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iPhone 11 shakes up secondary mobile market as trade-in rates continue to rise

B-Stock, a business-to-business [B2B] marketplace for trade-in and overstock mobile phones – confirms rapid growth of the secondary mobile market driven by growing consumer demand for used mobile devices. 

Currently worth $25 billion, the secondary mobile market is set to reach $39 billion by 2025. As trade in rates rise and new technologies emerge, more carriers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are pushing devices to secondary sales channels. The latest data released by B-Stock shows the impact the iPhone 11 launch has had on the secondary market:

° Demand for the iPhone 7 spiked; there was a 90% increase in units sold leading up to the launch and it was the most purchased used model.

° Following the iPhone 11 release, the iPhone X became the most popular used model,

°  At six weeks post-launch the iPhone 11 was already hitting return counters and selling into the secondary market.

° Used pricing for the iPhone XS and XS Max was weak leading up to and following the iPhone 11 launch: the XS and XS Max sold for 39% and 44% of their retail price respectively compared to 52% for previous generation iPhone models at 14 months after release

“The release of the lower-priced iPhone 11 was most likely the reason behind the weak XS and XS Max performance: the $699 model was well received across the world, particularly in China,” says Sean Cleland, vice president of Mobile for B-Stock.

He adds that it’s not only new devices that are driving the secondary market but also emerging technologies. The next 12-18 months will see an increase in 5G phones entering the primary market bumping 4G phones out of the market. Despite the lag in mobile phone sales in the past few years, 5G promises to drag consumers out of their buying snooze, and with every upgrade, there will most likely be a trade-in, says Cleland.

“Retailers have to be prepared to take in old devices with the same velocity at which they put new 5G devices on the shelves,” he adds. “Having a risk-adverse, high-recovery plan in place to handle all the trade-in phones will be essential; this includes leveraging buyback, refurbishment and resale programs.” 

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.