Poll: How often do you switch phones?

Poll: How often do you switch phones?

There was some theory going around that major phone manufacturers had to introduce brand new phone models every so often because survey says the average lifetime of a phone in the hands of consumers is about 8 months.

I’m not sure if there is truth in this but based on my observations with friends and relatives, that number is not very far off. People tend to switch phones very often so manufacturers have to hurry up introducing new ones before each cycle ends.


I’d like to take that theory into a test a do a little poll here — how often do you switch/buy/replace your primary phone?

  • Less than 6 months
  • Around 9 months
  • About a 12 months
  • 18 months or a year and a half
  • I have a dinosaur of a phone — more than 2 years

My personal experience is a little off since I have 4 phones — E51, E71, 5800, iPhone 3G — which does not include the ones given to me. Normally, I would have just 2 or 3 to service both public, business and private numbers. All 4 phones were bought in a span of less than 6 months but the motivation there was more for review on this blog so they don’t count.

Please share your thoughts on the comments below and send me your vote/feedback on the poll.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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53 Responses

  1. Ed says:

    i switch every 9 months or so. Most of my friends in the states switch once every year or so.. usually, the ones that switch more often than 12 months are the ones that will buy the MAJOR releases (i.e. iphone, blackberry pearl/curve, etc) when they FIRST RELEASE.. however, most of my friends just have regular phones and won’t switch unless its something that they REALLY want.

    makes me wonder how people in the philippines can afford to switch phones so often if what you are saying is true… i know for me, i hold off because i simply need to put my money elsewhere and my current phone works, so i personally dont have a need to change it.

    also, many people wait for phone deals that come along with their 1/2 year postpaid contract expiring.. so if you take that into account, some people will wait even 2 years before their next phone.

  2. SNN says:

    less than 6 months siguro..madali kasi akong magsawa.

  3. -anton- says:

    close to 18 months… tama lang, hindi magastos.

  4. Obed says:

    I still have my XDA IIs as my primary phone, maybe it will take me a year to switch my primary phone, I’m still waiting for the Palm Pre to be introduced in the market.

  5. a year or 1 year and six mos… kasi po walang pambili..

  6. mga 6 mos…ung SE P1I ko nalaglag sa toilet bowl..

  7. jhay says:

    I’m more on functionality than on being ‘up to the latest’ in using phones. As long as it’s working fine and fulfilling my needs I’m going to stick to it.

    My take is that phone manufacturers are not trying to catch up with consumers, they are the ones pushing the consumers to switch phones. Nokia is the number one culprit, buy a new model today, it’s antiquated in less than 6 months!

  8. Bam del Valle says:

    I just get what comes free with Smart’s retention program every 18 months. Sometimes if I want a higher model than the free unit I’ll pay a minimal cash out. Hard to justify spending so much on something that’s worthless after a couple of years.

    By the way, this little survey that you’re running – you have to realize people who frequent your site are techies so they will tend to switch phones more often than your average Pinoy. :)

  9. Marvin Paul Catalan says:


    believe it or not, every 2 weeks (since sept) :)
    not being arrogant
    Cellphone addict ako!!! sobra….
    pero hindi naman nakatambak dito ung mga phone TRADE IN lagi
    lahat ng nakakakilala sa akin unang tanong lagi “ano phone mo ngayon?” and ako ung INSTANT CELLPHONE REVIEWER nila hehehehe….. kaya anyone interested kunin akong “gadget reviewer?” hehehe..

    I OWN:
    -IPHONE 3G

  10. franz says:

    3310 then after four years 6600 then for about four years again which was about last december, an N96.

  11. pabsj says:

    Everyday I scan the internet for new techs and that include cellphones. I like to read reviews about cellphones, I have this craving for new cellphones , every new release by nokia or samsung itches my wallet. Since the late 90’s I had acquired at least 30 cellphones from the early nokia 5110, 3210 to the later n70. n95, the 5700xpressmusic and my latest is the E71. I love music that’s why I have an xpressmusic, I love surfing that’s why I have the E 71. There are many reasons…am a phone addict and yes I have a pc and a laptop..

  12. techme says:

    no definite amount of time for me…..

    whenever there’s a phone that i really i would buy it but now nothing interests me…..

    I have my n95 now for almost a year
    before that i was using nokia 6670 for 6 months but b4 that i was using the SE p800 for 3 years!

    but now i’m looking 4ward to SE hikaru and nokia n97….! I am not a fan of Iphone! but i own an IPOD TOUCH! which is more awesome IMO….!

  13. calvin says:

    abe, pa-contest mo na lang yung mga phone na hindi mo nagamit talaga na binigay sayo. :)

  14. Jim C says:

    My last phone was a Nokia 3310, replaced last January 09. Now i have an iPhone 3G 16 GB
    So i’m not sure how long was that, but i’ve probably skipped 3-4 generations of cellphones. hehe

  15. aLps says:

    A mobile phone is considered a “dinosaur” if it is already 2 years old? Wow. :o

  16. eldie21 says:

    Dati, every year aq ngpapalit ng handset pero sa ngayon ang bilis ng manufacturing ng phone. Nakakapanghinayang lang kc kpg bagong labas ang unit ng phone ang mahal pero kapag pina-swap mo na OMG! 80% ang presyo na ikakalugi sa presyo ng unit na binili mo nun bago… Mapapansin mo na lang na cellphone addict ka na, konting pera mahawakan instead naisave sa bank… Bibili pa ng bagong labas na cellphone.

  17. sky says:

    close to 18 months, but only because my old 5300 was involved in an accident. replaced by a 5310. i love the xpressmusic series too much!

  18. Maurice B. says:

    less than 6 months. its my 51st phone since 1999. currently I only own 1 phone cuz i hate having many phones to carry around and I don’t like having a sun number cuz its like a phone in the house that keeps on ringing and it bothers me a lot. So im sticking with Globe-Plans and my trusty SE G700 until i’ll have my globe rewards this coming May hurray! i smell iphone or e71 on the air! hahaha

  19. Ton says:

    2 years is a good benchmark figure for me.
    I usually upgrade when “new” functions mainstream.

    I upgraded from Nokia 9300 to e61i for wifi, for example. About 2 years in the interim for that uptake. But it might be important to note that I beat these things to a pulp :) Mobile POP3 email, Fring, mobile doc/xls/ppt/pdf functionality…all the bells and whistles on full treble :)

    Abe, the numbers I’m actually more interested in is the percentage of utilization people get out of their phones. Seriously. how many people are even aware that their phone has a-GPS for example.

    Bottomline: I think manufacturers make phones often simply to satisfy a market demand…nothing to do with technology :)

  20. NT says:

    I have a dinosaur phone (3 years old) that’s in very good condition and still has a great battery life and fully functioning keypad. I usually switch over 3 or 4 years. My next switch (somewhat) is coming in the next week, but it’s required by the company I’m with so I’m not shelling out anything.

  21. Doodles says:

    i am a cellphone addict… from time to time… specially smartphones (before that i was into nokia… 3210, 3310, 7110). Got the HTC tanager in 2002 or 2003. Smart plan. Then the HTC voyager 18 months after. The big drop price in O2 xphoneII less than a year later made me want to get the phone. When Nokia introduced its own smartphones, i had the e61 in early 2007 then the e61i later that year. Been contemplating on getting the e71 in 2008 and later the e63 (since it is a lot cheaper; and i don’t think gps would be that important to me in the next 2 years given the present support in the Philippines; and usage of my data plan is not maximized given the availability of wi-fi areas everywhere) but then i think will wait a little longer. What with android and google phones lurking around. Oh yes, it’s only my excuse to spend my heard earned pay on something else like a dslr (cheaper now) hd lcd tv (cheaper too) and netbook (msi wind u100 260gb at P17k now?). got to go…

  22. issai says:

    i switch everytime my phones dies. maybe every 1 – 2 years. i use my phone rarely, maybe send 10 txt msgs in 1 month or even less. i use it to talk maybe 60 minutes in 1 month. it’s a necessity especially if you have kids, in case of emergency. but i think i switch computers more often than i switch cellphones. how often do people switch computers especially now that netbooks are cheaper than some cellphones?

  23. Adrian says:

    i never switched unless hindi na gumagana. :)

  24. Patrick says:

    I only have one phone – an SE K800i which I bought almost 2 years ago. I’m very happy about it and I think it still is one of the best and most affordable cameraphone out there. The only time I’d consider replacing this is if it starts having problems.

    I’m a geek for gadgets but not so much with phones in particular. I have a laptop and a Palm so I just use a phone for calls and texting. Although I’m seriously considering on getting another phone just to have my work number different from my personal number. Or maybe I’ll just get a dual-sim phone.

    Anyway, your theory of people buying new phones every 8 months may hold true last year. But with the current economic climate and with many people losing jobs… things are very different now.

  25. John Ray Cabrera says:

    i have a self-induced affinity to a sleek, smooth, sturdy, and elegant PDA phone. That means, usually my investment is usually above normal expenditure. so i have the tendency to overly maximize my phone before i would get a new one. and at the rate, i usually had it every two years or more.

    and at the global recession, that makes me think twice now, phones that cost 10grand or higher isn’t really practical to possess anymore.

  26. Jejo says:

    I switch regularly. Usually, every 2 years (Hand-me-down phones from either Mom or Dad & their plans). I was scheduled for a phone switch last January but my Moto E770 (Brand New, Mom didn’t like the phone so she gave it to me) cranked out on me last June 08. Bought myself a Nokia 3110 classic using my hard earned stipends, but Dad got a phone from his plan early this month. I sold my 3110 and I’m now using his awesome 2-year-old 6680. I might replace by Jan or Feb, 2011 though. I’m not planning to buy a new phone because I’m saving for an iTouch AND a Nikon D40 (A classmate bought one in R. Hidalgo for only 19K.)

  27. Jerome says:

    Me?, 10-15 months. Pero yung cellphone ko ngayun (which is 5610 Xpressmusic). Paabutin ko siguro up to 2 years

  28. Obed says:

    pagsira na saka ako bumibili…mahal kaya ng cellphone..financial crisis pa ngayon…

    @calvin i agree… :D

  29. paul says:

    used to change phones every few months. ngayon every 2 years na. i’m kinda more practical nowadays. although i did splurge on a netbook a few weeks ago. hehehe!

  30. loadex says:

    Gusto ko pigilan sarili ko not to purchase a new phone, pero as always there will be reasons to justify such purchase… on the average mga 9-12 months before i change phone..

  31. Gene says:

    2 years and i make it a point that the next phone i’ll purchase is still a smart phone (symbian). sobrang important ng phone na nagrurun ng 3rd party apps like fring for voip, google maps. masyado kasing mahina ang java files at the moment.

    abe, have you reviewed voip phone apps lately, like fring, truphone, gizmo5, etc.? kasi sobrang useful ng mga apps na yan kaya siguro compare mo din. pero i only use fring lalo na kapag nasa 3.5G network ako o kahit sa 3G lang, tinatawagan ko ang wife ko sa skype for only 10 pesos for 30 mins (smart user kasi ako)! guys try FRING! available yun sa OS na symbian, wm, uiq (rest in peace), osx, basta try nyo pwede din sa java 2.0 capable phones, kaya lang chat lang pwede ang pwede!

  32. gizno says:

    2-3 years, i change it when it conks out

  33. frozenpyro says:

    whenever possible (pag may budget)…

  34. I usually change my phone every 1 and a half to two years. Cellphones are very low on my priority list always for some reason.

  35. Bob Reyes says:

    My main phone is still the Palm Treo 600 (purchased more than half a decade ago). Thinking of switching to a Windows Mobile MotoQ, or a Palm Centro, or will just wait for the Palm Pre to be released locally.

    Got a Sony Ericsson W760i acquired recently as a secondary phone, and a Blackberry 7290 for my wireless landline.

  36. Darren says:

    I’m an old guy and I mainly use phone to talk and text. So normally 1.5 ~ 2 years I will buy / change a new cell.

  37. Levra says:

    i guess it would take me at least 1 year and 6 months before i change my cellphone. but man, last year (October 2008) i bought a Sony Ericsson K850i and after two months, the phone was stolen. Now I’m using a Nokia 1200, and i’ll be saving money to buy a new cellphone, but i’ll buy next year. Rock on!

  38. Bio Girl says:

    better if you take the poll so we can see the tally … i keep mine over 2 years, i don’t like re-learning how to use a phone often

  39. pando says:

    I used to switch phones every 2 years. Practicality is my basis.

  40. I have a dinosaur of a phone, I don’t change until it is busted, as long as I can call and SMS with good voice quality, I’ll stick with it :)

  41. docleo says:

    i used to change very often before but after using my first nokia communicator(9210i), i cannot text using ordinary keyboards, i can only text using qwerty and since communicators change models only after a year and a half or so, then it took me time to change my phone. to suppress my craving for a new phone i just kept on buying my wife new phones so i could try it,just recently bought her a cookie. i currently have a nokia e70 bought last nov 23,2006…phones usually change looks and add some features,nothing really dramatic. ive tried touchscreen phones(iphone,xda ,etc)but still old school qwerty is the best for me..i think the younger set change phones every 6-8 months

  42. Frenchy says:

    there were times when i switched phones almost every month because i was really looking for something that i’d be comfortable using and that would fit my lifestyle. but whenever i found the phone i was looking for, i could use it for as long as i can. some of the phones that stayed with me for many years are nokia 3100, SE K750, N73.

    i tried the iPhone 3G last year and i find it great, but it’s just to big for my hands so i am not so comfortable with it. now i’m using the cool SE W902 for 4 months now and i intend to use it for a long time.

  43. I have a trusty SE k800i. Never fails to deliver the Sony quality in terms of pictures and sound. I have a Nokia 2630 as a secondary phone. I like the touchscreen sony and I’m more than willing to pay the same amount I would if I were to buy an iPhone.

    SE k800i – one and a half year
    nokia 2630 – less than a year, bundled with a phone plan.

  44. Sony is so far my most durable phone. I’ve had the Sony T610, W550i, K800i and I’m a Sony fan ever since! :)

  45. Palm 600, 650, 680 roughly 3 years. So that would be one per year i guess. The new Palm Pre looks impressive.

  46. Xj says:

    im not a phone addict, in fact cellphone ko binigay pa. di ako bumibili. hehehe… ang importante ay text and call lang, yun na.

  47. I want my phone to last at least 3 years

  48. Ann says:

    My N70 is now 3.5 years in my possession. I’m planning to get an E71 since I want something with faster responses, but my N71 is undamaged until now even though I abuse it.

    Gotta hand it to Nokia for making sturdy phones.

  49. Maj S. Baro says:

    I change phones randomly. There’s no fixed time.
    My 3210 lasted one year, my 3330 last two, smartphone (from smart addict) only for 10 months, P800 for almost three years (2years, 9 months to be exact), 6680 for a year (lost it). My last phone was a samsung whose unit i do not remember which lasted 3 months. It broke two weeks ago. I’m currently surveying the market for a sulit phone.

    So there. Randomly. But looks quite often to me. :-)

  50. anonymous says:

    Hmm… since I first bought a phone back in year 2000, naka 17-18 phone na ko.. so average will be
    108 months / 17
    every 6 months..

  51. KennyV says:

    Im not changing my phone, since im perfectly happy with my SE W902 :)

  52. Glenn says:

    I find that if you choose the right phone 1 year and a half is ok especially with Nokia models since the phone platform is predictable enough, although admittedly the wow! yuga! factor wanes quickly. I also delay purchasing the newest models to decrease the price for the older models. So all in all, I end up disposing(not selling) my phone which is a 2 year model. Sulit!

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