Are you upgrading your phone less frequently?


LG is rolling out a new program for its G6 flagship smartphone. It's called the LG G6 Second Year Promise and it's designed to extend the standard manufacturer's warranty beyond the 12 months that's given right out of the gate, and offer 24 months instead. That's right, similar to other manufacturer warranties in other regions of the planet, LG is now offering a two-year manufacturer's warranty for the G6 at no additional cost.

Current or future G6 owners just need to register their handset with LG and they'll be covered for the 24 month period. Pretty simple and a good move on the company's part.

As part of the announcement, LG MobileComm President Chang Ma said that the reason they felt the need to extend the warranty is due to the fact that they are seeing people hold onto their phones longer than ever before. Basically customers are apparently not upgrading as often as they were "before," and so they feel it's the perfect time to offer a manufacturer's warranty that extends beyond the traditional timeframe.

It's actually this part of the announcement that caught my eye the most, because it's actually a little comical to me. LG obviously has plenty of data to back up that statement, and I have no reason to not believe it. People may indeed be holding onto their phones for longer, and not upgrading as often as they were at some point in the past.

If that is the case, it would appear that customers like doing things to the opposite of what carriers are offering.

Let me elaborate a bit. So, "before," carriers offered subsidies as the primary way to get a phone. You'd pay a little up front (and by a little I mean compared to the outright cost of the device, even back then) and get to take that phone home. You'd also be attached to a two-year (24 months) contract, and the general consensus at the time was that you kept that phone for 24 months and only upgraded then.

Some carriers made it possible to upgrade a little early if you traded in the phone, but that wasn't the norm by any means. Until the two-year contract finally faded out and we turned to payment plans for phones of varying degrees. Now we pay very little or nothing at all to walk out with a phone, just as long as we promise to pay a certain amount every month to keep it. In these scenarios an intrepid smartphone owner could, if they wanted, to pay to upgrade their phone in just a month's time if they were so inclined. Or they can wait the full duration of their leasing program.

Some carriers offer easy upgrades after only 12 months so you can buy the newly-released smartphone that's stuck on that yearly refresh cycle. It was harder to upgrade your phone back in the day, and in some cases not even possible if you weren't close enough to the end of your contract date, but now? Now it's easier than ever, but LG is telling us people are holding onto their phones longer.

This is especially funny to me because, after taking a moment to think about it, I'm one of those people who hang onto their phone longer. A few years ago I wasn't, like three, three-and-a-half maybe, because I was switching phones all the time. But then I just stopped. I didn't even realize it.

So that made me wonder where you stand on this. When it comes to you and upgrading phones, is LG about you? Do you keep your phone longer than you used to? Or with the changes that carriers have made do you find yourself upgrading and exchanging phones even more these days? Let me know!