How long does a smartphone last?
How long does a smartphone actually last? We’ve been asked this question a lot lately. The question sounds simple, but it is actually more complex than you think. We will go through all the important aspects and explain what you should pay attention to. In doing so, we will consider the Android market separately from the iPhone market with iOS. We hope you enjoy reading.
How long does a smartphone with Android last?
Let’s look at the Android operating system alone, completely independent of the smartphone hardware. According to current figures from the 20 largest Android manufacturers, an Android smartphone receives an average of 1,371 major system updates. The leader by far is Google with 3.5 updates, while Asus brings up the rear, closely followed by Xiaomi and Huawei, all three manufacturers are below 1 update. If you look at it from the buy side, these are shocking numbers. Does that mean you can only use an Android smartphone for a little over a year? No of course not. When you buy your smartphone, you should be able to use the current operating system for about a year. Then you usually get a major Android update with new features. And since the numbers mentioned are only system updates such as e.g Android 9 is on Android 10, and you don’t have to worry about security patches etc. These patches are usually offered by the manufacturers for a few more years. However, you should inform yourself separately from manufacturer to manufacturer. The current average is around three years of safe use of an Android smartphone, but we recommend checking with the manufacturer to see whether your smartphone is still supported. So much for the software side of Android devices. But maybe things will change soon! three years of safe use of an Android smartphone, but we recommend checking with the manufacturer to see whether your smartphone is still supported. So much for the software side of Android devices. But maybe things will change soon! three years of safe use of an Android smartphone, but we recommend checking with the manufacturer to see whether your smartphone is still supported. So much for the software side of Android devices. But maybe things will change soon!
The big change in Android 11
Google had already announced in the last few months that all manufacturers will no longer be able to deliver devices on which Android 10 is not installed. Google wants to counteract the current situation, because many manufacturers are currently delivering their smartphones with outdated software. And what exactly will change under Android 11? Unfortunately, we can’t name that exactly yet, one thing is clear: Google wants to change something about the update policy of the manufacturers. We’re very excited to see what that will look like.
How long does a smartphone last? – iPhones/iOS devices
What about Apple’s update policy? The bottleneck at Apple is currently the hardware and not the software. This means that the devices receive the updates until the hardware of the device no longer supports the software properly. The iPhones receive updates for six years on average, which we find very exemplary. Furthermore, it is not only six times the update time on the Android market in terms of new system updates, but also double the security patches. So you could say iPhones last twice as long? We would say no, but the numbers say no, because in the last two years, iPhones have mostly struggled with performance. We cannot say with certainty whether this is still the case today, because the iPhones have meanwhile gained a lot in terms of hardware equipment. Therefore, we would set the productive lifetime of an iPhone at 4-5 years.
Three of the most durable smartphones on the market are:
The iPhone series
An important factor for many users when choosing an iPhone is that the devices are supplied with constantly updated operating system updates for a long time. The risk of major damage to an Apple device due to a virus or other security intrusion is relatively small. Apple has built its own ecosystem around the iPhone and not only makes money from the iPhone, but also from the expanded services that add significant value to the iPhone.
The Google Pixel
Android is being further developed by Google itself and Google therefore always provides its own Google Pixel smartphone series with updates first and longest. The Google Pixel smartphones are always the very first devices worldwide to receive the latest version or the latest update of the Android operating system. The Google smartphones are therefore also considered the safest Android smartphones. But even Google itself only allows regular updates for a very short time.
The Samsung Galaxy Series
Actually, this should be HTC, but unfortunately the company has declined greatly in recent years due to financial difficulties. Samsung, on the other hand, manages to improve a bit and is third due to the lack of competition.
But what does reality look like?
How long does a smartphone last? We now had an average of about 3-4 years that a smartphone can be used productively and safely. But what about in Germany, how long are smartphones really used? According to current consumer surveys, the service life in Germany of 2.3 years is far below our average for the durability of the devices. But how can that be, are the devices poorly made or does the hardware break too quickly? Or do we Germans simply throw away our smartphones that still work?
How long does the hardware of a smartphone last?
This question cannot really be answered in general, since the processing quality on the market varies greatly. Therefore, this time we are working with extreme values and average numbers to illustrate the whole thing well and still achieve a representative result. Samsung, Huawei and Apple are currently the three largest smartphone manufacturers in the world. Let’s take a look at the durability of the hardware: While Apple generally has this at around 5 years, it’s something completely different for Huawei and Samsung, because their product portfolio includes both very cheap and very expensive devices and here the range varies widely. Unfortunately, we do not have 100% representative data. However, an approximate average of 1.5 to 5 years is the lifespan of the hardware for both manufacturers. Willful destruction was largely kept out of these statistics. If you look at some low-budget manufacturers, there are actually better values, but also much more catastrophic values. A positive example in recent years has been One Plus. Although smartphones are no longer classified as low budget.
Conclusion: How long does a smartphone actually last?
We admit that we threw a lot of numbers around today. But how long does a smartphone last? And what should you take away from this article?
- Smartphones usually last longer than they are even used
- Android smartphones are safe for an average of 3 years
- iOS devices can be used safely and productively for an average of 4-5 years
- Always make sure that your smartphone has the latest security patches
- Mid-range to high-end hardware will stay up-to-date longer than software updates. With entry-level devices, it can happen that they get an update, but then are no longer really usable in terms of performance
In conclusion, if you take good care of your device, always pay attention to the updates and don’t buy the cheapest, you can easily use your cell phone for 3 years in everyday life. With an iPhone usually even 4-5 years. We hope you liked our article.
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