New research commissioned by Affinion International finds that Britons collectively spend £9 billion a year on new devices and carry more than £22 billion worth of gadgets on their person.
The report, compiled by retail research specialists Conlumino, found the value of gadgets owned by British households is up almost ten billion pounds compared to just five years ago. British households now own £51.6 billion worth of gadgets – an amount that equals to the GDP of Ecuador and exceeds that of many other countries.
This year has seen annual gadget spend swell to £9 billion with the explosion of tablets and smartphones. Britons, most of whom are buying at least one new gadget every year, now collectively carry around £22.6 billion on their person, which means that the average rush hour London Underground train now carries £500,000 worth of smartphones, tablets and other devices.
The high worth of the nation’s gadgets also means that consumers are at risk of losing large amounts of money through damage, loss and theft. The total cost of gadget disasters last year amounted to over £1.2 billion, with 17% of gadget owners reporting they have broken at least one of their devices in the past year, translating to over £800 million lost to damage. Smartphones are the most commonly broken device with just over 4% of owners breaking them in some way over the past twelve months.
Approximately 4% of people have also had devices stolen in the past year, and another 4% admitted to losing their devices, with smartphones again being the most common in both cases. Together this amounts to approximately £400 million worth of lost or stolen goods.
Yet despite the staggeringly high cost incurred by consumers from damage, loss and theft of gadgets, only a minority of consumers have their devices insured. For smartphones – the most highly targeted device for theft and the product most likely to be damaged or lost – under a third of consumers are insured. Overall, almost two thirds of gadget owners have no insurance at all, translating to £33 billion worth of uninsured gadgets.
Commenting on the findings of the research, Affinion International’s Senior Vice President Northern Europe, Giles Desforges, said “Britain is clearly a nation in love with its gadgets, with people willing to spend remarkable amounts of money on new devices. This spending can be expected to increase steadily as technology continues to advance and new must-have items come onto the market. What many may find eye-opening is just how much consumers are set back every year as a result of uninsured lost, stolen and broken devices.”