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4.5 million hours were spent transferring phone data over the 2015 holidays

As the main season when people buy gifts for friends and family, the holidays usually provide an opportune time for many folks to purchase smartphones. However, the process of transferring data from phone to phone seems to have been a huge time-waster for many people, according to a study conducted by research firm 451 Research.

The report, which used proprietary data from New Jersey firm Synchronoss Technologies, revealed that 33.3 million smartphones were sold during the 2015 holiday season. And 59 percent, or 19.6 million, of those purchases were made in-store, a healthy percentage if one considers the increasing allure of online shopping over the years.

Related: Best Buy didn’t sell as many smartphones as it wanted to over the holidays

Looking elsewhere, 23 percent of Americans making in-store smartphone purchases asked sales representatives to transfer the content on their older smartphone to the new one. This is where things take a turn, with 451 Research reporting that customers spent 4.5 million hours waiting for the sales representatives to make the transfers.

The number of hours spent on transferring data from one phone to another is based on stores using a 5GHz router. However, since such routers are not universally deployed by retailers, that 4.5-million hour figure could actually be more of a conservative estimate.

In addition, based on that estimate, 451 Research determined that customers spent an average of 60 minutes each trying to transfer an average of 10.8GB of data to their new phones.

Because of this, some might wonder why there isn’t a wider adoption of cloud-based backup systems. After all, iOS and Android both include the ability to backup your data in a number of ways, whether that’s using Apple’s and Google’s own services or third-party services. In large part, the answer may be that a good number of consumers either might not yet know that such services exist, or may refuse to use them because the “cloud” might still be an abstract term that has yet to be clarified or properly defined for them. Either way, that’s quite a lot of wasted time.