IDC’s ‘Worldwide Used Smartphone Forecast, 2019–2023’ report shows that global used smartphone shipments (including official refurbished and used smartphones) should reach 206.7 million units in 2019, an increase of 17.6% compared to 175.8 million units in 2018. By 2023, shipments of second-hand smartphones will reach 332.9 million units. And the compound annual growth rate from 2018 to 2023 will reach 13.6%.
‘In contrast to the recent drop in the new smartphone market, as well as the forecast for minimal growth in new shipments over the next few years, the used market for smartphones shows no signs of slowing down across all parts of the globe,’ said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The cost-effectiveness of refurbished and used phones continues to be an additional option for consumers and businesses looking to save budget when buying a smartphone.
‘Moreover, the ability for vendors to push more affordable refurbished devices in markets in which they normally would not have a presence is helping these players grow their brand as well as their ecosystem of apps, services, and accessories,’ Scarsella said. This growth trend may benefit from rising demand in the used smartphone market. Compared to brand-new equipment, used products can save a lot of budget. Also, it is difficult for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to consistently produce new phones with a balance of features and price.
The Future Of Used Smartphones Market
In the future, IDC expects that the deployment of 5G networks and smartphones will have an impact on the second-hand market because smartphone users will gradually start buying 5G equipment to replace their 4G equipment. Although factors such as regulatory compliance and environmental protection are still affecting the value-added of the secondary market, the important factor of saving expenses when purchasing equipment will continue to promote the value-added of the secondary market.
‘Overall, we feel that the ability to use a previously owned device to fund the purchase of either a new or used device will play the most crucial role in the growth of the refurbished phone market. Trade-in combined with the increase in financing plans (EIP) will ultimately be the two main drivers of the refurbished phone market moving forward,’ said Will Stofega, program director, Mobile Phones at IDC.