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.
The 5G supercycle is benefiting the secondary market
More and more consumers are taking advantage of compelling incentives to trade-in their old devices as part of the process to upgrade to new 5G devices. This is great news for the secondary device market; a growing and thriving circular ecosystem that benefits all its key stakeholders and the environment. We are a proud pioneer of the secondary device market starting device collections in 2009. Together as part of Assurant, we have repurposed more than 100 million devices. Giving these devices a second life brings significant benefits to consumers, carriers, OEMs, cable operators, and retailers. And let’s not forget the benefits to the environment as it also represents a huge reduction in e-waste considering these handsets would likely otherwise have ended up in a landfill.
Carriers, OEMs, cable operators, and retailers deserve enormous credit for driving much of the demand for 5G smartphones. Working together we support a path to extend the life of devices within the circular economy. This enablement allows consumers to unlock the residual value in their old devices which can, in turn, be used to offset the cost of new devices effectively making the new 5G smartphones more affordable.
Incentives through trade-in offers
The iPhone 13 launch, much like the iPhone 12 launch last year, had trade-in placed at the heart of many new offers. And it is these appealing offers that are key to the upgrade supercycle.
According to Apple, AT&T is offering up to $1,000 off the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max and up to $800 off the iPhone 13 and Mini, essentially making the iPhone 13 Pro, 13 or 13 Mini free with a qualifying trade-in. Verizon’s trade-in promotion offers up to $1,000 off a 13 Pro or Pro Max or $800 off any iPhone 13. This would cover the base costs for the 13 Pro Max, 13, and the Mini.
T-Mobile also has an appealing trade-in promotion, which comes from Apple directly. If a consumer buys from Apple and trades in an iPhone X or newer, Apple will give up to $1,290 in trade-in and T-Mobile will provide up to $400 in bill credits.
Those with trade-in programs understand the value of encouraging trade-ins for new device sales and maintaining customer loyalty, and they’re clearly having an impact. In fact, the iPhone 12 accounted for 76% of iPhone sales in the U.S. for October and November of 2020, and trade-in promotions played a large part in that success. We will have to see what iPhone 13 sales figures say, but it’s likely to be following in the positive footsteps of the iPhone 12.
Secondary devices: good for the environment and good for the bottom-line
The good news for carriers, OEMs, retailers, and cable operators doesn’t end with the trade-in. The resale market for repurposed and refurbished devices is also growing, delivering new revenue streams and lowering the price point of mobile broadband adoption in emerging markets. IDC predicts that worldwide shipments of used smartphones will reach a total of 225.4 million units this year. Again, these devices account for potentially thousands of tons of e-waste that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.
We are proud to be driving such sustainable practices. Working with certified partners, HYLA and Assurant recycled more than two million smartphones last year, ensuring all viable components are reused.
The increasing prominence of the secondary device market has certainly contributed to the current 5G supercycle. Operators, OEMs, retailers, and cable operators have become more innovative with their new smartphone trade-in offers and consumers are increasingly aware of the many benefits they receive by trading in their old device. Operators, OEMs. retailers and cable operators stimulate upgrade cycles, boosting revenues from new and used devices. They also dramatically enhance the customer experience as they improve the affordability of new devices while promoting sustainable and responsible practices. It really is a model where everyone wins.