HYLA Mobile, a provider of software technology and services for mobile device returns management and reuse solutions, has announced results from its analysis of the mobile device trade-in market for 2020. And it was good news for those trading in iPhones and Apple Watches during quarter four.
Apple smartphones accounted for the top 5 devices traded-in for 2020. The top traded device of the year was the iPhone 7, followed by the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone 7 Plus.
The iPhone 7 was the top traded device for 2019 and three of the four quarters during 2020, falling to the fourth most traded device in Q4 behind the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X. This was likely due to strong iPhone 12 upgrade promotions when trading in an iPhone 8 or newer iPhone device, according to HYLA Mobile.
The average trade-in value for an iPhone in 2020 was $169.85, while the average trade-in value for an Android smartphone was $95.37. Overall, the average value of device at trade-in was $124.51.
HYLA Mobile’s annual report reveals a total of US$2.11 billion was returned to U.S. consumers in 2020 through mobile device trade-in programs. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic having a huge impact on the global smartphone and secondary device markets, as well as retail shutdowns, money returned to U.S. consumers via trade-ins fell by just 11% in 2020 (from $2.378 billion in 2019).
According to HYLA Mobile, quarter four (Q4), historically a strong quarter for mobile device upgrades and trade-ins, proved to be particularly resilient given market conditions. The Q4 trends report shows $786 million was returned to U.S. consumers via trade-ins—an increase of 38% over Q3 ($569 million).
In 2019, a more typical increase of 19% from Q3 to Q4 was reported. Along with year-on-year growth, the Q4 report reveals the average trade-in value for a smartphone in Q4 was $138.16, a 14% increase from Q3 ($121.03), and a 23% increase from Q4 2019 ($112.27).
“2020 was a year that no one could have ever predicted, and it has been difficult for operators, retailers, and original equipment manufacturers to find their footing amongst the ever-changing ‘normal’. But given the impact of the pandemic on the smartphone market, the secondary device market has been strong,” says Biju Nair, EVP and president, Global Trade-in and Upgrades (HYLA). “Thanks to the trade-in promotions and availability of 5G-ready devices, the 5G upgrade and trade-in supercycle is already underway. Not only did we register a 175% increase of contactless trade-in transactions in 2020 over 2019, but we are seeing trade-in values staying strong as consumers look to get their hands on the latest devices,” said at Assurant Inc.
As part of its annual report, trade-in trends for wearables were also tracked. According to the data, Apple Watches had strong trade-in values during Q3 and Q4. Additionally, Series 5 watches and Series 3 watches were valued higher in October and November than in the first month of the year.
The highest-valued smartwatch at trade-in in 2020 was the Apple Watch Series 5 at $202.49, followed by the Apple Watch Series 4 at $128.70, the Apple Watch Series 3 at $66.68, the Apple Watch Series 2 at $39.24, and the Apple Watch Series 1 at $22.81.