insurance can help users get their devices fully replaced with a new one and not refurbished device that could be prone to damages or faulty software.