39% of adults said they had bought a cell phone in the previous year

Cell phones have become a staple for many Americans, with 78% of adults now having one, up from 21% in 1996, according to Pew Internet Project. With many cell phone allowing users to have free or low-cost upgrades of phones every 24 months, decisions on new cell phone purchases periodically face users. 39% of adults said that they had bought a cell phone in the previous year. Some 26% of adults were directed to the cell phone module of questions in the survey that asked about the decision-making process in buying a new cell phone. A range of reasons were cited as to why people bought a new phone: 27% said their old cell phone failed or broke; 14% simply wanted a new phone; 13% wanted a better phone, or one with more features; 13% said they were offered a good deal, got a free or low-cost upgrade, or got a new service plan.