For quite some time we have seen a steady rise in the length of time consumers are holding on to their smartphones before upgrading to a new one. This past quarter, Apple and Android devices passed the 3.5-years mark. In addition to consumers benefiting from having their devices for longer, our Q2 Mobile Trade-in and Upgrade Trends report also shows other promising news for the industry.

Despite the increase in the age of devices being traded in, the average trade-in value has increased. Assurant data shows trade-in value for Apple smartphones have risen from $183 to $186 in Q1 of this year compared to Q2, and Android shows a bigger uptick from $81 to $88. These higher average trade-in values certainly had an impact on the total dollars returned to U.S. consumers through trade-in programs. $767M was paid out to consumers last quarter to help incentivize them to upgrade to a new phone and ensure their old one does not end up in a landfill. This was a 34% increase over the same period last year.

During the pandemic, when most brick-and-mortar stores were closed, consumers had little choice but to conduct their upgrades and trade-ins online. But now, even with these constrictions removed as stores are fully open, consumers are embracing the omnichannel options available to them and continue to opt to trade-in their devices online. Our data reveals that there was a 63% increase in Q2 of online trades year over year.

 

Top Traded Devices

The iPhone 11 was the top turned in device from trade-in and upgrade programs. This was the first time we saw the iPhone 11 in the top spot as the XR held that position for five straight quarters. The 11 accounted for 35% of the volume from the top 5 devices while the XR came in at nearly 32%. The Samsung Galaxy S9 was the top Android device as it has been since Q3 2020.

 

The Secondary Market for Apple Watches

In addition to reporting on smartphone trade-ins, Assurant also tracks wearables activity. in the secondary market, the demand for pre-owned watches is growing. A consumer trading in their Series 7 watch would, on average, receive $186 while a Series 6 would fetch its owner $123.

We believe that consumer awareness of trade-ins for wearables, as well as hearables, is still low. To better educate consumers, trade-in programs need to not only encompass but also promote these newer categories as they do with smartphones.

 

The Importance of Staying Ahead in the Mobile Trade-In Market

We are pleased with the results from this past quarter, and we anticipate that trade-in and upgrade programs will continue to play an important role as 5G adoption continues.

We believe that sharing trends and insights is valuable to all in the ecosystem; including carriers, retailers, OEMs, and cable operators; who in turn adapt accordingly.


Mobile Trade-in and Upgrade Infographic

As a leader in trade-in and upgrade programs, we want to share valuable insight into the trends happening now in the industry. Take a look at the data we compiled from Q2 2022.