Oh, What We Do For Love: Apple Repairs Have Cost American Consumers $6 Billion Since 2007

I see people loving their iPhones, coddling them and stroking them and covering them with cutesy covers. But I also see my friends’ shattered screens threatening to lodge shards of screen glass in their ears or complaining that they’ve dropped their iPhone in the toilet (again) and railing about the cost to fix or replace it. And they’re not alone: A new study says American consumers have spent almost $6 billion to repair their iPhones since the phone’s 2007 birth.

The study by SquareTrade is based on a survey of more then 2,000 iPhone users, and found that just in the last year, 30% of phone owners have managed to somehow mess up their iPhones. It makes sense that something you always have within a few feet of your hand would get mucked about, dropped, thrown, accidentally tossed at that annoying beeping sound across the room when you’re asleep, etc.

The younger users are the clumsiest of iPhone owners (take THAT, kids!) and accidentally harming our phones is a more common problem than losing an iPhone or having it stolen.

According to the study, the top five issues we have with hurting iPhones are:

Phone dropped from my hand
Phone fell into a toilet, sink, hot tub, swimming pool, lake, etc.
Phone dropped from a lap
Phone knocked off a table
Phone drenched by some liquid

“As smart phones continue to improve, they become more tightly integrated into our busy lives leaving them vulnerable to accidents around the clock,” says the CMO of SquareTrade, via the Sacramento Bee. “We were astonished at how many people drop their phones in the toilet as well as how frequently an innocuous drop from the hand actually killed the device. We look forward to seeing what the new iPhone 5 users report with regard to durability.”

Consumers are spending a ton on repairs, but it would be even more if we weren’t trying to avoid those costs by any means necessary. The reason I see so many terrifying cracked screens is because 11% of iPhone owners are using a cracked device, and 6% have it taped up instead of bringing it in for a fix.

For the sake of your ears/fingers/any other body part that could become embedded with iPhone glass, please be careful and perhaps invest in one of those indestructible cases, even if it’s not as pretty as just the phone itself or as adorable as making it look like you’re carrying a Gameboy/cassette tape/flowery designer thingy.

New Study Shows Damaged iPhones Cost Americans $5.9 Billion [Sacramento Bee]