This quarter, our collection of data reflects one of the most active times of the year: Upgrade Season. This report sheds light on top devices that have been turned in through trade-in and upgrade programs, the average trade-in value of devices, dollars put into the hands of consumers for trading in their devices, and more.
2020 marked a year of change for most. Not only were organizations developing new ways to cope, but people too were learning to adapt to the new normal. In the process, new habits were cultivated. While online shopping was not a new phenomenon, the closing of retail outlets forced almost everyone to resort to shopping online.
On September 14th, Apple unveiled their latest lineup of iPhone devices along with new iPads and Watches. The launch saw Apple release four versions of the iPhone 13 and they are expected to hit shelves later this month with prices starting at $699.
Many features have been updated in the iPhone 13. Key ones that stood out mattering most to consumers include longer battery life with approximately an extra daily 1.5 to 2.5 hours, more powerful processors, and camera/video improvements. And of course, much like with the introduction of the iPhone 12, 5G is front and center as it enables a heightened user experience through more reliable internet connections, faster downloads of video, and improved streaming.
Trade-in promotions are a key part of the iPhone 13 launch further contributing to the 5G supercycle.
At HYLA, we often stress the important role mobile device trade-in has in helping to protect the environment. Just as important is having the right tools, like mobile apps, to help you continue to improve your sustainability efforts and decisions. There are many sustainability apps available that can help you be more environmentally conscious and enjoy a more sustainable life.
The second quarter of the year is typically the least active for new smartphone sales and thereby for trade-in and upgrade. This year has been no exception. In Q2 2021, U.S. consumers received $571M through trade-in and upgrade programs. This was a sharp 253% increase over what was returned to consumers in Q2 2020 but was expected as there was the economic turndown during the same period in 2020 due to the pandemic. Comparing quarter over quarter, we saw a 14% decrease from Q1 to Q2, which is slightly better than the 15% we see during normal circumstances.
The COVID-19 pandemic confirmed just how dependent we are on connectivity. And although we are not yet in the clear from the pandemic, plans are in place to ensure economies can bounce back and markets can grow again. 5G adoption will be central to this recovery in all sectors. But to use ‘true’ 5G, not only does the network need to be in place, but users will also have to upgrade to 5G handsets.
Recently, the telecoms industry has seen a heightened focus on sustainability practices. While the advancement to 5G brings with it positive outcomes, and more connectivity and advancements in societies we had never imagined previously, there are also concerns around the environmental impact of the technology—both from an energy consumption perspective, but also because of the deluge of 3G and 4G/LTE devices it will bring, which could contribute significantly to the growing e-waste dilemma.
We are excited to share with you our expanded trends report coverage. Our quarterly reports now include data on devices turned in through Upgrade programs as well as Trade-in programs. This is reflected in the Top 5 Devices Received and Average Age of Device metrics. Other metrics, such as average trade-in value and money in consumers hands are based solely on Trade-in. We hope you find our quarterly report even more valuable.
The environmental burden of the disposal of mobile devices cannot be ignored. When consumers discard mobile devices because they are no longer in use, not only is it damaging to the environment, but the material that went into making the devices are wasted. According to one report, less than 20% of e-waste is properly recycled, and 80% of it ends up in landfills or is informally recycled.
Every year the climate and environmental crisis becomes ever more severe and Earth Day takes on extra significance. The annual event brings together millions of people worldwide to support the environment and highlight the action needed to save our planet.
In honor of Earth Day, we want to showcase how we enable our customers in the mobile industry to maximize its sustainability efforts. By repurposing, redistributing, and recycling pre-owned devices, we are helping operators, OEMS, retailers, and insurance providers to contribute to a much more sustainable future.