In 2019, the average age of a smartphone at trade-in was 3 years
30 January 2020 – HYLA Mobile, the world’s leading provider of software technology and services for mobile device returns management and reuse solutions, today announced results from its analysis of the mobile device trade-in market for 2019. The report reveals that $2.378 billion was returned to US consumers last year via mobile device trade-in programs—an increase of 4.7% from 2018.
HYLA combines live market figures and its own analytics solution to identify the latest trends for the pre-owned mobile device market in North America. HYLA provides its analysis of the latest market trends both on a quarterly and annual basis. Key findings from HYLA’s 2019 trade-in trends report reveals that:
- iPhones accounted for nine of the top 10 devices traded-in in 2019. The top traded device was the iPhone 7, followed by the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 8, Galaxy S7, iPhone X and iPhone SE
- The iPhone 7 was the top traded device in every quarter in 2019. The Galaxy S7 was the top traded Android device in each quarter of 2019
- While the average age of an iPhone at trade-in was 3.10 years, the average age of an Android device at trade-in was 2.75 years. Overall, the average age of a smartphone at trade-in has crossed the 3-year threshold
- Q4 2019, where $758 million was returned to US consumers, was the quarter where the most money was given back to consumers thanks to trade-in programs
- The iPhone 11 Pro Max received the highest trade-in value in 2019 at $555.75. The iPhone XS Max followed with a trade-in value of $521.74. Interestingly, the highest trade-in value for a 5G device (the Galaxy Note10+ 5G) was 437.15, over $100 less than the iPhone 11 Pro Max
- The average trade-in value for an iPhone in 2019 was $171.11, while the average trade-in value for an Android smartphone was $66.82. Overall, the average value of a device at trade-in was $102.25
“Year on year, our data shows the growth of mobile device trade-in programs, and how these programs help give billions of dollars back to US consumers for their seemingly old, and unwanted devices,” said Biju Nair, President and CEO of HYLA Mobile. “Trade-in programs are a great incentive that operators, OEMs and retailers can use to entice their customers to upgrade to the latest device. While we continue to see the growth of these programs year on year, we’re still see a gap in consumer awareness of such programs resulting in them not availing of trade-in opportunities”
Recent research from IDC shows that used device shipments in North America are expected to reach 87.2 million units in 2023, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.4% from 2018 to 2023. The analyst firm anticipates the deployment of 5G networks will impact the used device market, as smartphone owners begin to trade in their unwanted 4G smartphones for 5G devices.
“Despite many years of hype, there’s still only a handful of 5G devices in the market today, mostly the likes of Samsung, LG, Motorola and Huawei,” added Nair. “In 2020, we expect to see more 5G devices hit the shelves with more mainstream launches by market leaders like Apple and Samsung. While we are unsure how much the new Apple 5G iPhone will cost, operators, retailers and OEMs should be encouraging consumers to upgrade sooner, rather than later. Incentivizing consumers to upgrade to these new devices by trading in their pre-owned ones will make the transition to 5G much more affordable Currently, consumers are waiting three years before they trade-in and upgrade, where the average credit received is around $100—which isn’t enough to make a significant contribution towards a new 5G device. But our data shows that by trading in a newer device, like an iPhone 11 Pro Max, they could take over $550 off the cost of new device, making it a much more affordable device.”
HYLA’s 2019 trade-in trends infographic is available for download here: HYLA’s 2019 trade-in trends report