Smartphone Brand Trade-In Value – Which Brand Do You Use?
If you’re buying a smartphone and thinking of selling it in a year, iPhones have more value. In this fast evolving world, smartphones depreciate at an astonishing rate over time. According to BankMyCell’s report, iPhones hold their value better and longer than Android smartphones.
Most consumers rely on trade-ins to minimize the ever-increasing price of the latest smartphones. An iPhones lose -23.45% of its value in the first year. In the second year, the value drops to -45.46%. This might seem like a big drop but it’s nothing compared to $700+ worth of android smartphones that lose up to -45.18% of its value in the first year and up to an astonishing -71.41% in the second year.
According to BankMyCell, it’s not just the high-end Android smartphones that experience huge levels of depreciation in the first two years. Even flagships valued at $350 or less lose half their trade-in value in just one year. Owners of popular budget smartphone brands like Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC and Google lost an average of -48.65% of their trade-in value over the 2019-2020 period.
Samsung Vs Apple
Comparing iPhones to the Galaxy S10, the S10 lost more value in a short period of time. For instance:
- iPhone XR lost -21.55% of its trade-in value in the whole of 2019, compared with the Galaxy S10e losing -37.98% in just 9 months.
- iPhone XS lost -23.31% of its trade-in value in the whole of 2019, compared with the Galaxy S10 losing -43.78% in only 9 months.
- iPhone XS Max lost -25.51% of its trade-in value in the whole of 2019, compared with the Galaxy S10+ losing -45.26% in only 9 months.
Android Trade-In Value
Generally, Android smartphones lose more value over time. Samsung isn’t even the worst of them. For example:
- Motorola lost an average of -59.41% between January – December 2019. The Motorola One (2018) was the fastest depreciating and highest value loss at -75.84% (-$135)
- LG lost an average of -56.76% between January – December 2019. The Nexus 5X (2015) was the fastest depreciating at -70.59%, while 2017’s V30 lost the highest value -$145.
- Google lost an average of -51.68% between January – December 2019. The Pixel 3 (2018) was the fastest depreciating and highest value loss at -56.70% (-$267)
What was even more shocking was to find out that Nokia, a brand that has deteriorated over the years, was behind the iPhone in terms of losing value. Here’s a ranking of the best to worst devices:
- Apple devices lost an average of -25.98% between Jan – Dec 2019
- Nokia devices lost an average of -27.68% between Jan – Dec 2019
- Sony devices lost an average of -31.30% between Jan – Dec 2019
- HTC devices lost an average of -32.01% between Jan – Dec 2019
- Samsung devices lost an average of -34.42% between Jan – Dec 2019
- BlackBerry devices lost an average of -34.92% between Jan – Dec 2019
- Google devices lost an average of -51.68% between Jan – Dec 2019
- LG devices lost an average of -56.76% between Jan – Dec 2019
- Motorola devices lost an average of -59.41% between Jan – Dec 2019
Smartphone Trade-ins to Increase in 2020 Thanks to 5G
Data security company, Blancco, predicted an increase in phone trade-in numbers in 2020 due to the urge to upgrade to a 5G-enabled device. A study of 5,000 people in the UK, Germany, India and the Philippines found that 68% of users were willing to sell back their smartphones to retailers as soon as they upgrade to a 5G device. This could result in 810 million devices traded in in 2020 alone.
“We see this as a driver for consumers to maybe upgrade to a new device, to take advantage of the high bandwidth/ low latency advantages from 5G,” Ernst said. “So then, as consumers want to upgrade to a new high-value device, the way that they can afford those devices is by trading in old devices.”
On a global scale, research found that 51% of consumers were waiting for 5G-enabled smartphones to be available before making an upgrade. In India and the Philippines, 70% of consumers were holding off. In the US, 45% of the participants were using their current smartphones for a longer period than usual as they wait for 5G models. 42% of those people were aiming to change things up in the next 3-6 months.
According to participants of a global survey, 35% of people expected to get back their used smartphone’s price in any deal. Blancco stated that the global second-hand device market was still relatively immature and it was likely that the trade-in of 810 million devices to be quite difficult. However, the company went on to state that if the number was half (400 million), there would still be nearly double the number of used devices shipped for resale compared with 2019, when IDC data showed 206.7 million units were traded.
Russ Ernst, EVP at Blancco, expected widespread availability of 5G worldwide in 2020 to “significantly increase the number of used devices coming back to operators and OEMs through buy-back and trade-in programs”
If it all came down to buying a smartphone with the intention of selling it in a year or so, Android smartphones are not the best buy. You’d be better off buying an iPhone. Yearly trade-ins are the only option to get a reasonable pay out for Android devices. iPhone owners can sit pretty on a two-year cycle before they go shop around for the latest device.