The Value of Smartphones

Accurate Pricing of Second-Hand Devices Is Key to Leasing

CCS Insight has developed a new pricing database that covers the second-hand smartphone market and tracks residual values of flagship devices over the past five years.

Using leading industry sources, we have captured more than 4,000 pricing data points covering 48 products from Apple, Samsung and Huawei. We have supplemented this data with our wholesale pricing database, which holds more than 10 years of pricing details and specifications for almost every mobile phone sold in Europe.

The resulting report reveals how residual values of flagship smartphones drop throughout their life cycle. As the smartphone market reaches saturation, new business models are being adopted to accelerate replacement cycles. To maintain two-year replacements rates and retain loyal customers, network operators and handset manufacturers may attach guaranteed residual values after two years, encouraging trade-in of old devices. To do this, they must understand what happens to smartphone residual values.

The report shows that Apple phones retain their second-hand value longer than other brands, with notable drops toward the end of the year, when Christmas gifts increase the supply of second-hand devices and depress prices. The chart below tracks the second-hand price of an iPhone 6 16GB in Western Europe since its launch in 2014.

Apple iPhone 6 16GB second-hand market values, Western Europe, 2014-2018
Source: CCS Insight

Our research provides a robust footing for any business looking at device leasing and trade-in programmes. We have produced a free summary of the full report, with analysis and charts that focus on selected Apple, Samsung and Huawei models. If you would like a copy of the summary report simply fill in the form below and click Submit.