Mobile device

Mobile device trade-ins and upgrades bring in over $3 billion in 2021

The important role trade-in and upgrade programs play in the shift to 5G was revealed in Assurant’s latest quarterly study, showing that the level of trade-ins for 2021 even surpassed pre-pandemic levels. .

Assurant’s Annual trends in the trade-in and upgrade industry The report is designed to provide insight into trade-in and upgrade trends in North America. Using data from Assurant’s Device IQ analytics platform, as well as industry market data, the report identifies the top smartphones and wearables given back through trade-in programs and upgrades during the quarter, as well as the average age and trade-in value of devices. in and upgrade.

For 2021, the study found that up to $3.1 billion was returned to US consumers in 2021 through mobile device trade-in and upgrade programs. That was almost $1 billion more than the $2.1 billion returned in 2020, and even surpasses pre-pandemic levels of $2.4 billion in 2019.

Assurant also showed that the 2021 trade-in market ended the year on a high, with $1.1 billion returned to U.S. consumers through trade-in and upgrade programs in the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 40% from $757 million in Q3 2021 and a 34% year-over-year increase. Additionally, there was a 220% increase in online trading from Q4 to Q3 2021 and a 42% increase from Q4 2020.

Demand for 5G devices was at the heart of this spike. Noting that consumer adoption of 5G depends on commercially available 5G devices, Assurant cited recent research from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) showing that more than 850 5G-enabled models were commercially available at the end of 2021. these more attractive and affordable devices have proven to have a significant impact on the market.

In terms of the specific devices that were traded in, the study showed that iPhones continued to top the top five devices turned in through trade-in and upgrade programs in 2021. Showing the evolution of the trade-in market compared to previous quarters, the top-traded devices of the year were iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. ‘iPhone XR was the top device returned for the fourth consecutive quarter, and in the fourth quarter accounted for 33% of the top five devices shipped. The Samsung Galaxy S9 was the best-selling Android device in 2021.

The average iPhone trade-in value in 2021 was $199, while the average Android smartphone trade-in value was $98. Overall, the average smartphone value during trade-in was $140, a 13% increase from $124 in 2020.

For Q4 specifically, the average age of devices at trade-in decreased in Q4, a trend typically seen at this time of year. In the third quarter of 2021, iPhones were on average 3.39 years old and Androids 3.08 years old at the recovery; in Q4 2021, iPhones were trade-in 3.36 years old and Android devices were 2.96 years old.

However, Assurant noted an anomaly in the average trade-in value of devices in the fourth quarter, which it said saw an “unusual” 10% drop from the third quarter of 2021. The average trade-in value of a smartphone in the fourth quarter was $136, compared to $150 in Q3.

“The fourth quarter is traditionally a strong quarter for trade-ins and upgrades thanks to new smartphone releases, sales periods like Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, and holiday shopping,” said Biju Nair, executive vice president and president of global connected living at Assurant. , commenting on the research.

“Remarkably, this past quarter saw trade-ins and upgrades skyrocket – putting more than $1 billion in the pockets of American consumers – and contributed to a banner year, which is truly amazing and goes to show. how important exchange and upgrade programs are. to transition consumers to 5G.

“Many carriers, OEMs, retailers and cable companies are running trade-in and upgrade promotions to encourage the move to 5G, and those incentives are clearly working. We are also seeing more consumers transacting online, which undoubtedly gives overall trade metrics a boost. And, for added trade-in convenience, we’ve enabled features like “take home trade-in later”, which allows consumers to purchase a device in-store and trade in their old devices from home more late.