Media Release

No new phone needed: Aussies hanging up on upgrades

  • Aussies upgrade their phones every 3.5 years, up from every 3 years in 2017
  • 55% hold onto the same phone for at least 2 years
  • Pros and cons of signing up to a contract

19 September, 2018, Sydney, Australia – Australians are holding onto smartphones for longer, reveals new research from, the site that compares virtually everything.’s Smartphone Upgrade Report 2018 showed we’re holding onto our phones for three years and five months on average, up from three years in 2017.

The research shows 2,011 respondents have had the same smartphone for an average of 21 months, and they plan to switch phones in 20 months.

Alex Kidman, Tech Expert says given the expensive new Apple iPhone range, it’ll be interesting to see whether consumers will choose to upgrade to an older model instead.

“Smartphone innovation has definitely slowed down, while prices have risen. Aussie are much less likely to be wowed by a new device just because it’s ‘new’”.

“The new iPhone and Samsung Note 9 launches have seen smartphone prices shoot way past the $1,500 mark. With such a pricey proposition, contracts might become more prominent as Aussies find ways to afford these new devices.”

Unsurprisingly, Gen Y holds onto the same smartphone for the least amount at time of two and a half years (32 months).

Baby Boomers plan to stick with their current phone for over twice as long at almost five years (58 months).

Mr Kidman urges Aussies to reevaluate their mobile plan once they are out of contract.
“Considering most phone and plan contracts are two years, many Aussies could easily switch to a better deal.”

“If you’re still happy with your phone but out of contract, compare your options and consider a SIM-only plan. Telcos are fiercely competing for your business and plans have really come down in cost.”

Baby BoomersGen X

Gen Y

How long have they had their phone for?2 years 3 months

(27 months)

1 year 8 months

(20 months)

1 year 6 months

(18 months)

When will they upgrade?2 years 7 months

(31 months)

1 year 8 months

(20 months)

1 year 2 months

(14 months)

Total upgrade cycle4 years, 10 months

(58 months)

3 years, 4 months

(40 months)

2 years, 8 months

(32 months)

Upgrade cyclePercentage
12 months or under9%
13-24 months36%
25-36 months22%
37 months or more33%

Pros and cons of getting a phone on contract


Monthly phone repayments
- You repay the phone slowly over two years, rather than dropping $1,600 in one go

- There are a number of bonus services to enjoy such as Optus Sport, Foxtel Now and international call minutes

Set and forget
- You don’t have think about changing plans for two to three years


No switching
- You won’t be able to phone plans as better deals come up

Lack of flexibility
- As you’re locked in for two or three years, you’ll be stuck with the same phone and service for that period

Long payment plan
-If you don’t have insurance and you break your phone beyond repair, you could be left paying it for the rest of the contract period


For further information


The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

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12.6 million average unique monthly audience (June- September 2019), Nielsen Digital Panel

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