Ask the Readers: How Often Do You Replace Your Phone?

By Ashley Jacobs on 16 September 2014 71 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Betty, Pam, and Allison for winning this week's contest!

Last week, Apple unveiled a number of new products, including the iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus. Needless to say, countless phone-owners will be lining up for the new iPhones, but not all! Many don't don't feel the need to replace their mobile phones just yet, let alone with the latest iteration of the iPhone.

How often do you replace your phone? Do you replace it on a regular schedule, or only when something breaks? Will you consider the iPhone 6 for your next phone?

Tell us how often you replace your phone and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For Extra Entries:

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If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, September 22nd at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 22nd on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
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Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Matt

I would say just about every two years when I get an upgrade.

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Bethany M

About every year and a half. Sometimes I have to use my husband's upgrade

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Mary Happymommy

I would only replace my phone if it broke...which hasn't happened yet (knock on wood!). I'm not interested in the iPhone 6.

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Gina

I replace my phone when it breaks and can no longer be used. My current phone works so I won't be getting the iPhone 6 but maybe by the time the 7 rolls out I'll need a replacement.

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Ernest S.

I generally upgrade every two years. I also try to sell my old phone to offset some of the costs of the new phone.

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Liz

About every two and a half or three years. I usually wait for something to happen to it or for it to get really slow or bad battery life.

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Tina in NJ

I generally replace my phone when the contract expires, usually with a "free" phone. I'll be crunching the numbers next time it's up, since I'm a stay at home mom.

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Guest

I replace my phone every 2 years

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Elena

I replace it when my old phone gets lost or broken

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Jason

Every two years and selling the old one.

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Nicole

I usually like to replace my phone every 2-3 years.

Guest's picture

I almost never replace my phone. Granted, I have had use of a work mobile to browse the net etc, but I haven't bought a new phone for about 10 years!! Seriously!! I've still got my Nokia 5210!!

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Amanda F

Every year or two, depending on eligibility and need. I've had a 3G, 4S, 5 (briefly), and now have a 5S. Sometime next year I'll likely get a 6. Fangirl, what can I say? :)

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Katie W

Usually every two years when I'm able to get an upgrade. There's no way I would pay full price for a phone without the upgrade just to have the latest and greatest.

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MELISSA HANSSON

We replace our iphones every other year. By the time we're due for an upgrade, they've started to get really slow, but we try to keep waiting until the next model is released after our upgrade.

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optimumsoft

I don't have ability to buy iphone 6. I change my phone when it is broken......

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Shannon Steffen

Easy... when it breaks or becomes severely outdated (no longer supported). If it can make calls and carries my calendar, then I'm peachy-keen.

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Elle

I really don't replace my phone that often at all - on average maybe every 3-4 years.

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Lara M

I got my first smart phone one year ago. I can't imagine replacing it yet even though a supposedly better phone is available.

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Dee Dee

I use a pay as you go phone, so it was about 8 or 9 years before I replaced it late last year.

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Jan J

Seldom, only when needed- the last time it was in a pocket that went into the washing machine.

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Betty

I was replacing my phone every 18 months, as allowed by my contract. Phones were free, or very little money. Now my carrier charges a $35 upgrade fee, so no more for me. I'll keep my phone for as long as it lasts.

I like what I've read about the new iphone, but probably won't get it. I have an ipad and an android phone. And although they don't sync, I like having both. Truthfully, the smartphone is a waste of money for me. All I do is text. My ipad was well worth the money because I use it all day every day.

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Jennifer Marie

I only replace my phone when it is broken.

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Catseye

I only replace my phone when it's absolutely necessary. It hasn't become necessary yet.

Guest's picture

Only when I can get an upgrade or get it at a substantially reduced cost!

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Suz_Glo

So far, my practice has been to replace my iPhone every 3 years. The 3 year mark is when the device usually starts getting buggy and the battery may no longer hold a good, long charge. Plus, Apple usually stops offering updates for the operating system by then. I don't feel the need to upgrade every time a new and improved model arrives.

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lostAnnfound

I replace it when it stops working or breaks. I only use my cellphone for calls or texts, on a pay-as-you-go plan, so I will not be getting the iphone 6.

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Guest

I usually only do the every 2 years with the contract (I'm still on my parent's plan), but I got my current phone after my previous phone was only 1.5 years old because something broke in the charging port and no charger would stay in it unless I tied a rubberband around it in a very specific way, which meant that usually it just didn't charge at all. So my parents moved one of their upgrades to me...probably because the peak of my phone not working coincided with a time I had to go to the emergency room and be admitted to the hospital and I had no way to reach them since my phone had died.

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Janey

I only replace my phone when it breaks or if it's having issues because it's outdated.

Donna Freedman's picture

Thus far? About every seven or eight years. I've never owned a smartphone and I'm OK with that because I work from home.
Also, I worry that a smartphone might mess with my head:
http://donnafreedman.com/2013/10/05/living-in-the-quieter-spots-of-life/

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Heidi

I replace my phones when they totally die.

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Louly

I replace my phone every two years or so, or when a new phone comes out that I REALLY want.

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Susan D

I replace my phone only when it's necessary. I still use the Samsung flip phone I got in 2008. I've replaced the battery once, though.

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Judy

I have had my iPhone 4S three years now so it is time for an upgrade. I'm going for the iPhone 6 Plus.

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Tiffany

I replace mine only when necessary. I've had my current one for more than four years. The only reason I got it is because my last one fell out of my jacket pocket. I didn't realize it until I ran my phone over.

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alona

2-3 years

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dan wc

Generally every 6-9 months, selling my old phone and buying a newer one, usually comibgviut a but ahead, by or just a little behind. But it seems that things have realty plateaued on the phone front now and I'm looking to stay put for a bit. Hard to see what new thing is coming along that's going to measurably improve the experience.

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Nancy

Like many other commenters, I replace when the phone no longer works. I only use the phone for voice and text. No data plan, by choice. I'd rather watch my grandkids and notice the cedar waxwings in the trees than keep my eyes glued to a tiny phone screen. So I don't need the latest bells and whistles. I could get addicted to the technology as easily as everyone else, so I just say no.

Guest's picture
Nicole

I used to do every time I got an upgrade, or after I got back from a deployment (I would cancel my phone service each time). Now, I am eligible for an upgrade but I'm waiting - I have a cheaper plan now since I own my phone outright. I think when this phone breaks I might switch to Republic Wireless or one of the other IP based services to save some extra money.

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AH Z

Only when it stops working. Few people that I know have the kind of money these phones are going for these days.

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Diane

I generally replace my phone every 2 years when our contract comes up for renewal. I'm planning to upgrade from the iphone 5 to the iphone 6 in the next few months. Considering changing carriers...

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Rebecca B. A. R.

I usually only replace my phone when I absolutely have to, like if we change carriers.

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Guest

If I like a phone I will kep it 2 to 3 years, especially if I can't just get another new one.

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Susan P.

I tend to keep my phones until they break or are giving me problems with the software, which is every 3 or 4 years.

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Mary W

I am slow to replace a working phone unless there is a major change in the operating system. Also I'm cheap. 2 - 3 years is often enough.

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Liisa

Only when I have to... if the old one breaks or there is another good reason. I'm not a techie at all and tend to be a late adopter. That said, two years ago I got a smartphone when we moved into a stucco house because the signal of a regular phone wouldn't go through the walls and I was unable to make calls from home. And when my husband cracked the screen on his and I needed to scan books quickly at a volunteer job, and we needed to change providers anyway for better coverage, we surprised ourselves and bought older model Iphones. We got a great deal, but we probably won't replace them for 5-10 years, lol!

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Meme

Only when it breaks. Otherwise, I wait for my hubby to upgrade his and take his old one.

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Kristi

I replaced my last phone because it got stolen. I usually keep my phones until they break. I'm not sure if I would choose the iPhone 6.

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An G

They usually last around 2 years then our phones start acting up. We try to hold on to them for as long as we can or if there is a really good deal on a new one.

Guest's picture

I replace my phone every 3 years.

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Happy Love

I replace my cell phone every 4-5 years. I have "free minutes for life" on my current pre-paid phone so it's going to have to be seriously out of style before I replace it.

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Andrew B.

So far I upgrade every two years when my contracts are up. I would prefer to purchase my phones outright and save money by not being under contract with my provider, but so far this has been cost prohibitive.

Also I have considered upgrading earlier in the past when a new model has been released prior to my upgrade, but so far I haven't bit the bullet on this urge.

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prathee chandar

every 4 years, may be..

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Dillon

Usually around every 3 years. I'd probably keep this phone longer (iPhone 4s), but will most likely be switching carriers and can't bring the phone.

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Monique

I don't have a schedule for replacing my phone since I don't have a phone service contract. I did recently replace my phone after having the one before it for 3 years. I'm not interested in getting the iPhone 6.

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Warren Gress

Replace my phone about every 3 years.

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Lynda

i replace my phone when it starts to break down ie every 2-3 yrs

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Laura

Every three years

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Susan Smith

I replace my phone when it breaks and can no longer be used.

Guest's picture

I had the old iPhone 4 for 3 years. Since Verizon was offering $200 for a trade-in, in which I made money off my phone since I only paid $100 3 years ago, I didn't hesitate to take them up on that offer! So now I will probably have this phone for another 3 years! ;)

Guest's picture
Kay

I have no set time on when to replace my phone. I generally replace mine when it breaks or I'm so far behind the times I can't stand it anymore. I am currently using an old Blackberry I got for free that is easily 5 years old and on 3G network instead of 4G. I hate the darn thing, but it does what needs doing, and having the latest and greatest has never been a priority for me. I'd guess I replace my phones roughly every 3-4 years, and I generally get a model behind (as in, not the newest thing) to save money.

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Paige

I never change my phone until it is broken.

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GUEST

Typically every two years unless the phone has an issue. While the phone itself may still be in fine shape, technology advances and software and hardware needs to be renewed (NFC< new Bluetooth specs, etc.).

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Sarah S

About every 2 years

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Carmen

About once every 5 years - but I don't upgrade to the latest/newest

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Amanda Sakovitz

I replace it every few years

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momkeywest

Same little flip top pay as you go for the last 10 years

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Tabathia B

I replace when phone is obsolete or broken and new iphone is not an option but will probably replace my phone in about 2 years

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Christina

I upgrade my phone every two years, though I will wait if a new phone is coming out (like I did for the new iphone).

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Laura J

I only replace mine when it breaks...or if I switch plans for being unhappy with my current provider which did happen once. I would conside an IPhone 6 if the price was right!

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Thomas Murphy

I replace my phone every 2 years