Samsung’s refurbished phones are beating Apple iPhones globally

Samsung’s refurbished phones are beating Apple iPhones globally

Samsung’s refurbished phones are beating Apple iPhones globally


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Last updated: April 25th, 2022 at 15:27 UTC+02:00

The global refurbished smartphone market spiked in popularity and beat expectations in 2021, with market analysts posting a 15% growth Year-on-Year. Apple maintained the lead as the largest used mobile device vendor, and Samsung followed in 2nd place but narrowed the gap with its rival.

Refurbished smartphones are a part of the same circular economy that includes trade-in programs. In fact, analysts say trade-ins are the fastest-growing source for pre-owned smartphone stocks.

Even so, new smartphone shipments grew 4.5% YoY in 2021, whereas the refurbished smartphone market grew 15%. Counterpoint Research attributes this market shift towards refurbished devices to high flagship smartphone prices and more willingness among consumers to consider buying refurbished models from popular brands like Samsung and Apple.

Some of the fastest-growing markets in the refurbished smartphone space were China, India, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. India and LATAM regions saw the highest growth rates last year, and they also maintain the highest potential growth over the next few years.

In the United States and the EU markets, refurbished phone sales bounced back in 2021. Flagship sales increased in the USA for both Apple and Samsung, which created a knock-on effect that led to a higher stock of used devices collected from carriers and retailers that offer trade-in programs. The refurbished market in the USA was also supported by CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) insurance replacement devices.

Samsung is closing in on Apple’s crown

Market watchers say that Samsung’s refurbished phone shipments last year grew faster than Apple’s, but precise market share gains were unspecified. Apple kept the crown, but Samsung’s refurbished phones have had a higher adoption rate among customers globally. Samsung has some of the best trade-in offers, and pre-order bonuses are often very generous.

The Galaxy smartphone maker could continue gaining even more ground on Apple in 2022. The refurbished, or as Samsung calls it, “Re-Newed” Galaxy S21, became available for pre-order in mid-April in the USA.

The Korean tech giant (as well as Google) also announced a partnership with iFixit, which will soon allow customers in the United States to DIY-repair their smartphones using official parts and iFixit guides and tools. All perks considered, Samsung has every reason to catch up to Apple in the refurbished smartphone segment.

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