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Poll: How often do you change phones?

According to the CWTA there’s now over 27 million wireless subscribers in Canada. Many of us opted to sign a long 3-year contract with one of the Big 3 carriers (Rogers, Bell, TELUS), or possibly decided to go with one of their sub-brands. Over the past couple years the newer players like WIND, Mobilicity, or Public Mobile have encouraged Canadians to opt-out of contracts and hook up on their Unlimited offerings. This has caused a mild consumer transition, but analysts estimate the new entrants will have about 6.5% of the total Canadian subscriber base by the end of the year – which represents about 1.8 million subs.

Manufacturers have also been hammering out new devices, all thinner, lighter and more powerful. Gone are the days of the QWERTY slider… now it’s all about touchscreen smartphones with dual or quad-core processors. Of course the latest device does come at a premium, but the outright cost is slowly declining. An example of this is Google’s upcoming release of the LG Nexus 4. This “pure Android” will run the latest OS (4.2 Jelly Bean), pack in a 1.5GHz Quad-Core processor, 4.7-inch display with a 1280 x 768, 2GB RAM, 8MP, 2,100mAh battery and comes in at a base price of $309 (CDN). Those who’ve been waiting to get the latest device, possibly first time smartphone owners, can now do so at a reasonable price. Google could be setting the stage for lower carrier pricing in the future.

Canadians will be seeing many new high-end devices launch this month: Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung ATIV S, HTC 8S and 8X, HTC One X+, LG Optimus G, Nokia Lumia 920 and the LG Nexus 4. If you’re thinking about getting a new phone it’ll be a tough decision, especially with all the upcoming price plan promos that the carriers will be releasing.

Are any of the new powerful/higher spec’d smartphones tempting you to change your device? Or will you be waiting for “the next big thing?” Take our latest poll about “how often do you change phone?”

How often do you change phones?

View Results

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  • BB10

    Is RIM dead?

    • SAM

      OOHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    • Poller

      This Poll is useless: It has 7 options and No options between 2-3 yrs?
      Who changes phones between 1-3months?
      Who changes phones every more than 3 yrs?

    • Poller

      You should publish this poll:

      When do you want 3yr contracts to be banned, just like in the rest of the world?

      -Yesterday
      -Now
      -This moment
      -Immediately
      -Right Now
      -Nov 2012
      -Squirrel!!!

    • Bobblehead

      I’ve never understood needing this regulation. You’re really saying “I need it to protect me from the bad decisions I make.”

      I get not liking three-year contracts, but it’s not as if they’re the only option. You choose to buy them, they were not forced on you.

      Unless you’re saying, businesses must give me the exact same deal, but on 2-years, on my terms then that, to me at least, is asinine.

      You vote with your wallet and the market will react, don’t go screaming to the government because you’re irresonsibile and have no purchase foresight.

    • S2556

      @bobblehead yoou would have a great argument if what you said were true. Yes they offer 1 and 2 year options however the money you save is nothing compared to the 3 year. They force you on the 3 year because that is the only plan they actually take a significant amount off the price.
      I voted with my wallet and refuse to sign a contract with them until the crtc finally gets their s**t together on the mobile scene.
      (and by voting with my wallet I had to pay way more and still pay the same amount on plans. So You have an option on which way to get screwed, by the long contract term that I have yet to have a phone last for, or by buying the phone outright (or knocking up to 100 dollars off with a 2 year contract. not worth it!!))

  • Sean

    I think 18 months is a good amount of time and that’s what I try and go for. By then your old phone still has some good value and you can pickup one off contract and ride out the next 18 months. Also a year and a half old phone would still be a pretty good phone. Like the HTC Sensation would still be a decent phone now, sure it might not have everything but it wouldnt be show.

  • BlackBerry Gangster

    If only BB10 came out this quarter. I have a HTC ONE S and will be trading for a Nexus 4. Then when BB10 come out I’ll be trading for that.

    If you know how/want to, you could switch devices every few months like a pro.

  • roman

    I used to get a new computer every year, but I’ve had my current computer since 2009 and it doesn’t look/feel much different from brand new ones. I’m not planning to upgrade any time soon.

    But a phone from a year ago is ancient. They are progressing much faster than any other consumer electronics ever had. I’ve used my last three devices for an average of about 9 months. And I’ll be getting a Nexus 4 later this month.

  • Cody

    I’m getting the ‘next big thing’ every 2-4 months.

  • Rich

    I have that itch to change all the time, but honestly the greatest thing about Android is the development community pushing updates to the latest OS. Even on my older phone, I can run most apps completely fine and therefore have no ‘real’ reason to upgrade.

  • Mathieu

    “Between 1-3 months”
    =>
    “how many people are getting free phone to review them?”

  • Michael

    Every two and a half years. Solely due to contracts.

  • Alex

    When my carrier allows me.

  • Hinds2009

    I am sticking to nexus devices! So that means i’ll probably be changing my device once a year!

  • Me

    I change my phone according to contract. Ideally i would like to change my phone maximum of yearly. I get bored of them and they are now out of date as soon as you have bought it!

  • cass_m

    I’m like Roman but I think things have stabilized enough that I can go to an every other Nexus cycle and I’ll be buying my next one directly from Google. If I didn’t like my Galaxy Nexus so much I would have considered upgrading this year. I may even be there with tablets as I just got the Note 10.1 and it does what I want.

    • George K

      Why wouldn’t you upgrade every year though? Look on kijiji, the galaxy nexus is still fetching $300. You could sell it and upgrade to the Nexus 4 for a small amount.

  • Mike

    1 year max.. but I hand off my old one to someone in my family, so they get used for a few years each one

  • LJK

    I change my phone about a year and a half through if I can. I would love to change my phone once a year but I just can’t afford to. Plus, with new phones coming out so frequently (which isn’t a bad thing) it is worth seeing my options down the road.

  • Aaron

    Telus rarely gets new devices that are worth it for me, but their plans cost half as much as a comparable rogers one…so im stuck! lol

  • Kenny

    I’m a glutton for the newest phone, so it’s a 3-6 month turn-around for me, and I usually have 2 at the same time, switching between them every few weeks.

    I’m amazed at myself for having the Galaxy Note for so long (6 months) and that it’s my only device during that time.

    No plans, I just pay full price or find one on Kijiji.

  • NienorGT

    It varies, my iPhone 3GS lasted 13 months until I sell it, I still have my iPhone 4 since day one (28 months and counting). My 5 Android phones never lasted more than 6 months, all broken.

  • Allan

    I change phones on my contract roll date. Years back, I didn’t, and just renewed the contract, getting additional handsets for the kids, updating my wife’s handset, etc.

    Now, technology is advancing quickly enough to make me more disposed toward updating frequently–since the features I’ve always wanted are now coming to the fore in the market.

    Next stop: SGNote2.

  • John Marshall

    I dunno about you, but I’ve had this phone for four months and I’m just about ready to ditch it. When’s someone going to announce they’re carrying the Lumia 820?

  • Tim3tripp3r

    Just coming to the end of a two year contract with FIDO but I swapped the phone that I got for 25.00 (Sony Vivaz Pro – simbian) a year ago for a used Motorola DROID2 global that has done me well. I can’t see doing a HUP for new phone so I am sticking with “new to me” phones and keeping my killer plan on a month to month basis. Everything is changing so fast these days I think signing up for a 3 year plan to get the latest/ greatest phone smartphone not such a “smart” move :)

  • Stan

    I guess I’m with the majority.

  • Gavin Burbidge

    I only upgrade phones when my current phone starts to slow down or stop functioning. I just went from an Xperia Play to a Note 2 because the Xperia Play was bogging down to the point of frustration waiting for it to do things. The lack of installation memory really hurts it too. So I’ve got a nice shiny new Note 2 and plenty of power.

  • RyanOver

    if you’re paying more than 60$ a month, your contract will end in around 24-25months.

  • Steve

    I don’t think it’s feasible for the everyday customer to keep changing phones. Sure, providers offer early upgrades however you’re always re-signing a new contract. And if, for some reason, a customer breaks their phone after the warranty they’ll have to buy a whole new phone altogether at full price, therefore I think the CRTC should implement a cap for all telecommunications companies stating that the maximum contract length to be two years instead of the three years it’s at now. The maximum a contract length in the United States is two years, why not have that system here in Canada?

  • zzZZzz

    I’m working for a phone company so I get to rotate phones pretty often (less than 1yr), but I honestly think we’re getting to the point when there’s so little to bring new to the table.

    Not until we get flexible materials in the mainstream process at that is.

  • Slype

    I do 12-18 months. Ever since I went with Wind, I put the extra $1000 I’m saving towards a new phone and I still have extra money left over. Leaving Rogers was the best thing I ever did. I feel sorry for the people who are tied to Rogers through 3 year contracts. It’s a relic from the 1990s and they are making a killing off of it. If only people informed themselves a bit instead of listening to the FUD squad that Rogers employs to scare the ignorant.

  • andy c

    I usually change twice a year. Mainly because I have not found the perfect phone yet. I have never owned a new cell phone as I buy them lnib off kijiji. Currently on a gnex and debating if I should get the n4 (lack of lte is a big trade off for stock)

  • MattyMattMatt

    About once a year, but I have not been buying top of the line. My next phone will be, just not sure which I want.

  • Alan

    I upgrade pretty much every year, either working retentions for an early upgrade discount or just selling my previous iPhone (still under warranty) and buying one outright. I managed to get 2 new 5′s this year with no money out of pocket after selling our 4S’s. Rogers is usually pretty good about giving out a 50% discount on the early upgrade fee.

  • MrMastodonFarm

    I’d like to say it’s about every two years but for the past three it’s been every 12 months.

    2012 – Nexus 4 (well in two weeks)
    2011 – Nexus S
    2010 – iPhone
    2019 – Blackberry

    • Poller

      Blackberry won’t exist in 2019!

  • bembol

    If/when I get my Samsung Galaxy Note II, it will be my 10th upgrade since signing a contract almost three years ago.

    The iPhone 5 (Black, 64GB) only lasted me a few weeks. The only OS I haven’t touched is Windows and I don’t think I’m going to unless I get one free.

  • TKG26

    Sometimes i wish a was crackberry fan… That way i would save all kinds of money. Nothing new means i have no reason to want a new phone every year! LOL ANDROID FTW!

  • nate44

    Even wind is rolling a 3 yr contract. This is 3 yr thing really got to stop.

  • Bruce Gavin Ward

    i’m just finishing a three year contract @ $22/mo. having bought two phones during that time and just switched the sim to the new phone; i’m
    pretty cheap and use wiFi at all possible times so rarely use data.
    But now i’m trying to figure out the best way to run a sSgNoteII; buying one outright @ $600 seems dumb when the going rate for a data plan seems to be $50 ish regardless of contract or not?

  • arcsvibe

    I usually switch phones once a year. I sell my old one on Craigslist of Kijiji and use those funds to purchase my new device. It’s a win-win situation.

  • Is this Bb10?

    Even if you are in a 3 year contract, you can still sell the phone and the buyer takes over the remaining time in the contract. Just build in a small discount in your selling price. I don’t know why everyone is so afraid of 3 year contracts.

  • Is this Bb10?

    @TKG26 Hilar.

  • Rayzorexe

    I’m hoping to start by holding the same for at least 18 months haven’t had much luck on that so I end up wasting money by switching phones…

    Here is my phone history:

    Audiovox 8910 4 years (2005-2009) – LG Rumour 6 Months – Samsung Link 4 months – Sony Ericsson Cedar 6 months – Samsung Galaxy Gio – 1.5 months – Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 3 months – Samsung Galaxy S 5.5 months – Samsung Galaxy S2 2.5 months – Samsung Galaxy S2X 11 weeks and counting
    not including temporary phones such as Samsung Corby Plus, Blackberry 8250, Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro, Motorola Backflip, Galaxy Ace, HTC Sensation 4G and the LG Optimus Chic that I’ve tried out for about a week or so.

  • screamer

    Now with galaxy s3 won’t change so often

  • iPhone 4 user

    I upgrade every 12-18 months only because I have a corporate plan that allows me to upgrade every 12 months. This year I got 4S for $60 and I sold my 4 for around $300.

  • thisismysmartphone.tumblr.com

    “Between 1-3 months”

    It could be an expensive hobby but there’s always LNIB Kijiji deals as well as friends willing to give you a discount. Currently using the S3, plan on switching over to the either the Note II or the Nexus 4 within the next two months

  • BreathLess

    From since I had my first cell phone I had upgraded every year (give or take a couple months) either by renew ping a contract or buying and selling my used phone with another used.

    But I think I’m at the point with my iPhone 5 that I’m going to keep it for the next 2 years and then look for an upgrade.

    I don’t think I can ever use a phone for more then 2 years though.

  • CJ

    I recently upgraded to a new phone after 4 years with my old, well loved and (missed) phone. I only upgraded because I stupidly broke it and I could have easily gotten at least another year out of it.

  • Joeltime

    I usually get a new phone when I break the screen on the one I have. I sat on my HTC Desire (after about a year) and cracked the LCD. It would have been about $100 to repair so I picked up a Nexus S instead. Really great phone and it currently flies running jellybean but sadly… drop… crack. Definitely going for the Nexus 4 and hopefully that Gorilla glass stands up to my klutziness.

  • Benoit

    since my first cell in 1995 i had 10 devices so I can’t argue with 18 to 24 months (should have been an option too!)

  • new_tradition

    I’m actually pretty new to owning a cell phone comparatively.

    Back in 2006 I had an old Nokia flip phone with Cityfone (I know, I know xD) that I used for 3+ years during school, but then I joined Fido and got a LG Neon when I signed the 2 year contract.

    I originally just planned to stick with it for the 2 years, but next thing I know, I’m buying 3 (cheap) phones within the first 18 months, lol.

    Now I’m at Wind with the Nexus S. Been almost a year. Again, planning to stick with it for the entirety of the tab, but there’s so many awesome phones already out, let alone coming soon…

    I may just pay off the tab and grab a gorgeous Android phone. Or give Windows a try. Heck, I kind of wanna wait for BB10 too. So many choices D:

  • Ricky

    Believe it or not, in Hong Kong, more than half the population change phones every 1-3 months.

  • sak500

    Was changing almost 2 every year since last 3 years, N900 2010, Iphone 16gb 2010 then got another iphone 32 gb 2011 (16gb gave to wife) then bought LG O3D (sic) late 2011 then S3 in May 2012. But since been layed off from fkng Asus i’m broke and can’t afford anything now.

  • screamer

    Carries here in Canada are so bad. Incoming calls caller Id voicemail ….why paying for that? Does price change at all? Big 3 with all the same price and promotions? Still expensive phones!
    I change all 18 month or 3 month if I don’t like something on the phone. Like the iPhone with no flash..

  • Ron Mexico

    I change a often as I can, no specified time period I use. Just whenever I can :)

  • Brad

    Had a galaxy 550 for 6 months before it broke. Blackberry 9300 for 6 months. iPhone 4S for 6 months. Nokia 610 for 5 months now. Usually issues with phones that have me switch.

  • werd

    Every 2 years sound about right.
    2008 – K850i
    2010 – N8
    2012 – Nexus 4

  • fanel

    Got my first cellphone the summer before going to university (July 2007), an unlocked Nokia N73 used on Fido. This past July (2012), I was able to find a really cheap Telus-locked Lumia 800. Bought it, unlocked it and replaced my N73 while staying with Fido, which I had for pretty much 5 years. To be honest, if I wouldn’t have found the cheap 800, I would have still kept my N73, that thing is a tank and it does really well what it was made for, make calls.

  • guy

    Got the Galaxy S2 (international) they day it came out in Canada. AOKP JellyBean is absolutely fantastic on it and I see no reason to upgrade. If I were still stuck with samsung+ gingerbread I would have gotten the nexus 4 for sure though. I certainly upgraded more when I had a cheaper phone though. A new phone (off contract) for $100 always seemed reasonable. $500 not no much.

  • Rod

    I try to keep my phones for the full 3 years of my contract, but my phones just don’t seem to last that long. They always seems to failing just as the warranty expires. However my galaxy nexus only lasted 7 months however the warranty was voided due to “water damage.” Don’t remember doing that but heard some phones are overly sensitive.

  • Blaise Petric

    Not often enough to buy a windows phone. Because, I cant see myself using a WP8 phone for the next 2+ years

  • 2c

    canadians are still dumb and failed to understand the concept of competition and free market.

    thats why the dictionary meaning of canada is “big village”

  • Alex

    Once every…. nexus..?

  • Joel

    I think the thing many people are forgetting when they mention Canada’s three year contracts is that it is much harder to run a telecommunications company in Canada than the US. Because we have a lower population density, the same amount of infrastructure covers much fewer people. While I would love to have shorter contracts, I just don’t think it’s going to be a reality unless 200 million people immigrate to Canada all at once.

    • SkyNet

      Don’t worry son… wind/mobilicity will change that in a couple of years. You can already see how the big 3 are dropping some of their stupid taxes.

  • iphone5ish

    it depends on how many times Rogers change their upgrade policy…

  • simian

    Way more often than I should, which is +/- a year. Got the GNex on a reup of my Rogers contract in January & picking up a N4 day of. To be honest I might even pickup an HTC 8x / One X+.

  • BT

    2 1/2 years and counting with my current phone, and no intention of changing it anytime soon either. While I get a bit of an itch each time a new flagship phone is announced, it’s not worth the money to me to replace something that still works just fine.

  • coop3422

    I have about 170 phones over the past 4 years. I’ve slowed down now however, because I just find all the new stuff unappealing. I’ve had my s2 i9100 for about 5 months, the Sensation before that for about 4, the iphone before that about the same, a sensation before that, s2 before that, iphone before that, you see the trend. I switch continuously lol.

    That said, I’d probably stick with the i9100 for the forseasble future. All the new highend phones have just gotten too big, and I really like having a physical home button, I find one handed use is much easier. And as much as I thought I’d want a new iphone, once they announced what it actually was, I lost all interest.

    Anyways I chose 3-6 months in the poll, I usually fall somewhere in there.

  • jessica

    so far, the poll shows the majority of people change handsets every 2 years. All the more reason to do away with 3 year contracts in canada.

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