CRACKING UP – Half of Brits have smashed a phone screen

What Mobile
October 24, 2018

Almost half of all British adults have broken their mobile phone screen, a study by tech trade-in site musicMagpie has found.

The research which polled 2,000 mobile phone users, also revealed one in five managed to damage their screen within the first MONTH of owning it.

Of these unfortunate phone users, one fifth has damaged their device when trying to take a selfie, and one in four managed to crack their screens on a night out.

A further one in 10 has been unfortunate enough to drop their phone down the toilet, while the same percentage accidentally sat on their mobile while it was in their back pocket.

Phone repairs have set users back an average of £103 over the years, and for four in 10, the screen break was so bad they ended up replacing the entire phone.

Liam Howley, marketing director at musicMagpie, said: “Currently, 12% of Brits have a cracked phone screen they aren’t doing anything about. Phones are a huge part of our everyday life and people are never without them, so it’s not a great surprise to see how many people damage them. What is surprising is how many people damage them so quickly, and how many damage them when trying to take a selfie!

“Leaving phones in back pockets, at the bottom of handbags, or on car seats can also all lead to damage, and with the majority of Brits being so busy, it’s easy to see how these accidents can happen. What’s more, the cost of replacing screens and repairing damage on the new devices leads to a large number of people who seem to be happy to live with the damage.

The survey found adults are having to repair or replace damaged screens after their children dropped the phone, or it fell out of the case while they were exercising.

Other reasons given for a broken phone include trying to type with one hand, throwing it out of anger and dropping it in the bath.

But for a third of adults, if they were to crack a screen they would just live with it rather than doing anything about it. Of those who have had to deal with a damaged phone, it took an average of three months to get things sorted. And the average adult reckons they’d be prepared to pay for repairs at least twice before paying for an entirely new phone.

Fourteen per cent of adults wouldn’t consider replacing a screen unless there were so many cracks and splinters the screen was difficult to read, while a third would wait until there was a big crack affecting the general view.

Currently, 12 per cent of Brits are using a phone with a cracked or damaged screen, with three in 10 admitting they are a clumsy person.

In addition, the site, which also sells refurbished phones, found that 17 per cent of those polled have bought a refurbished phone over a new one, and 42 per cent wouldn’t hesitate to opt for a refurbished handset over a new one if needed.

Liam Howley added: “People are spending hundreds of pounds on getting their broken phones fixed. A lot of people don’t know that they can actually trade-in their broken phones to us, and still make some money. What’s more, they can use the money they make and put it on towards a refurbished phone from our Store. This means that customers aren’t wasting loads of money on repairing their phones, and they are also getting the most for their cash by purchasing refurbished.

“With any phones that we can’t refurbish, we make sure these items are recycled responsibly and have prevented a huge amount of tech from going in the landfill.”

For more information on the study, please visit


  1. Just general use
  2.  On a night out
  3. Dropped it in the toilet
  4. Forgot it was in a back pocket and sat down
  5. Child dropped it
  6. Trying to type a message with one hand
  7. Tried to throw it onto a bed/sofa and it bounced off
  8. Fell out of a case when exercising
  9. Threw it when angry
  10. Tried to throw it to someone and missed
  11. Taking a selfie
  12. Found it mysteriously smashed after taking it out of a bag
  13. Forgot it was in a front pocket and bumped into the corner of a table
  14. Was looking at the screen while walking and bumped into something or someone, dropping it
  15. Dropped it in the bath
  16. Left it on the car seat and then sat on it
  17. Sat on it
  18. Accidentally put something heavy down on top of it
  19. Got the headphones caught in a door handle or similar, jerking the phone out of your hands
  20. Left it on the roof of the car before driving off

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