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People Don't Care About Losing, Damaging Phone When Upgrade Is Near, Study Says

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) -- Some consumers lose or break their iPhones when a new model becomes available, according to some new research from the University of Michigan.

Co-author and University of Michigan associate psychology professor Josh Ackerman says they've discovered that people are more careless and neglectful when an upgrade is available.

"What really seems to be going on is that people have this need to justify the purchase decisions that they make," Ackerman said. "That need can cause changes in behavior even when we are not thinking about it. So the idea of buying an upgraded product when you already have something that currently works creates some tension."

This careless mindset of avoiding damage to your phone is not only when someone has an upgrade, but also whenever a newer product comes out. Ackerman added that this study also noticed similar thinking from people when a newer version comes out because they want to buy latest product.

"We looked across a large number of people, the time in which people seem to stop caring about damage to their phone -- that is they are not reporting it, they are not trying to get it replaced -- is right around the time when a new model gets released," Ackerman said.

The findings have been published in the October print edition of the Journal of Marketing Research. The study focused on iPhones, but Ackerman pointed out that similar results have been noticed with other mobile electronic products.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus recently hit the market, while the iPhone X will be available for preordering later this month.

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