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Half of American College Students Have Damaged a Smart Phone

SquareTrade®, the #1 rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today revealed the results of its research into American college students and their electronic devices. The study shows that half of college students in the United States have damaged a smartphone at school.1
“As college students are gearing up for the new school year, they are purchasing and packing their most prized possessions – their phones, laptops, tablets, TVs and gaming consoles. This year alone, these students will take an estimated $49 billion worth of devices to school2,” said Ty Shay, CMO at SquareTrade. “With half of American students damaging their smart phones during college, these beloved devices are at high risk of being broken or cracked this year.”

Based on accident reporting, SquareTrade has identified where devices tend to break and the students that are most likely to damage their gadgets:

  • Device damage hotspots: 20% of breaks happen at bars, clubs or parties. Other popular locations for students to damage their devices include the library, classroom, dorm and gym.
  • From the burbs: Suburban kids damage their phones 50% more often than rural or urban kids.
  • Female tech flubs: Females become clumsier with age as female students (18 years old and over) are 21% more likely to damage their smartphones than male students. Whereas, boys under 18 years old are 35% more likely to cause a tech mishap than girls under 18 years old.

To improve college student gadget protection, SquareTrade offers the following tips for a device damage-free school year:

  1. Always keep devices in protective cases and covers.
  2. Keep your mobile phone in your pocket or purse at parties, bars or clubs.
  3. Carry your devices in backpacks or laptop bags while on campus instead of trying to use your mobile gadgets while walking.
  4. Put your mobile devices in your locker or gym bag while working out.
  5. Buy a protection plan so you’re covered no matter what accident happens.
1 SquareTrade’s College Students Survey was conducted in July 2014 using Google Consumer Survey of 541 US college students.
2 Pricing of devices is based on proprietary data from SquareTrade. Number of US college students based on data from National Center for Education Statistics.

Half of American College Students Have Damaged a Smart Phone

About SquareTrade
SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving significant sales growth and happier customers. Privately held, SquareTrade’s investors include Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. SquareTrade is headquartered in San Francisco and London. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com.

SquareTrade is a registered trademark of SquareTrade, Inc.

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Samsung Galaxy® S5 Breaks the Mold with Improved Breakability Score in Drop, Dunk Tests

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — April 14, 2014 — SquareTrade®, the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today announced Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 has rated 6 on its Breakability Score™. The SquareTrade Breakability Score ranks today’s top devices based on how prone they are to break due to accidents. Evaluating key elements such as front and back panel design, edge construction and materials, size, weight, friction quotient, water resistance and grip-ability, SquareTrade’s Breakability Score fills in the missing gap left by traditional device reviews: it tests devices in everyday danger situations brought on by our lifestyles and habits.

The SquareTrade Breakability Score is based on a number of factors, from physical characteristics to the results of SquareTrade’s Drop Test. The higher a device scores on a scale from 1-10, the higher the risk of it breaking due to an accident.

Comparing the Samsung Galaxy S5 to other highly anticipated new Android® phones, the HTC One (M8) and LG Nexus 5™, Samsung’s latest edged out the HTC One for the victory. SquareTrade’s Breakability Score testing revealed the following:

  • The new Samsung Galaxy S5 takes a big step forward in durability, performing well in drop and dunk tests. The Galaxy S4 has a Breakability Score of 7
  • The iPhone® 5s maintains a slight edge over all three Android™ phones, with a Breakability Score of 5.5
  • The larger HTC One M8 took a step backward with a score of 6.5, performing poorly in dunk and slide tests. The previous generation HTC One is very durable, with a Breakability Score of 4.5
  • The LG Nexus 5 scored a disappointing 7, failing dunk and drop tests.

“According to our research, 28% of smartphone owners, or about 44 million Americans, are considering buying the Samsung Galaxy S5,” says Ty Shay, CMO of SquareTrade. “With this level of demand, we really wanted to put it to the test against other hot Android phones in the market right now. It’s good to see a major player like Samsung designing phones with accidental water damage in mind. We were also surprised to see how well the new S5 did in the drop test – as previous models suffered significant damage.”

See SquareTrade’s breakability test video here.

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About SquareTrade


SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving significant sales growth and happier customers. Privately held, SquareTrade’s investors include Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. SquareTrade is headquartered in San Francisco and London. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com.

SquareTrade is a registered trademark of SquareTrade, Inc.  iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Samsung Galaxy S is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. HTC One (M8) is a registered trademark of HTC Inc. Nexus 5 and Android are trademarks of Google, Inc. All other company, brand and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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New Drop Test: HTC One vs HTC One Max

HTC announced this week that they will offer one free screen replacement for any customer who buys a new HTC One phone. We decided to put the HTC One and HTC One Max to the test with a drop test, slide test, and water test. Watch below to see how the phones stacked up against each other:

 

Then, we used these results to score the HTC One and the HTC One Max in our latest breakability score. How did they compare against the Moto X and the Samsung S4? Take a look:

HTC One SquareTrade Breakability Score

HTC Phones Rank Among Least Breakable in Latest Breakability Score from SquareTrade

You can also read the full press release on our website.

What did you think of the results? Let us know in the comments below!

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Heartbreaking Research 2014

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we thought you may be interested in our funny Valentine’s Day research. In a survey exploring the love triangle among smartphone owners, their significant others, and their devices we found:

  • 41% smartphone owners will go unprotected this Valentine’s within no insurance on their beloved devices
  • 1 – 3 smartphone owners will break their devices within 12 months of purchase
  • 29% of smartphone owners would rather break up with a significant other than go without their    phone
  • Women are 38% more likely than men to choose their phone over a significant other

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Protection Plans – A Retailer’s Guide to Choosing a Warranty Partner

SquareTrade, the #1-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today announced the publication of the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) industry report on protection plans and accompanying white paper: Protection Plans – A Retailer’s Guide to Choosing a Warranty Partner. The research, created in collaboration with SquareTrade, explores what consumer’s value most when choosing a protection plan and how retailers can optimize the warranty experience for their customers.

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23 Million Americans Have Damaged Phones While Watching Sporting Events

As America prepares for Super Bowl XLVIII, new research from SquareTrade®, the #1-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, reveals 23 million Americans have damaged their cell phone or tablet while caught up in the passion of a sporting event.  With plunging temperatures predicted for this year’s Super Bowl, fans face a further peril with the study also showing 45 million Americans (1 in 5) people have had a phone malfunction or die due to cold weather, snow and ice. SquareTrade is urging all fans to take extra care with their devices to avoid some of the most common spectator mishaps.

According to the study, Seahawks fans are most at risk for a fumble, showing to be 46% clumsier than Broncos fans.  24% of Seahawks fans have had a cell phone accident in the past 12 months compared to just 16% for those rooting for the Broncos.

The top 5 sporting spectator gadget accidents revealed by the SquareTrade survey are:

  1. The standard drop: device dropped from hand – 33%
  2. Liquid drops, the most common of which are toilet drops, sweat and water spills – 18%
  3. Beer drops – devices dropped in beer –13% – it’s more common than you would think!
  4. Passion drops: devices thrown in anger or excitement – 12%
  5. Bar drop: devices falling from a bar or table – 8%

“Our devices have become our must-have companion during sports events – from tweets and texts, to photographing those moments of victory and defeat. We think the more passionate the sports fan, the more likely an accident is to happen in the heat of the game,” commented Ty Shay, SquareTrade’s Chief Marketing Officer. “And since extreme weather does not play nicely with electronics and cold hands are even more susceptible to phone fumbles, we are urging everyone (at least off the field) to play it safe.”

To boost fans’ device defense, SquareTrade offers the following tips for an accident free Super Bowl:

  1. Keep your phone at hand but not in hand – like the precious TV remote, find a place that is close to the couch and easy to find
  2. Count to ten after all suspect calls or player mistakes
  3. Never use or take out your device in the bathroom
  4. Protect your phone and promote your team with their official phone cover or create your own through LikeMyCase
  5. If cold weather calls are a must, try Glove Phone – Bluetooth enabled mitts

SquareTrade works with the world’s top online and in-store retailers to offer uniquely customer-friendly technology protection plans to protect thousands of consumer electronics and appliances including smartphones, tablets, laptops, televisions, video game consoles and digital cameras. SquareTrade consistently receives high rankings for superior customer service and its 5-day service guarantee.

Methodology and Data Sources

SquareTrade’s 2014 Superbowl Surveys, conducted in January 2014 using Google Consumer Surveys. Feedback was collected from a total of 5,774 online consumers.
SquareTrade’s 2013 Sports Accidents Surveys were conducted in January 2013. These surveys collected 1,500 responses from American consumers using Survey Sampling International and from 3,249 online consumers using Google Consumer Surveys. Demographic quotas were used to ensure a representative sample.

All number of Americans and total dollars spent figures based on a combination of these surveys and the US Census Bureau’s 2012 and 2013 population estimates.

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About SquareTrade
SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving significant sales growth and happier customers. Privately held, SquareTrade’s investors include Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. SquareTrade is headquartered in San Francisco and London. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com

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Beltway Butterfingers: 2013 Clumsiest States Index Reveals Washington, DC Residents are Clumsiest Tech Users in the Nation

SquareTrade®, the #1-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today released the results of its annual Clumsiest States Index. The Index reveals how states fare year over year when it comes to their citizens’ rate of iPhone accidents and damage. The Index is based on claims filed by state between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013.

“Our Clumsy States Index gives us a chance to look back at the events that transpired over the year and consider how device damage was impacted. For example, we know that 23 million Americans have damaged devices during sporting events: did the Washington Capitals and Redskins’ success last season increase DC’s clumsiness ranking?” commented Ty Shay, CMO at SquareTrade. “Were Hurricane Sandyrelated damages responsible for pushing New Jersey into the top 10 this year? Did the addition of long-awaited Wi-Fi on the New York City subway system nudge the state into the top 10?”

Beltway Butterfingers: 2013 Clumsiest States Index Reveals Washington, DC Residents are Clumsiest Tech Users in the Nation

About SquareTrade
SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving a 200% increase in sales on average and happier customers. SquareTrade’s rapid transformation of the warranty industry attracted one of the largest private capital raises in 2012, with a $238 million round led by Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. Headquartered in San Francisco and London, SquareTrade is privately held. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com.

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15 Million American Households Have Damaged a Device During the Holidays

SquareTrade®, the #1-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today released the results of a consumer survey about holiday device damage.

American households are particularly accident-prone with their devices during the holiday season. According to SquareTrade’s Holiday Survey1:

1 in 8 households in America have damaged a laptop, phone, camera or tablet during the holidays,
35% of devices damaged during the holidays were mobile phones,
Nearly twice as many iPhones were reported damaged during the holidays as Samsung smartphones, and
51% of damages during the holiday season is attributed to holiday activities
traveling (22%)
shopping (12%)
cooking (10%)
decorating (7%)

“It’s tough to be a device during the holidays – we were surprised to find that more than half of accidents were attributed to activities like traveling, holiday shopping, cooking and decorating,” said Ty Shay, SquareTrade’s CMO. “Retailers are expecting sales of over $640 billion2 during this year’s holiday shopping season, and no doubt much of that will go towards gifting high-tech devices like smartphones, tablets and game consoles – fragile and high priced items that apparently need extra safeguarding during the holidays.”

(1)Methodology and Data Sources 1) SquareTrade’s 2013 Holiday Pulse Surveys, conducted in September 2013 using Google Consumer Surveys. Feedback was collected from a total of 1,609 online consumers. 2) The Census Bureau’s 2011 number of households estimate and 2012 estimated US population. Please note: Number of American household and number of Americans estimates created using data sources 1 & 2.

(2)Source: National Retail Federation15 Million American Households Have Damaged a Device During the Holidays

About SquareTrade
SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving a 200% increase in sales on average and happier customers. SquareTrade’s rapid transformation of the warranty industry attracted one of the largest private capital raises in 2012, with a $238 million round led by Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. Headquartered in San Francisco and London, SquareTrade is privately held. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com.

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Half of American Parents Say Kids Have Damaged a Mobile Phone, Laptop or Tablet

“Just like their parents, kids use devices for an increasing number of things – from games and videos to research and homework. Our research shows that this increased usage also means that devices are more at risk than ever before, and we expect this trend to continue,” said Ty Shay, CMO of SquareTrade.

“We believe it’s important to educate parents about these accidents because 60% are not covered by a protection plan, making repairs and replacements expensive and time consuming.”

More than 85% of American kids now have their own mobile device and they use it more than ever: parents say their kids use mobile devices for an average of 3.2 hours a day.

  • Kids 2 and under use for 1.5 hours per day
  • Kids 3-6 use for 1.8 hours per day
  • Kids 7-12 use for 3 hours per day
  • Kids 13-17 use for 4.9 hours per day

The research also revealed the unexpected consequences of kids using mobile devices including unauthorized purchases, accidental calls, texts and photographs, and a surprising number of food and drink related accidents:

  • Accidental calls & texts: 31% of parents say that their kids have called, texted, or messaged someone by accident on their parent’s devices
  • Unapproved purchases: 28% of parents say that their kids have purchased something on the parent’s mobile device without permission
  • Unintended photos: 9% of parents say that their kids have taken inappropriate photos with the parent’s devices.
  • Conflict: 36% of parents have bought an additional device in order to reduce conflict in their home
  • Food & Drink: 33% of kid-caused accidents involved food or drink:
    • ✓ 50% involved milk
    • ✓ 19% involved chocolate
    • ✓ 17% involved candy
    • ✓ 16% involved yogurt
  • Boy trouble: Boys were 35% more likely than girls to have caused the accident

SquareTrade suggests these 5 tips for protecting kids’ devices and parents’ wallets from unexpected device accidents:

  1. Always keep devices in protective cases or covers
  2. Never take your devices to the bathroom
  3. Remind your kids not to eat and drink while using devices
  4. If your kids bring devices to school, make sure they don’t over-pack their backpack and crush their tablet
  5. Buy a protection plan so you’re covered no matter what accident happens

1Methodology and Data Sources
1.) SquareTrade’s 2013 Kids Accidents Survey, conducted in June 2013 using the world’s largest panel provider, Survey Sampling International. Feedback was collected from 1,000 parents with at least one child 0-18. 2.) The Census Bureau’s 2010 population estimates from the Family Households by Number of Own Children Under 18 Years study. Please note: Total expenditure estimate created using data sources 1 & 2.

kids-infographic-hi-resAbout SquareTrade
SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving a 200% increase in sales on average and happier customers. SquareTrade’s rapid transformation of the warranty industry attracted one of the largest private capital raises in 2012, with a $238 million round led by Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. Headquartered in San Francisco and London, SquareTrade is privately held. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com.

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Dog Disasters, Cat Catastrophes and Animal Accidents Expose Hidden Cost of Pet Ownership

SquareTrade®, the #1-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today revealed new research about Americans and their pets. The study shows that American pets have bitten, chewed, licked, drooled upon, and otherwise damaged more than eight million devices, which adds up to more than $3B in repair and replacement costs. The most commonly damaged device is the smartphone, which accounts for one third of all devices damaged. The study also found that 3 out of 4 devices damaged were not covered by insurance or a protection plan.1

“After seeing so many claims come in that involved pets, we decided to look into the data and see just how big a problem this was. And the results were pretty astounding,” said Ty Shay, CMO at SquareTrade. “Using an $800 smartphone as a chew toy is a pricey slipup, not to mention it’s the device most of us can’t live without.”

The types of accidents caused by our four legged friends are as diverse as the breeds we collectively love. While ultimately forgiven, the top animal accidents are:

  • Chewing:  Two-thirds of the accidents are caused by the pet putting the item in their mouth
  • Causing owner to drop: 21% of accidents happened while the owner was using the device.
  • Vomiting / peeing: About 1 in 6 cat or dog owners say that one of their pets has thrown up on or gone to the bathroom on one of their electronics
  • Two-thirds of the accidents happened while a pet was unsupervised

Animal accidents are not just due to mischief or unruly behavior. The SquareTrade research investigated what pets are most risky and what human behavior increases the rate of accidental damage.
Are you at higher risk than other pet owners?

  • Male pets: Male pets are 50% more likely than female pets to damage your devices.
  • Peeved pets: 17% of pet owners believe that their pet damaged the device because it was angry with them.
  • Overweight pets: 72% more likely to have a pet-related accident
  • Overprotective pets: 2x more likely to have a pet-related accident

The survey also found that if you let your pets sleep in the bed with you or ride in your lap while driving, you are 2-3x more likely to have a pet-related accident.

Today, about half the nation’s households include a dog or a cat, and 15% of Americans will buy a costume for their pet – to the tune of $370M. But even more shocking is the toll our animals take on our electronics budget.2

To improve pet owners device protection, SquareTrade offers the following tips for an accident free household:

  1. Give your pets the attention, training and exercise they need so they have less interest in your gadgets
  2. Leave your devices high up and out of reach of curious dogs and cats
  3. Never charge devices at floor level or with exposed power cords
  4. Don’t leave your device next to liquids of any sort
  5. Always use a protective case

 

Pets

1SquareTrade’s 2013 Pet Accidents Survey conducted in April 2013 using the world’s largest panel provider, Survey Sampling International. Feedback was collected from 1,200 pet owners with cats and/or dogs. 2. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation’s 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook. 3. The Census Bureau’s 2010 population estimates. 4. Gallup’s 2006 Lifestyle Poll published online in an article titled “Americans and Their Pets.” 5. The Census Bureau’s 2006 pet ownership estimates. Please note: Total expenditure estimate created using data sources 1-5.

2Time Magazine October 12. 2013 story Millions on Pet Halloween Costumes? Why We Spend More and More on Pets

About SquareTrade
SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving a 200% increase in sales on average and happier customers. SquareTrade’s rapid transformation of the warranty industry attracted one of the largest private capital raises in 2012, with a $238 million round led by Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. Headquartered in San Francisco and London, SquareTrade is privately held. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com.