Apple is also a giant in refurbished phones market
The global secondary smartphone market saw a 5% YoY growth in 2022, according to the latest findings from Counterpoint Research's Global Refurb Smartphone Tracker. However, the market growth would have been even more substantial if not for the 17% decline in China's refurbished smartphone sales.
This decline was due to a resurgence of COVID-19 and the introduction of "COVID-Zero" policies, making it the steepest drop for the Chinese secondary market in years.
Here are the key findings of the report.
Global market growth
India led the global refurbished smartphone market in 2022 with 19% YoY growth, followed closely by LATAM with 18% YoY growth.
Refurbished smartphone demand mainly comes from new smartphone buyers in mature markets, feature phone users shifting to smartphones in emerging markets, and unofficial channels dependent on C2C or hand-me-downs.
Refurbished smartphone retailers are the primary source of supply, followed by carriers that have started offering refurbished options in mature markets.
Apple's market share
In terms of brands, Apple's global volumes grew 16% YoY in 2022, taking its secondary market share to over 49%. This makes Apple the fastest-growing brand in the used and refurbished sectors globally, a trend that is affecting new iPhone sales and service revenues in many markets.
The supply crunch is mainly felt for iPhones in refurbished markets. Meanwhile, Samsung's share decreased to 26% in 2022 from 28% in 2021 due to a small percentage shift of Android consumers to iOS in 2022, affecting Samsung refurbished sales.
Here are the details of Apple's market share:
- Apple is now the fastest-growing brand in the used and refurbished sectors globally
- The demand for Apple Refurbished iPhones is affecting new iPhone sales and service revenues in many markets
- The supply crunch is mainly felt for iPhones in refurbished markets
The global refurbished market is undergoing transitions as supply remains constrained due to consumers holding onto their smartphones for longer. At the same time, demand for 5G is increasing, especially in mature markets like the US, Europe, and Japan.
However, the limited supply is affecting most emerging markets like LATAM, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. Despite these challenges, the business potential of dealing in refurbished smartphones remains high.
Here are the market dynamics that are affecting the secondary smartphone market:
- Refurbished smartphone demand is increasing due to the growing demand for 5G smartphones in mature markets
- However, the limited supply is affecting most emerging markets
- Despite these challenges, the business potential of dealing in refurbished smartphones remains high
What to expect from 2023?
Looking ahead, we can expect changes in the secondary markets in 2023, with 5G smartphone share expected to increase substantially and 4G smartphones losing their value at a faster rate. The inventory of low-grade used smartphones may grow significantly as the trade-ins and shift towards premium smartphones continue. Additionally, end-of-life activities like disassembly, logistics, warehousing, recycling, and e-waste disposal should see additional opportunities.Advertisement