Apple and other smartphone makers also offer their own trade-in programs, as do some third-party resellers. Apple is currently offering discounts of up to $ 500 for the iPhone 12 lineup if you trade in your old smartphone, depending on its age and condition.
The trade-in values of old smartphones can be surprisingly high as trade-in has become a critical piece of device lifecycle. Beyond giving users a chance to get a new phone for a fraction of its price, it helps companies boost sales by driving more frequent upgrades , gives carriers a way to attract customers to long contracts, delivers more affordable devices for the secondary market and provides raw materials that companies can reuse to make them more environmentally friendly the new phones.
The push push
Trade-in programs provide wireless carriers and manufacturers a way to attract new customers and prevent existing customers from switching to their products – as we saw in AT & T’s free deal on iPhones .
“This is probably the closest thing to reviving subsidies, which crammed into the US when the iPhone first hit the market,” said David McQueen, director of research at tech advisory firm ABI Research.
A major issue that trade-in aims to address is the growing tendency of smartphone users to hold their devices longer, often skipping a model or two (sometimes more) before purchasing new.
“Motivation for subscribers to upgrade smartphones has been a problem over the past few years with most flagships having very little difference in their predecessors,” McQueen said.
“So far no one was able to send in the perfect solution, which is not strange [carriers] to upgrade to 5G in addition to being marketed as another ‘G,’ “McQueen added.
It’s too early to know how well the iPhone 12 line will sell, but if 5G isn’t a big draw, trade-ins could help move further upgrades.
Back to the market
Smartphones often have a shelf life and utility that exceeds the frequency of new model releases, giving companies an additional source of revenue even for older devices.
McQueen said phones not resold by smartphone carriers or companies could also end up with insurance firms to replace lost or broken devices for their customers or shipped to emerging markets where Consumers tend to be more price aware.
The updated phone programs also sell to users who are willing to buy slightly older premium models, according to analysts.
“[It’s] kind of like used car market; There are some people who would rather have an older Mercedes than a 2021 Hyundai, “said Ross Rubin, chief analyst at Reticle Research.” They are allowed to be more lively, in a sense, without having to pay $ 700 or more to buy into the current generation. ”
What is important inside?
Another reason why old phones are important to companies is for what they have.
Apple is working to prevent the environmental impact of its massive global manufacturing operations, expanding its recycling programs and promises to be completely carbon neutral by 2030
“Manufacturers place more emphasis on this, they talk about the recycled materials they use to make their phones,” Rubin said.