Upgrading to 5G-enabled devices could spur a hike in phone trade-in numbers in 2020, data security company Blancco predicted, tipping an almost four-times rise year-on-year.

A study of 5,000 people in the UK, the US, Germany, India and the Philippines found 68 per cent were willing to sell back their smartphones to retailers once they upgrade to a 5G device. All told, this could result in a total of 810 million devices being traded in this year, Blancco concluded.

Globally, the research found 51 per cent of consumers were waiting for the availability of 5G smartphones before upgrading. At a country level, 70 per cent of people in India and the Philippines are holding off, the company stated.

In the US, 45 per cent of respondents were using their current handset for a longer period than usual as a result of waiting for 5G models, with 42 per cent aiming to make the change in the next three-to-six months.

Globally, people surveyed in the study expected to get back 35 per cent of their used smartphone’s price in any deal.

Blancco stated the global secondary device market was still relatively immature, and it was “likely that the collection of 810 million devices will be difficult”. However, the company claimed even if the number was half that amount, it would still nearly double the number of used devices shipped for resale compared with 2019, when IDC data showed 206.7 million units were traded-in.

Russ Ernst, EVP at Blancco, expected widespread availability of 5G worldwide in 2020 to “significantly increase the number of used devices coming back to operators and OEMs through buy-back and trade-in programs”.