Trade-in Values of Smartphones Increase as Consumers Hold onto Devices for Longer, says HYLA Mobile

Trade-in Values of Smartphones Increase as Consumers Hold onto Devices for Longer, says HYLA Mobile Image Credit: HYLA Mobile

HYLA Mobile's Q1 2018 trade-in data trends report indicates that US consumers received more than $479 million from smartphone trade-ins during the first quarter of 2018. 

This represents a $35 million increase compared to the same period last year (Q1 2017). The late release of Apple’s iPhone X and the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ had a big impact, driving trade-ins to improve affordability for the premium devices, said HYLA Mobile. 

The key findings of the report highlight:

 - US consumers are holding onto devices for longer: the average age of a smartphone at trade-in was 2.66 years, up from 2.49 years during Q1 of 2017 and 2.59 years from last quarter.

 - The device with the highest trade-in value was the Apple iPhone X at $580 - showing that the latest iteration of the iPhone has lost almost half its value in just three months. This was followed by the Samsung Galaxy S9+, which had a trade-in value of $543.

 - Of the top five most traded devices, the Apple iPhone 6 was the most traded at 39%. It was also the top-traded device in Q1 2017 at 34%.

 - And perhaps unsurprisingly, the top 5 traded devices from Q1 2018 were all Apple iPhones - potentially due to the introduction of the iPhone X.

 - The average trade-in value of an Apple iPhone in Q1 2018 was $163, more than twice the value of Android smartphones which, on average, returned $80EIP plans are now the norm for most US consumers, with 84% favoring them over standard contracts.

 - With an overall perception of lack of innovation in the market, and the high-cost of new devices, mobile trade-ins are playing an important role in driving uptake of new devices. Carriers and retailers, along with OEMs such as Google, are taking a more aggressive stance with trade-ins and are having success with it.

Data from HYLA Mobile’s Q1 2018 trade-in trends suggests that trade-in values of smartphones have increased, as consumers hold onto their devices for longer—an extra 63 days than in Q1 2017. Increasing trade-in values is a way for operators to entice customers to upgrade.

Biju Nair, CEO & President, HYLA Mobile
But our data shows that neither ought to be worried—mobile trade-ins, which have continued to grow in Q1 2018, have contributed to increased upgrades by consumers. Not only are mobile trade-ins making high-cost devices affordable, but consumers are beginning to realize the latent value their old devices hold. In order for this upgrade trend to continue, operators and OEMs need to do more to educate and encourage consumers to trade-in their older devices. 

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at), or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma


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