Some of us here at Engadget Mobile have been known to load the occasional Super Mario Bros. ringtone on our handsets; maybe even a Birdo background graphic or three, we're not gonna lie. But that's as far as our modding efforts have ever gone, if you can really call that modding at all. It turns out that for some 86.4 percent of young folk between the ages of 16 and 18 in the UK, phone modding is practically a way of life -- and quite often, it's a rather comprehensive affair, according to a study commissioned by British carrier Orange. We're not talking about ringtones or backgrounds anymore, folks; we're talking about bold moves like applying sparking glue directly over your display, as you see here. Orange estimates that modding is an industry worth over $55 million in the UK alone, and expects it to double in the next year (how much sparkly glue are these kiddies buying, anyway?). If we're going to spend this much time and energy in drastically altering the appearance of our phone, we're personally going to go the NES controller route, but more power to those teens who've decided they no longer need to see their phone's LCD.

[Via textually.org]

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Handset modding massively popular in UK