One in 10 Hong Kong smartphone ‘zombies’ have dropped their precious devices in the toilet


From the way Hongkongers nurse their smartphones at lunch, dinner and even while walking the street, you could be forgiven for expecting them to treat their devices with great care, but almost one in 10 have dropped their phone down the toilet.

According to a report by phone case maker OtterBox, around 8 per cent of smartphone owners in the city have sent their devices on an accidental swim in the toilet bowl and up to one in five damaged their phones within the first month of ownership.

“Hong Kong is renowned for its tribe of ‘smartphone zombies’, which has resulted in a city of droppers, as over one third [35 per cent] of people interviewed admitted damaging their phones because they [were not looking] where they were going,” said Steve Nisbet, Asia Pacific managing director of OtterBox.


The firm surveyed 2,500 adult smartphone owners across Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.

Hong Kong came out as the most accident prone market, with 82 per cent of respondents saying they had damaged their phones as many as 10 times, compared to 62 per cent of Singaporeans.

Hong Kong has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world, at 232 per cent, according to official figures from April 2015, or 12.2 million accounts accessing mobile data services in a city of 7.2 million people.

The workplace is the most likely place to damage a phone, according to OtterBox, with 39 per cent of respondents saying this was the biggest danger spot, followed closely by the commute (26 per cent).


Our phones are at high risk of being sat on, with one in 10 respondents saying they had damaged their devices this way.

The survey comes as Apple is expected to unveil its latest high-priced iPhone model, either called the 6S or 7, at an event on September 9.

High repair costs for smartphones put off around 26 per cent of respondents from fixing their damaged devices.

However, while many admitted they would rather live a cracked screen than shell out to get it repaired, on average Hongkongers said they would spend up to HK$1,210 on fixing their phones.