REVEALED: The most common smartphone killer...
WE'VE all experienced it.
That heart wrenching moment when you drop your smartphone face down onto the ground and with a wince, pick it up and turn it over to discover the screen is smashed, or by some stroke of luck bestowed by the smartphone gods, still in tact.
A recent report by finder.com.au has revealed almost nine million smartphone screens have been smashed by their uncoordinated Aussie owners - that's nearly one in three mobile phone owners who have admitted to smashing their screen.
Finder telco expert Alex Kidman said that equated to a lot of broken glass.
"With 31 million active mobile phone accounts in Australia, that's equivalent to 8.6 million broken screens," Mr Kidman said.
While smartphone death was mostly caused by smashed screens, the Finder survey also revealed more than one in 10 smartphone owners had dropped their phone in the toilet bowl, 10% had a phone stolen and 6% had left theirs in a taxi.
The survey also showed almost one third (29%) of respondents had found a phone, while another unlucky 25% had lost a phone.
Broken down by generation, one in six Gen Ys (17%) had dropped a phone down the toilet compared to 9% of Gen X and 7% of Baby Boomers.
The oldest generation of smartphone users surveyed were also the most careful, with only one in ten (10%) experiencing a smashed screen, compared to Gen X (25%) and Gen Y (46%).
"Many of us rely on our smartphones on an hourly basis, so when they are unexpectedly out of action, it's a major gripe," Mr Kidman said.
"The time and expense of dealing with smashed screens, lost handsets and flushed gadgets can be a major source of stress.
"Personally, I cringe when I see people swiping across broken glass displays, but it's understandable given the high cost of repair."
Four things to ask yourself after you've broken your screen:
1. Can I live with it?
Many phones will operate with a broken screen, although you are quite likely to find other people cringing as you swipe across its broken glass fragments. The reality with any damaged screen is that delaying a repair is just delaying the inevitable. But if it's still functioning, it can buy you time to weigh up your options.
2. Do I have a backup phone?
If you don't have an old phone kicking around, ask your colleagues, friends and family if they have a phone they aren't using. It's as simple as changing over the SIM card. It won't likely be the latest and greatest, but again, it'll tide you over till you go phone shopping.
3. Can I perform a DIY repair?
If you're particularly keen -- or just cash-strapped but willing to take a few risks -- it's entirely feasible to repair a smashed phone screen yourself. A replacement screen part on eBay generally runs from $100 to $130, which is a little cheaper than many repair places will offer to do the repair, but of course you've got to do the actual replacement work yourself.
4. Is it time for an upgrade?
Sometimes the most blatant answer is: just buy a new phone. If you've had your smartphone for more than 18 or 24 months, chances are you're itching to get a newer model. Bite the bullet, compare your options and buy yourself something new and shiny.