Second-Hand Device Market Sees Robust Growth amid Global Economic Recovery

  • New data from CCS Insight reveals resilience in the second-hand mobile device market, with 46.8 million units being sold in the fourth quarter of 2023 despite lingering constraints in device trade-in channels.
  • The market for used devices is outshining that for brand-new devices, growing by 2.9% year-on-year compared with a 4.4% decline in shipments of new mobile devices.
  • Second-hand smartwatches have seen a significant jump in consumer interest, witnessing a 5.6% growth in sales since 4Q22. Smartphones continue to dominate the market.
  • The market is poised for further growth, but persistent concerns with trade-in channels meeting robust demand may continue to prove challenging.

London, 18 March 2024: In an impressive show of resilience, the second-hand mobile device market sold 46.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the latest research by tech analyst firm CCS Insight. The figure marks a 2.9% increase year-on-year — excluding peer-to-peer transactions and sales from independent phone shops. The average selling price of second-hand devices fell 8% from 4Q22 to $304 per unit. This price adjustment reflects a normalization from the all-time high prices seen in 2022, caused by supply constraints and low trade-in volumes.

The fourth quarter of 2023 also highlighted the second-hand market’s continuous outperformance of the market for new mobile devices, recording a growth of 2.9% compared with a 4.4% decline in sales of new mobile devices. This trend underscores the robust demand in the second-hand market, buoyed by a global increase in spending power and consumer interest in sustainable purchasing options.

The regional landscape in 4Q23 revealed crucial market shifts as the global economy begins to enter a recovery phase. North America was the only region to see a decline in sales, dropping 3.3%. Asia–Pacific and Europe experienced growth rates of 4.1% and 4.0% respectively, and Latin America saw a notable 7.4% increase in sales.

The market also saw shifts in preferences for device quality. Grade B devices remained dominant, accounting for 65% of the market, despite sales in the category witnessing a decline of 4.1% from 4Q22. However, shipments of Grade A devices surged by 19.6%, indicating a shift toward higher-quality devices in the second-hand market.

Smartphones remain the most-popular device to purchase second-hand, comprising 81% of the total market. However, smartwatches exhibited the highest growth rate at 5.6%, highlighting diversification in consumer demand and underscoring the evolutionary nature of the market.

The retail channel, encompassing marketplaces and online and physical retailers, represented over two-thirds of sales of second-hand devices in 4Q23. Manufacturer and operator channels saw growth of 1.6%, driven by increased market shares of network operators and direct sales from device-makers such as Apple.

The secondary market is poised for continued growth but faces several challenges, including supply constraints and regulatory hurdles. In a glimmer of optimism, 76.6 million units were traded-in in 4Q23, growing by 5.9% year-on-year. However, the availability of second-hand mobile devices remains limited in the face of robust demand from consumer and enterprise markets, with trade-in programmes yet to significantly impact supply. Furthermore, the market is navigating tightening EU regulations on imports and concentration around iOS devices, which adds complexity to market dynamics.

The second-hand mobile device market remains a vital component of the broader tech ecosystem, reflecting a shift toward more-sustainable and cost-effective consumer choices. With strategic adjustments and collaborative efforts across the industry, the market is well-positioned to overcome these challenges and continue its trajectory of growth.

Notes to Editors

CCS Insight is a leading provider of research on the mobile technology market. It conducts dedicated research into second-hand devices through its quarterly market-tracking programme, Pulse.

More details of CCS Insight’s research into the second-hand mobile device market can be found at:

About CCS Insight

CCS Insight is a global analyst company specializing in the technology and telecom sectors. The firm offers comprehensive services tailored to meet the individual needs of its clients, helping them make sense of the connected world and optimize their strategies. With a focus on current and future trends, CCS Insight provides valuable insights and analysis to navigate the complex technology landscape. Follow @CCSInsight on X or learn more at

For further information contact:

Mark Jordan
Harvard PR
Tel: + 44 (0) 7931987466

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