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Spring break is hard on smartphones

A phone can only handle so much adversity.

By Mitch Lipka Mar 27, 2013 11:59AM

Frustrated woman with mobile device © Jacqueline Veissid, Photodisc, Getty ImagesSpring break has long had a reputation for raucous parties and out-of-control teens free of adult supervision. The result: millions of broken smartphones and tablets, according to the electronics warranty company SquareTrade.


The company says its data hints at the "perfect storm" of potential device disaster. The percentage of teens owning smartphones rose by 50% this year over last and a whole bunch of them are about to take those phones on vacation. The numbers are potentially staggering, since SquareTrade estimates 7 million smartphones and tablets have been damaged during previous spring breaks.


While some phones will likely find their way into toilets in Florida or Texas or wherever spring breakers may be, SquareTrade found that the most likely places for phones to suffer grievous harm on vacation are:

  • At a beach, lake or pool -- 39.9%.
  • In the outdoors -- 23.9%.
  • In a bar or club or at a party -- 21.8%.
  • At a concert or in a crowd -- 9%.
  • On a cruise -- 5.3%.

To help save some phones from the trash bin or repair shop, SquareTrade recommends the following steps be taken by spring breakers:

  • Don't use a phone in the bathroom. 
  • Check your pockets and be sure there is no phone inside before taking a leap into a pool. 
  • Read actual books and magazines on the beach rather than an electronic device to avoid sand-related mishaps.

Just staying home is not likely to prevent accidents from befalling your phone or tablet. In previous research, SquareTrade found iPhones took a beating in their owners' homes. More than half of those that were broken were damaged at home.


That includes about 9% of users whose iPhones took a dive into the toilet.


Overall, an estimated 27 million Americans will accidentally damage their smartphone in the next year, according to SquareTrade. That's about 80,000 a day.


Do you know where your phone is right now?


More on MSN Money:

Mar 27, 2013 12:56PM

Maybe if these kids had used their own money to pay for the phone they would be more careful with it.

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