Used and refurbished smartphones: trade-in promotions lead the market to the highest values ever.
Aggressive promotions rewarding used trade-ins are pushing the used and refurbished smartphone market to ever higher heights.
Aggressive promotions rewarding the used trade-in are pushing the market for used and refurbished smartphones to ever higher heights. Manufacturers and electronics chains encourage the delivery of second-hand items to get discounts on new ones, but isn’t the risk – we ask ourselves – that the new market for refurbished products ends up cannibalizing the market for new products?
The demand for used and refurbished smartphones is growing significantly, with IDC estimating a record share of 415 million units shipped in 2026, about double the figure for 2020. The first signs of this trend date back to a few years ago, with 253 4 million units shipped in 2021 and 282.6 million expected for 2022, or an 11.5% increase over the prior year.
As we explained above, this trend has its roots in the increasingly widespread practice of trade-in, in which smartphone manufacturers, and not only them, encourage the purchase of a new model by exchanging the old one. Furthermore, brand promotions that provide for the exchange of the old device with the new one are now increasingly popular in the main Western markets.
As IDC pointed out in its latest report, this has contributed to an increase in trade-in value, typical when demand for new devices is slow, and has also caused prices to rise on the used market, particularly for high-end smartphones. . Suffice it to say that a refurbished iPhone 13 Pro often has prices starting from 900-1100 euros.
In general, according to analyst estimates shipments of used and refurbished smartphones will continue to grow as long as manufacturers maintain this market strategy, the compound annual growth rate for the period from 2021 to 2026 is estimated at 10.3 %.