|Photo Credit: Apple|
On Friday, the newest generation of Apple's smartphone will be dropped into the hands of the first eager customers who will drop just under $700 Canadian to navigate the iPhone 5's Retina display touchscreen. With an average 23 Apple iPhone 5s being pre-ordered every second during the first 24 hours, the new device will join a global mobile environment already flooded with earlier iterations of the Apple's handheld that redefined the term 'smartphone' since 2007. While the sale, resale, phone plans and accessory options have conjured up a self-contained Apple economy, there has also been another source where a major dollar figure relates to the iPhone over six generations of acceptance. The number 5.9 billion dollars US is attached to the damage of pricey Apple iPhone devices in the United States alone.
A number compiled through the assistance of comScore estimates by retail warranty supplier SquareTrade (who may have a vested interest in publishing some key figures in respect to one of the most popular smartphone devices on the market) equated the 5.9-billion dollar cost for damaged iPhones to more than twice the amount spent for toilet paper in the United States. The overall cost estimate takes into account repair, replacement and insurance deductibles to Apple iPhone products since first sold in 2007. Damage to Apple iPhone devices is recorded as 10 times more likely than either through loss or theft.
Presenting a snapshot into the life of an Apple iPhone, SquareTrade's survey took a sample group of 2,000 Apple iPhone users and discovered that 30% have stated that their devices have been damaged in a past 12-month period. The most prevalent occurrences for iPhone damage includes being dropped by hand or lap, falling into a body of water (lake, swimming pool or even a toilet), having fluid spilt on the device and being knocked off a table. The survey also revealed that half of iPhone users under the age of 35 years old have encountered a situation the resulted in harm coming to their Apple smartphone device. Since a sizable portion of Apple's market appeals to younger users who like to think their iPhone into risky territories, 50 percent loss for the under-35 demographic is not too much of a surprise.
SquareTrade has also recorded data from users who have chosen to continue operating their Apple iPhone devices even after sustaining harm. 11 percent of survey participants indicate they have proceeded to use their iPhone when the screen was cracked and another 6 percent admitted to taping their devices as a favourable remedy over costly repairs or replacement. These damaged Apple iPhone devices will undoubtedly receive far reduced trade-in prices if accepted at all. On the Ebay Instant Sale site, a fully-functioning 16-gigabyte iPhone 4S with USB connecting cable will garner $310.80 in Canadian funds. If in fair condition but still operational, a Apple iPhone 4S will only fetch $155.40 during a trade-in. Interestingly enough, a non-functioning 16-gigabyte iPhone 4S device in poor condition will still be worth $20.00 to Ebay through the Staples Canada supported Ebay program.
Such as the case with many other cell phone and smartphone devices, the steady aftermarket is devoted to providing accessories capable of protecting against the before-mentioned damage. In the case of SquareTrade, a warranty for an iPhone device allows for a user to easily repair or replace their device. In the United States, SquareTrade offers a 2-year protection plan for $99 and a 3-year warranty for $129. A $50 deductible would also need to be paid when a user files a claim. Damage against an accidental damage to a smartphone device is fairly rare in the marketplace. AppleCare is also in place as an extended warranty for iPhone devices but does not cover damages such as a cracked screen or water.
SquareTrade CMO Ty Shay words in regards to the already $5.9 billion industry was served with a cautionary warning predicting growth in the damaged iPhone economy. "As smart phones continue to improve, they become more tightly integrated into our busy lives leaving them vulnerable to accidents around the clock," said Shay who also expressed intrigue for what the iPhone 5 device with its narrower profile and larger screen will affect the trend.