Vodafone claims users are changing phones every four years

(Image credit: Future)

British consumers are changing their smartphone devices once every four years, on average, according to a new report by Vodafone.

The company claims that five years ago, the average Brit kept their smartphone for two years, suggesting that the lifespan of arguably the most important piece of technology in our lives doubled in half a decade.

But even as devices become more powerful and almost capable of outlasting the average UK Prime Minister’s term, Brits are still having trouble saying goodbye. Almost half (45%) would love their devices to last longer, mostly because they want to save money (69%), don’t want to hurt the environment (46%) and are worried about the sentimental content saved on their phones (40%).

Battery woes

When they do end up replacing their smartphone, it’s usually not because of a shiny new feature on offer, but rather because the old one simply can’t keep up. Roughly half (48%) believe smartphones deserve a little more love, with battery problems (33%) being the number one reason for replacement. Other major reasons include slow running (28%), and issues with the microphone, speaker, and camera (21%). 

To try and help consumers hold on to their dear phones longer, Vodafone has launched a new offering called Lifetime Service Promise, which includes a battery refresh and lifetime warranty for both new and refurbished phones free of charge. The Lifetime Warranty covers device repairs against manufacturer faults (only available to customers with a Pay Monthly Airtime Plan), while the Battery Refresh offers free battery checks and replacements for up to three years. 

While it would make sense to offer something like this for new devices, including refurbished phones is a welcome addition. The market for used and refurbished phones has been rising fast in the last couple of quarters, as consumers look to cut down on costs, and reduce their carbon footprint, while new devices keep losing the “wow” factor that’s been driving sales for years.

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.