Almost half of all refurbished smartphones sold last year were Apple iPhones


Posts: 9,126   +117
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In a nutshell: Although Samsung recently moved ahead of Apple when it comes to global smartphone shipments, one area where Cupertino dominates is the refurbished phones market. About half of the refurbed handsets sold globally last year were iPhones, marking a 16% year-on-year increase.

According to Counterpoint Research's data, the global economic crisis saw demand for cheaper, refurbished smartphones grow 5% last year, with India (+19%) and Latin America (+18%) leading the way. While refurbed phone sales increased in 2022, shipments of new devices fell -11.3%.

The global figure for refurb sales would have been even higher were it not for the -17% decline in sales in China due to increasing Covid-19 cases and the country's extreme Covid-Zero policies that impacted businesses and demand.

Samsung might have edged past Apple when it comes to global smartphone shipments, but iPhones were dominant in the refurbished market last year. Their global volumes increased 16% YoY, taking Apple's market share to 49%. Samsung, meanwhile, saw its share decrease from 28% to 26%. As such, there was a slight shift of Android consumers to iOS in 2022, a trend Counterpoint believes will continue.

The increased demand for refurbished iPhones is affecting sales of new handsets and Apple's service revenue in many markets. But the popularity of refurbed iPhones means people are buying them even in places where new variants are hard to find.

Most consumers buying refurbished smartphones opted for flagship or premium models, pushing up average selling prices for the secondary market.

It's interesting to see that the move to 5G is also being felt in the refurbished market, with 5G-capable handsets making up 13% of global refurb sales last year.

Apple sells refurbished iPhones via its online store for a few hundred dollars less than their regular price. The company offers the same one-year warranty that comes with brand-new phones, all manuals and accessories, a new battery, a new outer shell, and, if required, newly replaced parts. Samsung also sells refurbs online.

An element that still puts people off buying refurbished phones is the fear that they could have an undiagnosed fault, but trust levels are increasing. With new models becoming more expensive, trade-in levels higher than ever, and people wary of making large purchases in the current economic climate, the refurb market is expected to keep growing. The one thing slowing the trend down is the fact that people tend to hold onto their new phones for longer, not wanting to spend another $1,000+ on the latest upgrade.

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Posts: 1,725   +1,241
I have wondered if all Apple refurnished products are such - ie do they sometimes put brand new in their online shops - to move stock and cover market
I brought my sons Ipad refurbished- for school - if was only a couple months after officially NZ release - maybe just at return or open box - have same warranty - looked brand new


Posts: 295   +137
Hah, the poverty growth among Apple fans, after years of giving Apple their money.

Nah, Apple refurb works, because no-one wants an used Android phone + prices drop too much on Android phones for it to make sense.

This is also the reason why Android phones have little to no resell value in comparison to iPhones that sells for several hundred dollars, even after 3-4 years.

I got 300 dollars for my iPhone XS 256GB 5 months ago. Go figure. Tons of bidders in the 250-300 dollar range, for a ~4 year old phone. Ran flawless tho. Zero difference in speed compared to day one. This is not my experience with Android, often gets slower and slower and slower over time...

Also, Apple has about 6 years of support on their phones. People know this. It's hit or miss on most Android phones, but even the best only offers 2-3-4 years tops, and only on flagships. Most cheaper Android phones barely gets 1 year still... This affects resell value as well.


Posts: 1,355   +392
Android manufacturers are too busy killing one another in the low-end to mid-end segment.

google must've realized this years ago that's why google discontinued nexus phones and created pixel phones. problem with pixel is that it simply doesn't exist in many parts of the world. google only launched pixel 7 in 17 countries, up from 13 countries on pixel 6.

in the rest of the world, we only get flagship android phones from only samsung or the chinese. by the chinese I mean xiaomi, oppo, vivo, huawei and all the sub-brands including oneplus, realme, etc. now most of these chinese players established themselves by making cheap low-end to midrange phones.

all these chinese companies are not interested in refurb at all because they kept making new models every few months. why would they sell a refurb when there's a new model coming. this explains the chart.