Sara K. James
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People Are Trashing Their Phones When an Upgrade Is Close, Recent Study Shows

Earlier this month a study was conducted by the American Marketing Association. Researchers found that right around the time to upgrade to a new phone, people tend to be more reckless with their current phones. Calling it an “upgrade effect,” the study shows the phenomenon in which “careless tendencies are intended to promote the acquisition of upgrade products by helping consumers justify the new purchase.” However, it’s not just a lapse in judgment; People are unconsciously, but to a certain degree, deliberately losing and breaking their phones.

The researchers began by examining an IMEI Detective database of 3,000 misplaced iPhones. By tracking the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, the researchers found that almost as soon as the 5s was released, iPhone 5 owners spent much less time looking for their lost phones, while others didn’t even report them missing. Virgin Mobile was already on the trend when they released the commercial “Happy Accidents.” Watch it below. Silvia Bellezza, an assistant professor of marketing at Columbia Business School states:

“We would feel guilty about upgrading without a reason—but if our current product were damaged or depleted, we’d have a justification to upgrade without appearing wasteful. So, we use our phone in the rain or leave our laptop behind at airport security without being aware that our carelessness has an underlying motivation.”