American consumers' infatuation with the iPhone just might be one of their most costly habits.
Damaged iPhones cost consumers $5.9 billion since they were introduced in 2007, according to a new study by SquareTrade, a company that offers custom warranties for gadget users. That includes phones that were cracked, dropped, kicked, and damaged by water.
Thirty percent of iPhone users damaged their phones in some way in the last year alone. And accidental damage is 10 times likelier than loss or theft.
While the new iPhone 5 model has been built with more aluminum this time around to help with durability, most of the benefit applies to the fragile back of the phone. About 11 percent of iPhone users are walking around with cracked screens, according to Squaretrade.
Thankfully, upgrades to Apple's $99 iPhone warranty will cover accidental damage like water and cracked screens. You can also look into your mobile phone carrier's options.
Here are the top five iPhone accident scenarios:
- Phone dropped from my hand
- Phone fell into a toilet, a swimming pool or a lake
- Phone dropped from lap
- Phone knocked off a table
- Phone drenched by some liquid