The risk of breaking electronic devices rises 24% over Easter, new data reveals


New data has revealed that there’s a 24% rise in Brits dealing with broken laptops, tablets and phones over the Easter break each year, making it the riskiest holiday for devices.

The findings, pulled together by rugged computing solutions provider Getac, analysed nationwide Google searches around device repairs to identify any trends - and found that there’s the biggest increase in issues between the end of March and early April.

Over the past five years, searches rose by a quarter (24%) over Easter compared to the start of the year, compared to a 7% increase over summer, and a 6% drop over Christmas. Whilst it’s unclear exactly why problems are particularly prevalent in Easter across the UK, some devices are more at risk than others; tablets see the biggest increase in issues over this period (32%), followed by laptops (29%) and mobile phones (10%).  
Despite many expecting the biggest rise in device breakages to occur over summer when Brits jet off with their devices in their hand luggage, it seems this isn’t the case - with half-term holidays the potential culprit behind the Easter repair demand. This is bad news for the 64 million Brits that rely on their smartphones to stay connected, and the 92% of households that use laptops or tablets for work, school and leisure.  
It’s also not ideal for those looking to save money after an expensive winter, with the average phone repair standing at £140, laptop repairs coming in at £105 each and tablet fixes averaging £135, according to Which? findings. These prices can increase to £265 for phone repairs depending on the issue and model, whilst screen repairs are some of the most expensive for laptops (up to £130).  
When it comes to the most common reasons that devices break, recent research shows that screen breakages or glitches are top - accounting for 17% of reported issues - followed by battery power losses or charging difficulties (17%) and USB port problems (8%). Other common reasons include hardware configuration problems (7%), performance issues (6%) related to capacity or lagging, and software complications (5%). 
Whilst some devices are more likely to break than others, some regions see a bigger increase in complaints and are more likely to have to shell out for repairs. When common repair searches are taken into account - such as ‘fix laptop’, ‘broken iPhone’ and ‘mobile repair’, the results show that Norwich sees the most device issues per capita, followed by Lincoln, Wrexham, Inverness and Bath. 
On the other end of the scale, the regions that report the fewest problems each year came out as Wakefield, Newport, Bradford, Lancaster and Derry.  
Regardless of region, five expert tips to help people looking to keep their electronic devices safe this Easter are as follows:

  1. Invest in protective accessories, including a high-quality sturdy or cover-all phone case, a glass screen protector, USB covers and hardback laptop case. 
  2. Be mindful of battery use. Just like disposable batteries, device batteries can wear down over time. Avoid leaving your device charging overnight, use wireless chargers if possible, and avoid excessive use when your laptop or phone is on charge.
  3. Troubleshoot performance issues. Run regular hardware and software checks on your devices to identify potential problems before they escalate, and take advantage of in-built troubleshooting tools. 
  4. Properly store your devices, ensuring that you don’t leave your appliances in areas where they’re likely to be exposed to water, excessive heat or debris. You should also take care when transporting your devices to make sure they can’t fall out of your pocket or crack when colliding with other items in your bag or luggage. 
  5. Insure your device. Taking out a comprehensive protection plan doesn’t prevent your device from getting damaged, but it does help you mitigate the cost of expensive repairs - particularly for high-end phones, laptops and tablets. 

Speaking on the findings, a Getac spokesperson said: “One thing to consider to avoid device breakage is ensuring you use the right device for the right job, especially if you work in challenging conditions. 
“The average consumer-grade or business-grade laptops and tablets are designed for indoor use in clean, safe, climate-controlled spaces. If you use it outdoors, in a vehicle, or in an area where welding or machine work is done, you risk compromising the user experience and damaging the devices. 
“Semi-rugged or fully-rugged computing devices are designed for operation outside air-conditioned indoor spaces. They are designed for a longer lifecycle than an enterprise- or consumer-grade machine. This reduces the frequency of malfunctions and damage. Rugged computers are operable in winter cold or summer heat (-21oC to 50oC at the minimum) and using work gloves. They’re also certified waterproof, dustproof, and tolerant of drops, impact, and other abuse.” 
Data gathered from Google Trends (last five years), Google Keywords Explorer (last year), the OECD, Which? and The Restart Project.

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