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Consumers earned over $3 billion from smartphone trade-ins last year with iPhone twice Android’s worth

Consumers earned over $3 billion from smartphone trade-ins last year with iPhone twice Android’s worth

Categories: Financial
Posted: February 23, 2022

Assurant released its 2021 Annual Trade-in and Upgrade Industry Trends report, and the results are intriguing. Through smartphone trade-in and upgrade programs, consumers earned over $3 billion in 2021. This amount is up by nearly $1 billion from 2020.

Key findings from the report:

  • There was a 220% increase in online trade-ins between Q3 and Q4 2021.
  • iPhones (including iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X) were the top five devices traded in.
  • iPhone trade-in values, at an average of $199, were twice as much as Android, which earned an average $98.

Consumers earned more in Q4.

  • Q4 2021 is when these results jumped. Shoppers brought home a total of $1.1 billion, an increase of 40% from Q3. 
  • The iPhone XR made up 33% of the top five turned-in phones.
  • The average age of trade-in devices decreased slightly. The average iPhone at trade-in in Q3 was 3.39 years old; in Q4 it was 3.36 years old.

Q4 is traditionally a strong quarter for trade-ins and upgrades thanks to new smartphone releases…along with holiday shopping. Remarkably, this past Q4 saw trade-ins and upgrades skyrocket—putting over $1 billion into US consumers’ pockets and contributed to a record-breaking year which is truly incredible and shows just how important trade-in and upgrade programs are to move consumers to 5G.

Biju Nair, EVP and President, Global Connected Living at Assurant

Where 5G plays a role

These data seem to be a sign that iPhone users are looking to switch to 5G.  According to the GSA, there are currently over 1,200 5G-capable devices on the market. Through trade-in and upgrade programs, it’s easier than ever for consumers to get their hands on a 5G phone.

Many operators, OEMs, retailers and cable companies run trade-in and upgrade promotions to encourage the move to 5G, and these incentives are clearly working. We also see more consumers making their trade-ins online, which undoubtedly is providing a boost to the overall trade-in metrics. And, for additional trade-in convenience, we have enabled capabilities like ‘take home-trade later’, which allows consumers to purchase a device in store and trade-in their older devices from home later.

Biju Nair, EVP and President, Global Connected Living at Assurant

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