Upgrading to the latest smartphone is expensive

by George Lovell | | 0 comments

You have the choice of dropping £1000 on a device, or being locked in to a two year contract with your provider.

In recent years, consumers have become more resistant to the constant and relentless marketing storm that big-brand manufacturers churn out for their newest devices. People have realised; much to the manufacturers dismay; that a refurbished phone provides comparable performance at a fraction of the price.

Consumers now tend to upgrade to a new model every three years instead of every two. This is because software updates keep old phones current, hardware designs aren't changing much from year to year, and mid-range devices are getting features that were previously only available on the expensive flagship models.

Overall smartphone sales were down 6.4% in 2020, whilst the used device market grew by 9.2% from 2019 to 2020. The pandemic may have also expedited this shift in consumer behaviour. New smartphone sales dropped by 20% in the first quarter of 2020, whilst refurbished sales increased by 24%.

Like a car, a brand new smartphone depreciates rapidly. A new iPhone loses 40% of its value in 1 year, and 60% in 2 years. A Google Pixel loses 65% and 83% over 1 and 2 year periods. Does the phone work 20% as well as it did 2 years ago? The good part - you can exploit this by purchasing a refurbished device. If it was the top of the range tech in 2019, it'll probably do the job in 2021.

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