Global data: Most consumers would prefer to repair broken tech, rather than replace it

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
February 24, 2021, 5:20 PM UTC

While the debate to “right to repair” continues in North America and Europe, new YouGov data shows how consumer attitudes around fixing tech, rather than replacing, differs among geographic markets.

Compared to the other 16 markets in which YouGov conducted research, consumers in India are most likely to opt to repair a broken device, rather than replace it. About seven in ten (71%) agree with the statement “When a piece of technology I own breaks, I would prefer to repair it, rather than replace it."

Similar attitudes emerge in the United Arab Emirates (65%), Poland (65%), and Indonesia (63%).

British consumers land roughly in the middle of our list, with 55% who say they would rather repair than replace.

Data shows consumers in Hong Kong, Denmark, and the United States are most likely to ditch broken tech and buy anew, rather than repair.

Looking at age breaks across all 17 markets, consumers aged 25-34 are slightly more likely than other age brackets to prefer to repair, rather than replace. We can’t tell from this data if that’s a question of budget or ethics, but nonetheless it’s an interesting insight about a group many might assume would take a more disposable approach to their tech.

Separate YouGov Profiles data indicates 15% of Brits intend to buy a new mobile phone in the next year, compared to the 26% of Americans who say so. Even as most of the world remains is in the throes of a COVID-19-induced slowdown, YouGov data shows American appetite to buy a newly released smartphone was just as high in October 2020 as it was in October 2019.

Methodology: Research was conducted in January 2021 across multiple markets. Sample sizes were between 505 and 2,029. All data is nationally representative except for data from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India.

Image: Getty