Poll results: Most respondents only upgrade their phone when their carrier tells them to

upgrade poll results

Early last week, I decided to ask all of you how often you upgrade your phones. Based on some previous conversations I’ve been having with Pocketables readers here on the site, I started wondering how many people actually play the game that carriers want you to play: that is, the game of buying a phone at a ridiculously low price up front, but paying for it over the next two years through expensive monthly rates and a contract with ridiculously high termination fees.

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As it turns out, lots of you do play this game. Almost 60% of respondents admitted to only upgrading their phones when their contracts were over, or when their carriers are willing to give them some kind of subsidized pricing. Only 18.5% of you said that you snub contracts all together, while another 18% said that it can depend on the circumstances at the time. Only 5% said that you upgrade your phone only when absolutely necessary, which is still surprisingly high to me – most of you are power users who crave the latest and greatest tech gadgets, so I’m not sure how you manage with a decades-old phone!

DCLocal mentioned in the comments that T-Mobile’s new JUMP! program caught his eye, so perhaps one reader might start upgrading more often. On the other hand, long time reader and forum contributer JRDemaskus said he’s still using his Dell Streak, which is 36 months old!

This just goes to show that “upgrade diversity” among our readers is higher than I thought. If you’ve got anything to add to this discussion, please leave it in the comments below!

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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4 thoughts on “Poll results: Most respondents only upgrade their phone when their carrier tells them to

  • Avatar of Fifth313ment
    September 16, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    If I was going to keep Sprint I would probably get their new plan for early upgrades but only if I wouldn’t have to give the phone back every year, which I’m willing to bet is a requirement considering they want your phone you have now if you sign up now. What a waste otherwise. Right now I only upgrade when my contract is up.


  • Avatar of JRDemaskus
    September 16, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    37 Months is a testament to knowing that what you are buying will keep you happy till the next time.
    Do your research before you buy.
    The only plan that looks like you save any money with is T-Mobile. Finance the phone till it is paid off, then the bill goes down.
    With ATT I lose money when I do not upgrade. Same price when my “contract” expires.
    I would choose T-Mobile, except that they have a worse reputation than ATT, who leave me less than satisfied. And Verizon is more expensive and restrictive.
    While I wait for a subsidized price on a new device, I cannot allways run right out when I am eligible, because I don’t have the cash for the $300 device, and nothing else will do. Then before I can buy, another one is announced and I am waiting again.
    So it is not just when they tell me I can, it is also, when I am ready. And honestly, not every new device is worthy. There is a long list of flops behind my device lust.
    I also buy a lot of phones for my family and friends, so I get to play with several different devices and OS.

  • Avatar of JRDemaskus
    September 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I was eligible for the SNote2 but couldn’t spring for it. By the time I could, it seemed worth it to wait for the SNote3. Now 6 months later, I am not committed enough to pre-order.
    or SNote3?

  • Avatar of john
    September 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    i got lucky when HTC offered indirect sprint employees the HTC ONE for $250.00 and trade-in their EVO LTE for $250.00…so i got the HTC ONE for $250.00 and HTC gave me $250.00 for my EVO LTE and it did not effect my contract with sprint…win win love my HTC ONE


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