Over the first half of 2013, it seemed like almost every carrier made a big announcement: Verizon and AT&T announced the expansion of their contracts to two full years, T-Mobile introduced the “uncarrier” offering and Virgin Mobile announced support for the iPhone 5. And let’s not even get into the number of new devices that entered the market! With all this new competition and competitive pricing, owning a smartphone today should be easier than ever before.

Needless to say, consumers today have an incredible number of options when it comes to picking a new phone and selecting a carrier. But consumers still seem like they’re always looking forward to their next upgrade. A trend that we notice at Gazelle is that as new devices, like the iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S4 are released, people are looking to upgrade faster than the typical 24-month carrier contract. Hanover Research, an independent market research firm, recently found that at least one-in-ten consumers upgrade their smartphones each year.

To help us understand this a bit more, we launched a survey last month with the goal of determining some of the leading factors that encourage consumers to upgrade to a new device, change platforms (i.e. Android to iOS), and/or change carriers. After talking with 500 consumers, what we found is that even though the phone matters more, the carrier will always get blamed for the problems. For example:


Some additional fun stats:

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