Quarter of Europeans Replace Their Phone Each Year

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Twenty-seven percent of European mobile users replace their cell phones every year, according to Telephia. This rate increases by more than twofold after 24 months, with roughly 60% of Europeans buying new phones by the two year mark. Telephia’s Q1 2006 European Subscriber and Device Report (ESDR) shows that new phone purchases take place most often during the end of contracts, with heavy purchase rates occurring during the 12, 24, and 36 month periods.

Mobile consumers in Spain and Italy demonstrate a faster rate of cell phone replacement as compared to other European countries; with new phone purchases occurring after 23 months. According to Telephia, wireless users in the U.K. buy new phones on average after 24.2 months, while Swedish consumers replace their devices after 24.9 months. French and German mobile users make new phone purchases around 26.5 and 26.7 months, respectively. Across Europe, the average replacement cycle falls at the 25.1 month mark.


Teens age 15-17 purchase a new phone on average every 20 months, the fastest among all age groups, with 39% of teens purchasing at the one year mark. European young adults age 18-24 followed closely, buying new devices after 21 months. Thirty-five percent of 18-24 year olds buy at the one year timeframe. On the other end of the spectrum, older mobile users age 55 and over keep their cell phones an average of two and half years, with new purchases usually occurring around 31 months.

“Added to the social and consumer pressure of having the latest device, young mobile users are naturally more apt to adopt advanced data services,” added Brenner. “Teens and young adults are more than twice as likely as older users to use advanced services and applications such as MP3 and video downloads. This creates the need for more frequent replacement just to stay technologically current.”

“Europe is truly a mobile society. This mobility generates a constant consumer engagement with their phones,” said Bernard Brenner, Director of New Products – International, Telephia. “With the average lifespan of a phone lasting just two years before users want to upgrade, it puts pressure on the whole wireless industry ecosystem to continuously innovate their products and services portfolio to renew the ‘wow’ factor for consumers.”