breaking phone breaking phone You've got to break a few iPhones to make a Capitalism omelet. (Photo: Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock)

Did you accidentally-on-purpose break your old iPhone? You're not alone

A study found that people break their phones just as new models come out ... without even realizing it.

Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no. You dropped your iPhone, and the screen shattered into a spiderweb of lost money. Well, nothing to do now but pick up the broken pieces and head to the Apple store. Maybe it's for the best; you've been thinking about getting a new phone for a while. All the cool kids have one. You heard the latest model, reported to be manufactured in Israel, is supposed to be amazing. Yes, maybe it's about time ...

If this mental conversation sounds familiar to you, then we've got good news and bad news. The bad news is, you may have just broken your phone on purpose without realizing it. The good news is, welcome to the club. A new Columbia Business School study found that people tend to act recklessly with their phones when new models come out.

"Carelessness and neglect toward currently owned products stem from a desire to justify the attainment of upgrades without appearing wasteful," the study's authors wrote.

The scientists looked at surveys that showed more people neglect and lose their phones just when new versions are released. This phenomenon, which the scientists are calling the "upgrade effect," applies to lots of different goods, and owners often have no idea they're taking part in it. Apple, on the other hand, seems to have mysteriously timed out the whole thing pretty well.

"... product neglect in the presence of attractive upgrades can occur without deliberate intentions," the study's authors continued.

So if you've got the iPhone 6, you might be trading it in for the iPhone 7 soon. And if you have the iPhone 7, it'll only be a matter of time until you leave it in a cab or attach it to a bunch of fireworks and get your hands on the iPhone 8.


Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows
Did you accidentally-on-purpose break your old iPhone? You're not alone
Goodbye iPhone 5s and 6s, hello iPhone 7s and 8s. A new study found that people break their smartphones just as new models come out.