Trend: Consumers keeping phones longer

According to a recent report from J.D. Powers and Associates, consumers are keeping their mobile phones for a period of time 5 percent longer than they did in the fall of 2006. The average mobile phone lifespan for a given consumer is now 17.5 months, which is an increase from 16.6 months since November 2006. The spike marks the first increase in ownership longevity since 2002 when consumers held onto their phones for 18.4 months on average.

"One possible reason for this significant increase in the length of handset ownership is that more customers are initiating or renewing their service contracts for a longer period--typically for two years, as opposed to just one year, which was customary a few years ago," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates.

For more on the study:
- see this press release