Each quarter, we take unique data from our analytics platform to analyze device trade-in trends across the North American market. Our data analyzes trade-in value of devices, the top traded smartphones, as well as the average age of smartphones at the point of trade-in.
2020 will be remembered in history for all the wrong reasons. The Coronavirus pandemic has shocked the world, claiming many thousands of lives. Its impact is unprecedented and heartbreaking. Global social distancing measures, quite rightly put in place for the protection of billions of people, have understandably had a negative impact on the world’s economy. Every industry has been affected, some worse than others. The mobile industry has had to take its share of the pain and disruption.
Our data shows that pre-owned device values have stayed strong despite the unprecedented uncertainty, and trade-in programs returned over $535 million to consumers—an increase of 1.5% from Q1 2019.
Coronavirus’ impact on pre-owned device values
While mobile connectivity has been critical in offsetting the negative impact of social distancing – both socially and economically, the provision of new and used devices has been significantly disrupted. The effective temporary closure of the Chinese economy in Q1 2020 was bound to have a major impact on shipments of new and used smartphones – and so it has proved.
The analysis of our own exclusive live data shows that despite disruption to the new and pre-owned smartphone supply chain, used device values and overall demand have stayed strong. Pre-owned smartphones have held their value from Q4 2019.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max received the highest trade-in value during the quarter at $560.97—and the highest trade-in value recorded for the same device in Q4 2019 was $560.55. The highest trade-in value recorded for Samsung was the Galaxy Fold at $550.86.
The ability to show growth in such a downturn speaks to the overall growing health and resilience of the secondary device market.
iPhones continue to dominate the trade-in market
iPhones dominated the trade-in market in 2019, and it appears this trend has continued into 2020. The top traded device in Q1 was the iPhone 7, followed by the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 6S and iPhone 8. These top five traded devices accounted for nearly 60% of smartphones traded.
In fact, the iPhone 7 continued to be the top traded device for a fifth consecutive quarter. The Galaxy S7 has been the top traded Samsung device for the last 9 quarters.
Navigating the trade-in market during Coronavirus
As factories and repair facilities gradually begin to re-open, we are starting to see the secondary market normalize, and the value of pre-owned devices remains strong. The revenue streams emanating from equipment sales and associated device trade-in programs remain significant for operators, OEMs and retailers, helping them drive revenue and bring additional value to their customers, while the mobile industry tries to recover from this unprecedented and devastating pandemic.
If you’d like to learn more about the mobile trade-in trends for Q1 of 2020, download the Trade-In Data Trends Infographic for Q1.