The Average Upgrade Cycle of a Smartphone in the U.S. is 32 Months, According to NPD Connected Intelligence

Prepaid smartphone users are the first to upgrade, with the shortest upgrade cycle 

Port Washington, NY, July 12, 2018 – According to the latest Mobile Connectivity Report from NPD Connected Intelligence, the average U.S. smartphone upgrade cycle is 32 months, up from 25 months one year prior (2H 2017 vs. 2H 2016). Over the same time period, the percentage of smartphone users holding on to their smartphones for over three years has increased from 18 percent in the second half of 2016 to 22 percent in the second half of 2017.

“One factor that has impacted the upgrade cycle is that carriers have tightened upgrade policies,” said Brad Akyuz, director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence. “Many carriers require that customers fully pay-off their devices before trade-in, which has slowed down upgrade cycles for postpaid customers.”

The prepaid segment has historically recorded the shortest upgrade cycle, due in part to affordable pricing and high churn. In the second half of 2017, 21 percent of prepaid smartphone users reported upgrading their devices within a year of purchasing their phone, this compares to only 10 percent of postpaid consumers.


Source: Connected Intelligence Mobile Connectivity Report

 

“The continuous improvement of device build quality and components, coupled with higher price tags, has motivated consumers to hold on to their smartphones for longer periods than in the past,” noted Akyuz. “However, with the debut of 5G networks in the coming years, OEMs and mobile operators will have the opportunity to educate consumers on the benefits of 5G services and convince them to upgrade to devices boasting a 5G chipset. This 4G to 5G migration will ultimately result in the acceleration of the device upgrade cycle.”


Methodology

The results of the NPD Group Connected Intelligence Mobile Connectivity Report are based on consumer panel research that reached 3,600 U.S. cellphone users, aged 18+ from diverse regions and demographical backgrounds. This survey was completed in February 2018.



Related Press Releases

2018 Baker’s Dozen +1: Stephen Baker’s Annual Holiday Expectations
2018 Baker’s Dozen +1: Stephen Baker’s Annual Holiday Expectations

Superior screens, advances in audio, and all things ‘smart’ will be hot this holiday. See more holiday consumer electronics predictions from NPD’s technology industry advisor, Stephen Baker.

Connected TV and Streaming Media Player Adoption Spurring Digital Video Purchases and Rentals, NPD Says
Connected TV and Streaming Media Player Adoption Spurring Digital Video Purchases and Rentals, NPD Says

As TV-connected devices become commonplace in U.S. homes more consumers are choosing to rent and purchase digital movies

Nearly Half of U.S. Smartphone Owners Report Shopping on Their Device
Nearly Half of U.S. Smartphone Owners Report Shopping on Their Device

The role of the consumer device is evolving, as content that was once the domain of the computer continues to migrate to smartphones. In fact, 45 percent of smartphone users now report they shop online via their device.

Unlocked Smartphone Users Are Spending More and Upgrading Less
Unlocked Smartphone Users Are Spending More and Upgrading Less

According to NPD Connected Intelligence, the unlocked smartphone market is continuing to grow, as awareness levels reach an all-time high.


Press Contact

Megan Scott
516-625-7516 
megan.scott@npd.com

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

Want more?

Complete this form to hear from NPD.


npd.com | © 2018. The NPD Group, Inc.

Follow Us on