Broken iPhones cost billions in repairs

Damaged iPhones have cost Americans a whacking $5.9 billion for repairs, replacement and insurance deductibles since 2007, according to a study by warranty company SquareTrade.

“It’s $100 million more than the Obama and Romney camps will spend on their campaigns combined,” says the firm. “It’s 29 times as much as Americans spend on contraceptives every year.”

It seems iPhone owners are a careless bunch, with 30 percent having experienced accidental damage in the last 12 months, and 17 percent having damaged their device more than once.

“Accidental damage is 10 times more common than either loss or theft for iPhone users,” says the company. “Half of iPhone users under 35 have had an accident.”

More than one in ten users is living with a cracked screen, and six percent have resported to taping it up.

As for the reasons for damage, it seems dropping the thing is most common, reported by 30 percent of users. Eighteen percent said their phone had been immersed in liquid – including in the toilet – and 13 percent that it fell off their lap. Eleven percent have knocked their phone off a table, and nine percent have spilled liquid on it.

Last month, the company established that Mississippi is the clumsiest state, damaging more iPhones and iPads than any other.

It’s not known hown many customers for the new iPhone 5 are replacing a previous model that they’ve damaged and not had insured. Indeed, it’s possible that the damage figures will fall with the new version, which has glass only on one side and a stronger aluminum case than its predecessor.