About a year ago, the topic of wearables was becoming a hot topic and the sense of smartwatch trade-ins had to be on the radar as new devices were being released. The secondary market for watches hadn’t formed yet, but high price points and growing sales made it seem inevitable.
Now, the secondary market for smartwatches is coming to form. Recent IDC research found that the wearables market will grow from 113.2 million shipments in 2017 to 222.3 million in 2021—and smartwatches in particular will make up nearly one-third of those shipments.
These numbers show that consumers are starting to love smartwatches. Just like the earlier days of the smartphone market, smartwatch technology will continue to improve exponentially and push consumers to embrace the now-familiar mobile device upgrade cycle.
This is a public service announcement for consumers. Trading in your old smartwatch is the best way to maximize its value and make the jump to a newer, more powerful device.
From Fitness Tracker to Smartphone on Your Wrist
The early iterations of smartwatches were essentially upgraded fitness trackers you could buy from smartphone giants. The Apple Watch, for all its hype, was really a companion device to the iPhone, letting you check notifications, track fitness activities, and authenticate payments via Bluetooth.
If smartwatches were destined to simply be smartphone companions, we might have never seen a true secondary market emerge. However, the third generation Apple Watch and Samsung Gear are pushing us closer to having smartphones on our wrists.
There are two key upgrades driving this trend. First, these new smartwatches come with built-in LTE. Rather than extending the capabilities of the smartphone, LTE-enabled smartwatches can actually be primary devices. And that reality is driven by the second upgrade—true-wireless earbuds like Apple AirPods.
The combination of LTE-enabled smartwatches, voice-assistant-capable wireless earbuds, and an ever-expanding App Store lays the groundwork to actually replace smartphones altogether.
We’re a long way away from replacing smartphones with smartwatches. However, the trend is important. These leaps in technical capability are what will drive the secondary smartwatch market and make your devices significantly more valuable to trade-in.
The smartwatch market is already growing at a healthy pace. But now that cellular capabilities are becoming the norm, devices will start to hold value like smartphones.
Why Trade Your Current Smartwatch?
Device trade-ins have become such an integral part of the smartphone buying process. However, we find that so many consumers don’t realize that they can follow the same process when upgrading a smartwatch.
If you already spent hundreds of dollars on a Series 1 or Series 2 Apple Watch, why not squeeze as much value out of it as you can when upgrading to a cellular-capable Series 3? Carriers are already equipped to accept used smartwatches and you can use that value to offset the cost of a new smartwatch or accessories like Apple AirPods.
When upgrading mobile devices, there’s no reason to stash the old one away in a drawer and pay full price for the new model. That mantra holds true for smartwatches now that the secondary market is starting to grow.
We work with the world’s largest mobile carriers and retailers to make sure the trade-in process is as smooth as possible, while also getting you the most dollars possible. Don’t leave money on the table when moving to a new device!