Flawed Phone-opoly

3 min readJun 8, 2021

Currently, there are two types of people in the world — those who buy handset insurance and those who don’t. The insurance people overwhelmingly buy it because they want peace of mind in case something really bad happens. Those that don’t buy insurance think nothing that bad will happen to them or generally see insurance as a bad value for money¹.

So who’s right — the insurance people or the risk takers?

Both! We’re not as different as we think.

Handset insurance typically covers damage and, sometimes it covers you in case your phone is lost or stolen. Bad things happen. Admit it, there’s been a moment, maybe even recently, when you dropped your phone and tensed up when searching for cracks and dents. But, it’s not as common as insurance people think.

Only 11% of people reported having a phone issue in the past year that handset insurance covers¹.

So is it a waste of money?

Usually, people want a new phone not because of damage, but because their current one is too old, slow, or a new one came out that is more appealing. This happens to everyone — insurance people and risk takers. What’s more, many are still paying for their phone through monthly installment plans. When you have a less than perfect phone but are still paying for it, what can you do?

Figuring out the best move for your flawed phone is like being trapped in a real life board game for both insurance people and risk takers.

Two-thirds of us had an issue with our phones over the past year, and most were stuck asking “what now?”. The most obvious and likely route is to just suck it up and deal with the flawed phone you have until the end of your contract. Otherwise, you have to pay off your existing balance or pay an early termination fee, and buy a new one. You may be interested in selling your current phone, you may not. If you are, you’ll likely look for the best deal online or try and sell it to a stranger on eBay. That’s a lot of work.

Some folks have upgrade options with their carrier or OEM (like Apple’s Update program). To take advantage, you usually have to wait until you’re eligible for an upgrade, typically after a year. Even then, you have to return your current phone in perfect condition and may need to pay a fee to get a new phone. Consumers realize this — over 60% of people believe upgrade programs are too expensive, restrictive, or complicated¹.

As a result, most of us just deal with our flawed phones think there’s no better solution.

So, if catastrophic damage happens only occasionally, and most people usually have other issues with their phones that insurance doesn’t cover, and if upgrade programs are too complicated to navigate, then it’s no wonder people end up feeling melancholy dealing with a flawed phone.

We don’t think navigating to a solution should be so hard. We don’t think you should have to choose between being an insurance person or a risk taker. We think there should only be one type of person: one that deserves total flexibility and freedom to get a brand-new phone any time, for any reason, no matter the condition of their current phone. We’ve created a brand-new category that replaces handset insurance and upgrade programs with a comprehensive device ownership experience. It’s time to overturn the game board and start commanding device ownership freedom and flexibility.

¹Kingfisher N. America Consumer Research, 2021.




We are transforming the mobile experience (MX) economy.