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Mobile madness: 5 million Aussies get new phones every 2 years or less


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Millions of Australians are ditching their phones after only two years or less according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 987 respondents with a mobile phone revealed nearly 1 in 3 (29%) Aussies – equivalent to over 5 million people – are upgrading their tech every two years or less.

The research shows 20% of Australians are switching over their devices every two years, while a further 7% are doing so annually.

A small percentage (2%) admitted to waiting just 6 months before getting their next phone.

Mariam Gabaji, telco expert at Finder, said frequent phone upgrades can come with a high price tag.

"A new phone launch can be tempting but think about what features you're actually getting with your upgrade.

"For the average mobile user, the difference between the two most recent models is often minimal.

"Your best bet is to wait a few models between upgrades – you'll typically notice a big difference between your new and old phone and save yourself thousands of dollars in the process."

Finder's survey found more than two thirds (69%) of Aussies cited performance issues as the main reason for their last upgrade.

The research found that 30% bought a new phone because theirs was broken or damaged, 15% felt their phone was too slow, 12% experienced total death of their battery and a further 12% said their battery life was poor.

Other reasons included their contract coming to an end (8%), seeing a new phone they liked (7%), being offered a new phone by their telco (6%), getting a hand-me-down (5%) and losing a phone (2%).

Gabaji encouraged Aussies to shop around when looking for their next phone.

"Upgrading your phone can be a huge hit to your hip pocket.

"Buying outright will be cheaper in the long run, but if forking out more than $1,000 in one go is too much, compare your options for buying the phone on a plan.

"If you do get a new phone on a plan, make sure you're happy sticking it out with that provider for anywhere between 12, 24 or 36 months. You can always cancel your plan earlier but you'll have to pay off the remaining cost of your phone in one go.

"Before you buy, also look out for bonus offers. You could score double the storage space, free or discounted watches or tablets, and/or bonus trade-in credit."

Samsung owners are slightly more likely to stick with their phones longer than Apple users – with 72% saying they hang onto their device for more than 2 years compared to 69% of current Apple users.

On the same beat, an impressive 21% of current Samsung users surveyed said they even wait 6 or more years before getting a new phone compared with just 14% of current Apple users.

How long do you keep your mobile phone for before getting a new one?
6 months2%
1 year7%
2 years20%
3 years25%
4 years14%
5 years13%
6 years or more18%
Source: Finder survey of 987 respondents with a phone, May 2022

Check out the winners of the Finder Mobile Awards 2023 here.

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