US consumers reap $2 billion from device trade-ins

31 JAN 2018

US consumers received $2.16 billion from device trade-in programmes in 2017, an increase of $55 million over returns in 2016, used device specialist Hyla Mobile announced.

Across all devices, the average trade-in value was $106, an increase of 7 per cent on 2016. The boost didn’t quite keep up with growth in the global average sales price for smartphones, which market research company GfK said rose 10 per cent year-on-year to $363 in Q4.

But Hyla Mobile said the growth in trade-in value came despite an increase in the age of used devices. The company revealed consumers held on to devices more than two and a half months longer in 2017 than in 2016, with average ownership time increasing from 867 days (2.38 years) to 945 days (2.59 years).

Apple’s iPhone lineup accounted for 90 per cent of the top five most traded devices in 2017, with the iPhone 6 responsible for 40 per cent of the figure alone.

Hyla Mobile noted the recently released iPhone X had the highest value of all iPhone trade-ins at $614.62. But the company pointed out the figure represented a 40 per cent decrease in the value of the iPhone in the two months between its November 2017 launch and the close of the year.

Hyla Mobile CEO Biju Nair said it is important for operators to keep tabs on such pricing shifts: “Operators and retailers need to be aware of the risks tied to the fluctuation in used device values – especially as it can often mean cash scrubbed from their bottom line.”

He added having real-time access to device valuation data can help operators “offer correct valuations for used devices at the point of upgrade, and can trigger these upgrades at a time when maximum value for old devices can be recovered.”

Author

Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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