Study: English Phone Owners Are the Clumsiest in the UK

The latest iPhone 14 is the most expensive base model that Apple has ever sold, at a list price of nearly £850. And with a screen replacement now costing as much as £289, dropping your phone is a more expensive mistake than it has ever been before.

But when it comes to shattering your phone screen, which part of the UK is the clumsiest – England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland? Which region is most prone to making this costly blunder?

Smartphone screen breakages study

To find out which region of the UK is the most prone to dropping their phone, we analysed Google search data.

We looked at the average number of annual Google searches for queries such as “phone screen repair near me”, “iPhone screen repair” and “broken phone screen” in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland respectively. We used this data to find the annual number of phones broken per 100,000 people, accounting for the populations of each nation.


We found that England is the clumsiest part of the UK, while people in Northern Ireland are the most careful with their phones.

NationAnnual Google searches asking for help to fix a broken phone screen (per 100k people)
Northern Ireland317

Phone breakages by region in the UK.

Interestingly, the English are not the clumsiest phone users in the English-speaking world – the USA registered 490 broken phones per hundred thousand people, while Australia recorded 483. However, the English performed worse than Canada, whose residents only broke 347 phone screens per hundred people, according to their Google search history.


  • We began by finding the most common Google search queries made by people who have recently broken their phone screen in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, such as “iphone screen repair”, using the Google Ads Keyword Planner.
  • We then found the sum of the average monthly search volume for each query in each nation during the previous year, giving us a total number of monthly phone screen breakage-related Google searches for each of the four regions.
  • Then, we found the proportion of phone screen breakage-related Google searches as a percentage of the population for each nation, and multiplied this number by 12 to convert the monthly figure into an annual rate.

Our analysis is limited in that it does not account for every single possible Google search made by people who have recently broken their phone screens. Very specific searches such as “samsung galaxy s22 screen repair liverpool” were not included in our totals. However, as we analysed the same major search terms in each country, this data does provide a comparison of how often people break their phones in each region of the UK.

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