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How Often Do UK Consumers Replace Their Mobile Phones?

by Neil Mawston | Aug 24, 2017

Carphone Warehouse (Dixons Carphone) took a pounding today on the UK stockmarket, due to a profit warning. DC shares closed down almost -20% on the day.

Carphone Warehouse is one of the UK's biggest mobile retailers, offline and online.

The company's CEO said one reason (of several) for the profit decline was due to the slowdown in UK cellphone replacement rates. The CEO said people were holding on to their handsets for between four to six months longer and replacing them after 29 months rather than 24.

In this respect, Strategy Analytics' data broadly agrees.

Our EDS (Devices) service guides that UK mobile phone owners replaced their handsets on average every 23 months in 2015, lengthening to 27 months in 2016, and a forecast 26 months in 2017.

Mobile phone replacement rates (RR) have lengthened in the UK because of slightly higher device prices caused by reduced operator subsidies and the weaker Brexit Pound. Device makers, for their part, like Sony or LG, need to deliver more innovative or differentiated designs that wow consumers and draw them back into retail stores, such as Carphone Warehouse.

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