A quarter of mobile phone users in Europe replace their handsets every year, and 60 per cent switch every two years, according to the latest market research.
Telephia's 2006 Q1 European Subscriber and Device Report found that consumers in Spain and Italy showed the fastest rate of replacement in Europe, at an average of 23 months. UK users buy new phones on average after 24.2 months.
"With the average phone lasting just two years before users want to upgrade, it puts pressure on the wireless industry to innovate products and services to renew the 'wow' factor for consumers," said Bernard Brenner, director of new international products at Telephia.
Unsurprisingly, European teens and young adults showed the fastest new phone purchase rates.
Users aged 15-17 purchase a new phone on average every 20 months, the fastest among all age groups, and 39 per cent of teens purchase at the one year mark.
Young adults aged 18-24 were close behind with purchases on average after 21 months.
"Added to the social and consumer pressure of having the latest device, young
mobile users are naturally more apt to adopt advanced data services," said
"Teens and young adults are more than twice as likely as older users to use advanced services and applications such as MP3 and video downloads."
New mobile phone purchases usually take place at the end of a contract period, with heavy buying rates occurring during the 12, 24 and 36 month periods.
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