Sadly, smartphones aren’t made to last forever. They can last a heck of a long time, but exactly how long really depends on when you consider your phone “dead.” Is it dead when it literally won’t turn on anymore? Maybe you consider its life to be over when it takes forever to open a new app? Or is it time for a new phone when you can no longer update to the newest OS?

On average, most people keep their smartphones for 2-3 years before selling it and upgrading, and there’s a pretty good reason why.

Apple vs. Android Lifespan

According to Apple, new iPhones should last a minimum of 3 years. On the other hand, Android phones seem to be designed to last 2 years minimum, but with so many makers of Android devices, that number can vary.

Can your phone last longer than 2-3 years? Definitely! It all depends on how well you take care of it… and whether or not you have patience. While you can prevent physical damage to your phone, inevitably, over time the performance will slow down. 

Why do smartphones slow down as they get older?

Most of the time the answer is: updates.

As new operating systems are released and apps are updated, older devices begin to struggle. Most updates are designed to increase and improve performance, but once in awhile, it does the opposite. Some updates are designed to take advantage of the newer, faster technology in the latest phones, unfortunately, this can cause old phones to slow down.

While you can simply avoid upgrading to the latest operating system and stop updating your apps, even that isn’t always foolproof. Apple is currently in the middle of a lawsuit from iPhone 4/4S users who had FaceTime disabled on their phones after not updating to the newer operating system that slowed their phones down.

Another problem…

So Apple has stated that their phones should last 3 years… but their warranty says otherwise.

Fighting another lawsuit over iPhone 6/6 Plus devices that suffered a premature death, Apple’s defense is that they’re only responsible for ensuring devices last through the 1-year warranty period. While in most cases iPhones will last 3 years, legally speaking, Apple won’t stand behind them for that long. We’re willing to bet Android devices would face the same situation.

What To Do With a Dead Smartphone

Depending on the condition your phone is in you could still sell your old smartphone and get a decent amount of cash!

When it works, but runs slow: sell your phone.

If your phone still functions, but has simply grown little annoyingly slow with age, in most cases you can still sell your old phone for cash!

Check out our quote calculator to see what your phone is worth.

And if you have any questions about selling your old phone or about your quote, be sure to check out our support page or contact us using the form at the bottom of the page!

When your phone literally won’t turn on anymore: try to sell it for parts.

On the other hand, if your phone is literally dead and won’t turn on at all anymore, not all is lost! Try selling it on sites like eBay. Many people will purchase old smartphones and use them for parts. Just make sure you specify what’s wrong with the phone and don’t mislead any unsuspecting buyers!

And when no one else wants to buy it: recycle it.

If your phone is really old and you can’t find anyone that wants to purchase it from you, it’s time to think about recycling it. Electronic devices shouldn’t be thrown away, but there are many places out there, such as Best Buy stores, that will recycle them for you!