Broken Phone Stats: Heartbreaking? Or Hilarious?

Cara Fuller

Common places people break their phones

Picture this: you’re getting dropped off at the airport. Just as the car door shuts, your phone slips out of your hand and smacks the pavement—right underneath the car’s back tire. You frantically wave your arms so your friends won’t drive away, but it’s too late. You hear a devastating crunch, and the car pulls from the curb while they wave back to you.

Sound familiar? If you (like many of us at All Home Connections) have ever broken a phone before, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Our analysts surveyed over 400 people across the US to find out just how many of us break our phones—and the results just might surprise you.

How Are We Breaking Our Phones?

“Twice I’ve had phones damaged by squirrels I’ve raised.”
—42-year-old female, 3 kids, broken three phones

How many of us break our phones?

In some cases, the universe just has it out for you. Survey respondents reported on breaking their phones in all kinds of ways:

  • Violently sneezing and cracking their phone on their bedpost
    • 27-year-old female, no kids, broken three phones
  • Getting out of their car and accidentally chucking their phone across a parking lot
    • 23-year-old male, no kids, broken three phones
  • Waving to a friend and forgetting their phone was in their hand
    • 25-year-old female, no kids, broken three phones
  • Throwing it off of a balcony into a pool
    • 38-year-old male, two kids, four broken phones
  • Watching their kid throw their phone out of a car window
    • 19-year-old female, one kid, six or more broken phones
  • Using it as a baseball
    • 40-year-old male, six kids, broken three phones
  • Dropping their phones in orange juice, coffee, the river, or the toilet
    • respondents of all ages and genders

We’re breaking our phones in just about any way you can think of.

“I dropped my phone in the toilet of a public restroom. Needless to say. . .I did not retrieve it.”
—59-year-old male, no kids, broken two phones

Not to infringe on your me time, but the toilet may not be the best place for a cellular device. Don’t believe us? Just ask the 21% of survey respondents who have broken their phones in the bathroom, 57% of which are female.

If you’re not breaking your phone in the bathroom, here are some other common places to raise your guard:

Common places people break their phones

  • An additional 32% broke their phones in their car or a parking lot
  • 17% broke their phones at work
  • 9% broke their phones in a pool or body of water
  • Roughly 8% broke their phones while doing some form of physical activity.

The rest have broken their phones anywhere from their own homes to the grocery store to Taco Bell. Moral of the story? No place is safe. Especially not the loo. Those bathroom selfies can wait.

Who’s Breaking Their Phones Most Frequently?

“My son smashed my phone with a rock.”
—29-year-old male, one kid, broken one phone

A whopping 72% of adults surveyed have broken a phone at some point in their lives
—57% of which have broken their phone more than once. Curious to know who else is breaking their phones?

Who's more likely to break their phones?

  • If you’re under the age of 35, our studies show you’re 58% more likely to break your phone.
  • If you’ve already broken a phone once, you’re twice as likely to do it again.
  • If you have kids, you’re 20% more likely to break your phone.
  • If you’re unemployed, you’re 57% more likely to break your phone.
  • If you haven’t received higher education, you’re 10% more likely to break your phone.

Before you get totally discouraged, know there is still hope. 28% of those surveyed have never broken a phone, 55% of which are female and 45% male. Way to go, you lucky few.

What Do We Do After We Break Them?

“I have broken my flip screen completely off but still continued to use it and get phone calls.”
—36-year-old female, one kid, broken four phones

We were surprised to discover that those who break their phones don’t always take any preventative measures after doing so:

The Path of the Damaged Phone

45% of those who broke their phones didn’t invest in a more protective case after their phone was damaged, the majority of which are male.

  • 21% of respondents continue to use their damaged phone until it stops working completely, the majority of which are female.

To these 45 and 21%—maybe you view your broken phone as a challenge. Just how much longer can I use this before I give up. Cracked screen cuts your fingers? No problem—just a flesh wound. Dropped your phone in the lake? Nothing a little bowl of uncooked rice can’t fix.

To the rest of you, including the 42% of respondents who have insurance on their phone and the 18% who got it after they broke their last phone, we applaud you.

Is the Universe Against You?

We hate to break it to you, but as you can see from our survey results, if you haven’t dropped or destroyed your phone at some point in your life, it’s only a matter of time. How and where it will happen is anyone’s guess, but at least you can rest easy knowing you’re not alone.