We have received some interesting data from our friends over at CompareMyMobile.com, a site that will help you recycle your used mobile device. As a company that deals with smart phones and tablets that are going to return from whence they came (massive props if you just caught that Arrested Development reference) recyclers are in a unique position to track the value that a device loses as it is used. There are certainly a lot of variables that go into the value of a second-hand smart phone, but build quality, brand strength, and forward compatibility are some of the biggest factors that affect how much your smart phone is worth three months after your purchase it. So who are the winners/losers? Check it out:
The top 10 depreciating brands of 2012:
1. Motorola – (Lost 31.63% over 90 days)
2. Sony Ericsson – (Lost 24.41% over 90 days)
3. HTC – (Lost 17.82% over 90 days)
4. Google – (Lost 17.75% over 90 days)
5. BlackBerry – (Lost 15.79% over 90 days)
6. Samsung – (Lost 12.99% over 90 days)
7. Sony – (Lost 9.78% over 90 days)
8. Nokia – (Lost 9.03% over 90 days)
9. Apple – (Lost 8.73% over 90 days)
10. LG – (Lost 0.58% over 90 days)
Unsurprisingly Apple is towards the bottom of the list. Apple customers are a lot of things, and loyal is certainly one of them. The Apple brand is also one of the strongest brands in any industry, so it isn't surprising that they appear towards the bottom of the list. I think the biggest shock for me is that Sony Ericsson devices hemorrhage value once they leave the store. Losing nearly 25% of their value in just three months is impressive. Keep in mind that this 90 day time frame is important because it generally necessarily allow enough time for a new generation of mobile devices to hit the market.
Sadly it is not news that Motorola devices are pretty much worthless shortly after you purchase them. Although Motorola has a special place in my heart because of the original Droid, the lack of timely firmware updates, mediocre build quality and mid-range hardware have combined to make Motorola a sad cautionary tale for other Android manufacturers.
Obviously we don't invest in smart phones the same way we invest in real estate or even in an automobile so this type of data isn't something that the Android community analyses on a regular basis. But the resale value of a device shortly after it is purchased does tell us a lot about what consumers think of that particular brand. I am impressed that LG devices depreciate so slowly. What interesting tidbits did you glean from the data above? Find us on Google+ and let us know what you think.