It's that time of year again for 'The Phone and Tablet Trade-in Market Report 2014 Edition' by CompareMyMobile.com. CompareMyMobile, the number one trusted gadget recycling comparison site, takes data from over 40 top UK recyclers, comparisons from over 70,000 prices offered for 4,274 devices, as well as from a survey of over 500,000 website users to provide us with exclusive access to consumer trade-in behavior patterns. Although the report covers both smartphones and tablets, as well as iOs and Windows devices, we will look strictly at smartphones in this article and concentrate on Android devices.
This study is comprised from thousands of users that visit CompareMyMobile's site every day to either figure out what their device is currently worth or to simply trade-in their device. What we will look at is which devices, brands, and operating systems are the most traded and which of those are the traders looking to switch too. We will also look at which devices achieved the highest trade-in value. Those are the things that we will map out for you in this article, but stay mostly with the Android branded devices when possible.
As more and more smartphones flood the planet you can be sure that a lot of swapping and selling are going on. According to the study, handset recycling within EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) was about 12.5 million in 2014 and a jump of almost 2 million from 2013. From the chart above, you can see that by 2017, they expect this number will jump to 25.1 million! Those areas are growing in smartphone usage as their networks grow and citizens are demanding more from their wireless world.
The average price (GBP) peaked in 2012, and is now showing a slight decline. Experts claim that the iPhone dominated the market in 2012, which inflated the average price. As more and more affordable Android priced devices flood the market, this brings the average price down as well. The average selling price of an iOS device is US$285, an Android device is US$133 and a Windows Phone is only US$70. The top seven flagships from highest to lowest price are the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Sony Xperia Z3 and LG G3. As replacements for these devices come out, each one will drop even further.
Let's first take a look at the most valuable brand of smartphones traded-in or sold over the past two years and how they have changed between 2013 and 2014. Apple leads the pack and it rather makes sense since they have one of the highest retail sales prices of any brand and all of their models are high-end. The second most valuable brand is the Samsung line up of devices. Samsung does have the high-end Galaxy S and Note series, but they also sell many lower end devices that are used as pre-paid models. Surprisingly, Nokia and Blackberry were actually higher than HTC. We must make note that the only reason Nokia and Blackberry are so high is because they each had a custom model – the Nokia 8800 Gold Arte and the Blackberry Porsche Design. Apple held its own between 2013 and 2014, while the other brands all declined, with Blackberry taking the biggest hit, which is understandable considering their current predicament.
The next graph above will show us the actual smartphone models within each brand and how they performed when it comes to resell value. Not surprisingly, the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 top the list since they are both new and expensive models. The Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3 are next in line, followed by two extremely expensive Nokia and Blackberry specialty models. Those are followed by the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, iPhone 5C, another expensive Nokia Model and finally the HTC One M8.
The next chart shows the percentage, by brand, of what phones are traded in the most. It should be no surprise to see the most popular brands topping the list – Apple at 37.98-percent and Samsung at 34.37-percent. In third place HTC drops off dramatically to 7.21-percent, Sony at 6.12-percent and in fifth place is Nokia at 5.83-percent…even beating out BlackBerry at 4.70-percent.
The next listing is the trade-in market share for Android only, by percentage. Not surprisingly, Samsung holds seven of the top ten positions, starting with the Galaxy S3 at 11.23-percent. This makes perfect sense with the two-year cycle of trade-ins – most Galaxy S3 users would be ready to get their Galaxy S5 or another new device. It is followed by the Galaxy S4 at 4.67-percent, as there are users that will trade-up every year. It is also not surprising considering the number of Galaxy S3s and Galaxy S4's that were sold. Users were holding on to their Galaxy Note 2s at only 1.97-percent and their Galaxy Note 3s at only 1.72-percent.
It is always interesting to see what new devices users are replacing when they trade-in their old device. First, we will look at what devices Apple users are trading up too. There were no surprises here, with 80.54-percent getting another Apple iPhone. Some former Apple iPhone users are trading them in for a Samsung to the tune of 9.58-percent. HTC comes in at 2.8-percent and the "Others" category is at 7.08-percent…not sure what that means…LG, Sony? It does show that over 12-percent of iPhone users switched to Android.
Next, we will look at how loyal HTC owners are to their brand when they trade-in their old HTC. From this study, it looks like 35.5-percent jump to the iPhone, while 26.71-percent stay loyal to their HTC brand. 16.43-percent jump to a Samsung model, 8.08-percent purchase a Sony device and 13.37-percent jump to that mysterious 'Other' category.
We saved the top Android brand of Samsung until last – just how loyal are Samsung owners when they trade-in their older Samsung for a new model? It turns out that 44.26-percent of former Samsung owners remain loyal to their brand, while 34.77-percent dive into that 'barrel of Apples.' HTC gets 6.64-percent of former Samsung users and Sony pulled in 4.98-percent, while the elusive 'Other' gained 9.35-percent. It is nice to see that over 55-percent of former Samsung users stay with the Android OS.
There is much information in the report to digest, and we looked mostly at the Android market. However, there are a few observations over all – Apple users are the most loyal, followed by Samsung users and pulling in third place are HTC users – The average trade-in value was reduced for the second consecutive year – The iPhone 5 is the top traded-in model for 2014, followed closely by the Samsung Galaxy S3…which suggests that more people follow their purchase on a two-year cycle, rather than every year – Apple is not dominating the trade-in market as it has in the past – and that users are trading in old iPads for an iPhone, rather than a newer iPad. When it comes to most valuable Android device – Samsung's Galaxy S5 topped the list, followed by the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you trade-in your device for a new one during 2014 and which brands/models did you sell and buy…as always, we would love to hear from you.