Let's say you've accidentally dropped your smartphone on the pavement or into a pool. The screen is now cracked and the motherboard is waterlogged. What should you do? Get it fixed — this is likely your most cherished and frequently used device, after all — or drop the money on a new one?
"It all depends on the individual," said technician Oscar Ordoñez, of the Brooklyn-based Geek Shop. "It's not a need for every person. Some people would just rather buy a new phone."
For simple repairs, the choice is obvious. Defects like jammed buttons or erroneous operating systems can be fixed for as little as $15, said Ordoñez. Many people go this route, as according to market research by IBISWorld, Americans spent $4 billion on cellphone repairs in 2015.
The conundrum begins when the damage is more serious.