Apple dominated global refurbished smartphone sales in 2022, with nearly 50 percent of the refurbished smartphones being iPhones. Meanwhile, China’s secondary smartphone sales took a nosedive and India assumed the top spot, registering a 19 percent YoY growth.
Overall, the global secondary smartphone market rose by 5 percent YoY last year. The market growth would have been much more, if it were not for China’s disappointing sales, which fell by 17 percent.
How Apple Dominated the Refurbished Smartphone Market
According to a report by analysis firm Counterpoint Research, the sale of refurbished iPhones rose by 16 percent YoY in 2022. Apple captured nearly half of the global secondary smartphone market, with a 49 percent share.
According to the report, many users are going for premium and flagship refurbished models. This comes as no surprise, as premium smartphone makers like Apple attract consumers who want to flaunt the brand as a status symbol.
Such consumers turn to refurbished flagship smartphones to stay within their budget. The research firm adds that consumers have been “shifting their focus towards sustainability and environmental awareness,” leading them to purchase second-hand phones.
The research firm states that Apple is a “major contributor” in the refurbished smartphone market. Its competitor Samsung, on the other hand, saw a decline, with shares falling from 28 percent in 2021 to 26 percent in 2022.
Counterpoint attributes this fall to a “small percentage shift” of Android users making the switch to iOS last year. The report predicts that “the downward trend will likely continue” this year as well.
Refurbished Smartphone Sales: Same Trends Will Spill Over to 2023
The demand for refurbished smartphones usually comes from new smartphone buyers in mature markets and users switching from feature phones to smartphones in emerging markets.
Second-hand smartphones are mainly obtained from refurbished smartphone retailers and carriers offering refurbished options. The report adds that OEMs themselves are “struggling to collect and resell refurbished smartphones.”
Counterpoint Research claims that “a lot of the changes in the secondary markets in 2022” will carry over to 2023. The firm states, “5G smartphone share will increase substantially and 4G smartphones may lose their value at a faster rate in 2023.”
“The increased trade-ins and shift towards premium smartphones may bring about a situation where the inventory of low-grade used smartphones may grow significantly,” the research company adds.
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published: Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 12:26 [IST]