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Why do People Upgrade Their Phone Every Year

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Why do People Upgrade Their Smartphones Every Years 1
Why do People Upgrade Their Smartphones Every Years 1
Why do People Upgrade Their Smartphones Every Years 1

Smartphones are a part of our life, like it or not. As big brands release at least one model every year, there is no surprise why people upgrade their smartphones every year.

You have probably experienced this at least once. You just bought a brand-new phone. Then, a couple of months later, your friends come up with a newer model. Suddenly, you feel your phone is older than it seems.

There are, however, other factors that drive people into upgrading their phones every year. Let us have a look at a few of them

Battery life

The battery is like the core of your smartphone. It gives your phone life and allows you to use it. The problem is that phone manufacturers started to make their smartphones with the battery built-in. This means there is no easy access to replace it.

Batteries have their own life span. After a certain number of charge-discharge cycles, battery capacity goes down. For smartphone batteries, this usually happens after 300 cycles.

After usually one year, the battery storage will go down roughly 20%, leaving you with around 80% of the initial capacity. This, along with bad charging practices, will lower the numbers even more.

There are a few ways you can prolong battery life for your gadget. In most cases, though, the solutions don’t offer great benefits.

Operating System Updates

To keep up with security, your smartphone has at least one OS upgrade every year. While this is perfectly normal, there are cases where the new update will render the phone slower. Nobody wants a slower phone.

People usually find it easier to just upgrade their phone after one year. This way, they won’t have to bother with a sluggish phone due to newer OS requirements. 

Better camera

Sure, your smartphone had the best camera when you bought it. But times change real quick. Manufactures usually tend to make improvements to smartphone cameras at least once a year. Your 8MP camera doesn’t look so big now, compared to the triple 12MP one the newer models have.

Damage due to heat

As smartphones tend to be compact, they don’t come with a cooler. It would be impossible to integrate in the first place. As time goes by, heat takes a huge toll on your phone. Coupled with keeping your device in your pocket all the time, it is a recipe for disaster.

The explanation is simple. Heat affects your smartphone and makes it run slower. Damages due to heat are hard, if not impossible, to mitigate. It is also one of the leading factors why your battery gets weaker.

Better deals

One of the leading reasons why people upgrade their smartphones every year is due to operator deals. Especially true around the holidays, network operators tend to have the best deals when swapping your old phone with a brand new one.

This usually comes at the cost of renewing your contract. But you get a brand-new smartphone, usually free of charge.

Why do People Upgrade Their Smartphones Every Years 2
Why do People Upgrade Their Smartphones Every Years 2

Bigger screen

Bigger is better, right? You probably thought your smartphone has the best screen size ratio. 

A smartphone screen is probably one of the most upgradable part of your device, from the manufacturer’s point of view anyway. Every year, the designs change for the better. Screens get bigger and integrate better with their case.

Not enough storage

Yes, you can buy additional storage for your smartphone, in the form of MicroSD card. But this is not always a solution. Most apps won’t work on external storage. While there are a few ways to free up space on your smartphone, the results are not always the ones expected.

Storage increases every year. Smartphones today come with even twenty times more space, compared to 5 years ago.

Newer apps

What would you do without your apps not working? Developers are trying to do their best to keep their apps up to date. This means making sure their work functions perfectly with the newer OS versions.

This has a direct impact on the performance of apps on your smartphones. It’s usually after a year when apps get more demanding of resources. Apps that run fine on Android 9 for example, won’t work on Android 6.

Why do people like to buy new phones once the newest model of a phone is out?

Why do People Upgrade Their Smartphones Every Years 3
Why do People Upgrade Their Smartphones Every Year

There are a number of factors that drive people into buying newer phones. A lot of the times vanity is the primary factor. Who doesn’t like to brag about their newer, smarter phone?

A contributor from Quora made a nice list of people who like to give in to the temptation of buying a newer phone.

Reasons Why People Upgrade Their Smartphones Every Year
Reasons Why People Upgrade Their Smartphones Every Year

Even though the four of them are very related, there is a trend that happens with multiple types of tech, not just smartphones.

It all boils down to not missing out on what everyone else is experiencing. 

People do love to find meaning in technology. Most people use their smartphones, on average, for up to four hours a day. That is almost 50 days a year. Why not make it something enjoyable, they might say.

Of course, money is also a very good reason people renew their smartphones whenever they have the chance. If you can afford to do a swap every time a new gadget model comes out, good for you. 

If you work in a business environment, showing off your phone is also a good reason. A lot of the time, the features a newer model offers have nothing to do with why someone would renew their phone. They just want to show off that, they too, are in the trend.

Not everyone is the same regarding smartphones

In Europe, the trend seems to be on a slowing path. According to CNN, Europeans hold on to their phones for roughly two years or more. Network speed is usually the primary factor on which they decide to renew. A good example is when 5G started rolling out, and everyone had 4G smartphones.

Technology maturity also plays a great role. While teenagers are always on the lookout for something new and shiny, older people are not. Someone who owned three or four smartphones before is more patient when deciding to renew their gadget.

This is particularly true when you only use your smartphone for calling and texting. You don’t get over-concerned about which apps work and which don’t.

Buy and swap smartphones

Not everyone holds on to their phone for the same amount of time. A lot of people buy brand-new phones, enjoy it for a few months, and then resell it for a decent amount. This way, the value doesn’t drop by a lot.

There are always people who want a decent newer phone, but don’t want to pay a premium for a brand new one.

On the other hand, the ones who sell them, now have the possibility to just put in some extra and buy the newer model. It’s a never-ending cycle. Cars are a perfectly related example of swapping.


Big brands, like Samsung, Apple, Huawei, spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year. The sole purpose is to convince YOU that you need a new phone. And it works.

Even if your smartphone is only 6 months old, seeing commercials all day long about newer models is not pleasant. In most cases, it will push you every day, until you decide you do need a newer one. Maybe this one will be waterproof, or scratch-resistant, right?

How often are YOU supposed to buy a new smartphone?

Nobody can dictate when you should or shouldn’t buy anything. With this being said, you don’t need to give into Marketing.

Usually, a smartphone should only be replaced because of a few reasons. Here is a small list of the most common ones.

  • Smartphone is not usable anymore, like hardware failure or big network upgrade.
  • Operating system impossible to upgrade due to old technology
  • Battery replacement is no longer an option
  • Smartphone performance no longer meets your requirements.

Final thoughts

It’s always best to watch out for fantastic deals. For example, a lot of network carriers have great Black Friday specials where you can just swap in your phone for a brand new one. More often than not, it will come free of charge. This is hard to refuse.

If you don’t find any good reasons to renew your phone, don’t. In most cases, you don’t really need an upgrade, anyway. Always inspect the market, and do your research prior to any purchase. This will help you make a perfect choice.