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Owners Ditch Mobile Devices Before Terrible Twos

Nearly half of users replace their smartphone or tablet within two years

July 8, 2014 | Mobile

When’s the last time you replaced your mobile device? Over half of smartphone and tablet owners are toting devices purchased within the past year, based on March 2014 survey results from B2X Care Solutions and Motorola. According to the study, 57% of respondents who owned a smartphone had purchased it within the past year, and 55% of tablet users said the same.

Length of Smartphone/Tablet Ownership According to US Smartphone/Tablet Owners, March 2014 (% of respondents)

Mobile contracts often last two years, but results indicated that consumers didn’t always wait for these to end before switching to the latest trendy device. Nearly half of smartphone owners typically replaced their phones within two years of ownership, though it’s likely that many of that group made the switch on the later end of that range, when their contracts were indeed over. Just 5% held onto their smartphone or tablet for longer. Similarly, three in 10 tablet owners typically used their tablets for two years or less before replacing or upgrading them, with just 5% keeping them for a longer duration.

Overall, the study found that nearly half of respondents swapped out their mobile devices within two years of ownership. This relatively short timeframe makes sense when one considers that US smartphone and tablet owners said buying a technically advanced model was the most important factor when purchasing a new device.

eMarketer expects the number of US smartphone users to grow 13.5% this year to reach 163.9 million consumers, representing 51.4% of the population. The tablet audience will also be impressive, rising 11.3% in 2014 to 147.2 million users, or 46.2% of all people in the country.

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