40% of Brits Walking around with Broken Smartphones

  • Research from iMend.com, reveals that the average Brit can only survive 3.4 days without their smartphone; 40% could only last a day or less without a working device
  • 29% of Brits believe that putting a phone in a bag of rice will fix water damage


Cracked phone
iMend reveal that 1 in 4 people are walking round with a smashed phone.


Research published by iMend.com, the UK’s first nationwide call-out mobile phone repair service, reveals that an estimated 19.2 million* are walking around with a broken phone. The research, which polled 2000 people across the UK, also found that 21.7% are using a phone with a cracked screen, 16% need a battery replacement and 10% say that their smartphone does not charge properly.

Despite our ‘laissez-faire’ approach to the upkeep of our smartphones, having a fully non-functioning device would be quite traumatic for the average Brit, who could only last 3.4 days without a working phone, and 40% admitted they could only last a day or less.

Living on the verge of a Crack-tastrophe

Surprisingly, 66% of Brits are oblivious to the fact that a broken screen may impact a smartphone’s internal workings. The research from iMend.com also revealed that 41% of those with a broken mobile admit they have not bothered fixing it because they are still able to make and receive phone calls, while over a quarter (27%) said they are worried about how much they will have to fork out to fix their mobile. Another 31% are waiting out their contract (even though the average person with a broken phone has six months left on their contract), and 28% of Brits think repairing their smartphone is a slow process which takes 7-10 days.

 Keir McConomy, founder of iMend.com, commented, Brits walking around with damaged phones are living on the edge of a crack-tastrophe – not least because most of them can’t survive for more than a couple of days without their handsets. Although your phone may still be functioning, a cracked screen is susceptible to water ingression, which is why it is important to seek professional help to prevent irreversible damage as soon as a crack appears. Most customers are worried that getting a device repaired will void the manufacturer’s warranty – however as accidental damage is outside of the manufacturer’s warranty anyway, this is just another myth around getting your phone repaired.”

Water Damaged Phone in a bag of rice
Putting your phone in a bag of rice doesn’t work

Putting your phone in a bag of rice – and other misconceptions

iMend.com found that Brits are subject to some mad misconceptions when it comes to phone repair. 29% of Brits think putting a phone in a bag of rice is a good way to fix water damage, while 6% think leaving a phone on top of a radiator will aid its recovery.

When it comes to iPhone repair iMend.com only charges £40-60 to fix a broken screen and £29.99 to fix water damage – but almost a third of Brits (31%) think it would cost around £100 or more to fix a broken phone.

Keir McConomy, founder of iMend.com, commented, “When you look at how important smartphones are in our daily lives, it’s surprising that so many people are walking around with damaged devices. So why aren’t Brits getting their smartphones fixed? Our research suggests it’s because we think it’s more expensive or inconvenient to do so than it actually is. For people who need a repair on-the-go, iMend.com can send a technician directly to you, and get your phone fixed in just 30 minutes—for around £70. So you can carry on with your day without having to worry that you’ll suddenly be cut off from the digital world.”

Top reasons for damaged smartphones

(source: OnePoll research commissioned by iMend.com)

Type of smartphone damage Percentage of Brits with this damage currently
Cracked phone screen 21.7%
My battery needs to be replaced as it runs down very quickly 16.1%
My phone won’t charge properly 9.7%
One or more buttons are broken, but I can still use my phone 6.3%
I have problems with the sound 6.3%

Top five phones repaired

(source: repairs made through iMend.com)

Smartphone type
iPhone 6
iPhone 5S
iPhone 5C
Samsung Galaxy S5
iPhone 4S


All figures unless otherwise stated are from OnePoll. Total sample size was 2000 adults who own a smartphone. Fieldwork was undertaken between the 13th and 15th May 2015. This survey was carried out online. The figures are representative of UK adults (18+) who own a smartphone.

* Calculation based on One Poll data and 48,000,000 UK residents’ above the age of 18