US smartphone trade-in values increase as global shipments decline  

bribe money cash

The average trade-in value of smartphones in the US rose in Q1 according to a report, amid a backdrop of declining global shipments of new devices.

US consumers scraped back $865 million through trade-in programs in Q1 2023 in fact, according to figures from Assurant’s latest Mobile Trade-in and Upgrade Industry Trends report, and the average iPhone trade-in value surpassed $200 for the first time since 2021.

Other stats to come out of the report include the fact the top five traded devices during the quarter were the iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone 12, iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 11 made up 38% of these, while the Pixel 6 Pro was the top traded Android device.

The average age of the smartphones traded-in was 3.35 years, slightly older than 3.26 years in Q4 2022, and online trade ins experienced a 41% year-on-year growth. In terms of wearables, the Apple Watch Series 7 commanded the highest average trade-in value at $89.04, a 22% value decrease from Q4 2022.

“An increase in trade-in values shows how smartphones are retaining their value, meaning carriers, retailers, cable operators, and OEMs can offer more appealing trade-in and upgrade deals to consumers—increasing their subscriber base and making it a win-win-win for all,” said Biju Nair, EVP & President, Global Connected Living & International at Assurant. “These industry players get to boost sales and maintain customer loyalty, consumers get money in their pockets, something which is very much needed in today’s challenging economy, and devices stay out of landfills and get to live a second life.”

According to the latest Omdia figures, during the same period global smartphone shipments totalled 268.5 million units – down 12.7% year-on-year and down 11.1% from the previous quarter.

However these figures from Assurant aren’t about an increase in trade-ins in general – which would seem like a logical upshot of purse strings being tightened due the economic strife we’ve experienced in the last year – they are about value of those trade-ins increasing, which tells a slightly different story.

This could be the result of manufacturers, retailers, or operators offering more for trade ins, which might have benefits for customer retention. Another key factor could be the ease or abundancy of ways to trade in phones online, going by the 41% bump in this method during the quarter.

Another factor that can affect stats about the value of trade ins are schemes brought in by manufacturers that are perhaps partly a move to encourage customers of rival firms to jump ship. As reported by 9to5Google, Google is offering some healthy trade-in deals for its new pricy Pixel Fold – including $900 for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which could have an effect of stats of this nature in the future.


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