Cracked iPhone

There’s a mental calculation most people do upon shattering their iPhone screen: Should I fix it immediately, or wait and buy a whole new phone?

While some wait to do anything at all until their phone gives them glass slivers, others go the repair route, shelling out up to $149 to Apple or other repair services to replace the cracked screen.

But that mental calculation depends a lot on Apple’s traditional two-year upgrade cycle.

Peaks and valleys

In the past, Apple has used a two-year cycle when designing iPhones. A complete redesign of the phone is released every two years, then a more incremental model (the S model) is released in the year in between. It’s that timeline — which Apple only recently moved away from with the release of the iPhone 7 — that has traditionally impacted when people opt to fix their screen.

“We see peaks and valleys in consumer demand for repairs,” AJ Forsythe, the founder and CEO of phone repair service iCracked, told Business Insider. “When the iPhone 7 came out, iPhone 6s repairs actually eclipsed iPhone 6 repairs. Consumers are more likely to fix their 6s than they are to fix their 6, because they’re one generation away.”

“It doesn’t make sense for you to go buy an iPhone 7 because you break your 6s, but it does make more sense on the two-year cycle to go get the iPhone 7 from the iPhone 6,” Forsythe said.

iCracked has been around since 2010 and repairs both iPhones and Samsung devices in about 600 cities around the US. The company says it has done more than 518,000 repairs, and about 60% of its phone repairs are iPhones.

While iCracked doesn’t release specific repair metrics, it tracked the rate of phone repair requests over…