iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

Summary: Even a four-year-old first-generation iPhone could be worth $115.

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If you're the sort of person who sells your old handset, then the iPhone might be the best choice for you. According to data by Priceonomics, the iPhone holds its value over time better than Android or Blackberry handsets.

Priceonomics examined all iPhone model, along with 70 most popular Androids and 30 most popular BlackBerry models. Each was split into five different categories (newly released, 1, 2, 3, and 4 year-old phones) and then this data used to find out which phone had the best resale value.

The results are exactly what you'd expect of the car market:

The highest quality phones should have the best resale values over time and crappier phones should depreciate the fastest.

The data shows this to be true:

Data by Priceonomics

Data by Priceonomics

This means that after using your iPhone for 18 months, it still retains a whopping 53% of its value, compared to 42% for Android handsets, and 41% for BlackBerry handsets. That means that your old iPhone has a possible cash value of $312 if you decided to sell it. Even a four-year-old first-generation iPhone could be worth $115.

Handsets don't depreciate linearly, either.

Data by Priceonomics

Data by Priceonomics

It's interesting to note how the iPhone holds its value better over the first 6 months compared to the competition.

Anyone sold an old handset lately? How much did you get for it?

Topics: Android, Google, Hardware, iPhone, Mobile OS, Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones

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24 comments
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  • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

    When I upgraded to the 4S (cost me 200$) as soon as it came out, I sold my iPhone4 (that I had also gotten at the time of its release) for $250. I actually made money upgrading to the 4S. I had done the same exact thing the year before with my 3GS, though I think I only made a profit of 10$ on that phone.
    Bates_
    • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

      @Bates_

      You didnt make money.... because you signed up to a new contract that is probably ??10 a month more juts because you got an Iphone4...... You will still have to spend the next 18 - 24 months paying a contact.
      danjames2012
      • Yeah but he would have been under contract anyways

        @danjames2012 I find it hard to believe that someone would pay $250 for an iphone 4 when the 4S's are selling for only $200.
        otaddy
      • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

        @danjames2012
        Eyeroll. Yes. There was another contract, much like the prior one and much like the contract one would get with any other smartphone which succeeds Bates..'s iPhone 4.

        It's not as though after two years the carriers reduce the monthly charge because the phone is paid off...

        So to recap, when getting the new smartphone he paid x in cash and got y in cash for selling the used one. y was greater than x.

        Just prior, someone asked why someone would buy a 4 for 250 when the 4s's, etc. The answer is they could use it without contract and being pre-owned and not the best model was acceptable. Or they could (or thought they could) sell it to someone who'd pay 300-400 for a contract-free phone.
        DannyO_0x98
      • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

        @danjames2012

        Unless you have a pay-as-you-go phone you are pretty much assured to be under contract to have a cell phone.
        gribittmep
    • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

      @Bates_ hmmm...good for you! I made 75 + 15 dollars (90 USD for those who can't count) from my iPhone 3G (thanks to the iCase and screen protector, which I removed and sold on e-bay for $15). <br><br>Since my iPhone4S (32 GB model) was a present it was all cash for me (90 bucks US total)! I stopped service on my 3G 1 year ago and used it as an iPod Touch for a year. So yes, I made out! Recieved close to 50% of the cost of the device alone after 3 years of use! <br><br>All-in-All I got more than I thought I would get. No. I did not get a 3GS or 4. If I had a 4 I could have re-used the cover. The beauty was all my apps moved over to the new device. My contract on the new 4S is a family plan so I pay even less than I previously did and get to enjoy my iPhone4S to the fullest extent! So great!
      The Danger is Microsoft
  • Difficult to judge how this affects the individual

    "The highest quality phones should have the best resale values over time and crappier phones should depreciate the fastest."

    This makes sense but what doesn't make sense is to compare a single model of phone with 2 entire lines of phones that have a very wide price range. If it turns out that a $400 Android phone depreciates at the same rate as a $400 iPhone then owners of $400 Android phones aren't any worse off (resale wise) than owners of $400 iPhones regardless of how fast a $50 Android phone depreciates.

    It would be like saying "the average selling price of a Ford is less than the average selling price of an Infiniti G37 therefore anyone buying a Ford is paying less than anyone buying an Infiniti", a statement that is clearly not true.

    If there was a difference in depreciation between a $400 Android phone and a $400 iPhone, that would be good information. As it stands though, these statistics are completely meaningless to actual consumers who care about resale value.
    toddybottom_z
    • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

      @toddybottom_z Yeah it's a sick market and we all lose. HaHaHa! Unless you own Apple products. I just sold my 1st gen 40 GB Apple TV for 130 bucks! Value is value dude no matter how you twist it NZ.
      CowLauncher
      • Never suggested Apple products aren't good value

        @CowLauncher
        After all, I own both an iPhone and an iPad.

        I never even suggested that $400 Android phones don't depreciate faster than a $400 iPhone. All I'm saying is that the statistics, as presented, are completely meaningless to consumers who care about resale value. When a consumer buys a phone, they buy a single model of a phone. They don't buy every single Android phone ever made. So telling us what the average depreciation is over every single Android phone is a meaningless statistic.

        It's okay CowLauncher, I wasn't attacking Apple. I know you get upset easily. You can calm down. Breathe. It's all good.
        toddybottom_z
      • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

        @toddybottom_z - it's time to take your meds....or call in and listen to a Microsoft employee tell you everything is ok. You will get your check....it's all o.k.
        The Danger is Microsoft
    • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

      @toddybottom_z

      Agreed. There are way to many cheaply made "Android" phones for this data to have any meaning. Cheaply made Android phones are way more prevalent. If one is to look at higher end, older Android phones, they still have their value.
      nogobo
    • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

      @NonZealot

      I completely agree. It's a classic case of misuse of "statistics," is truly meaningless without breaking it down by original price as you suggest.
      msalzberg
    • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

      @toddybottom_z
      I think there's more merit to the analysis than you suggest, but I will concede that this sort of imprecision happens and is a derivative of looking at the smartphone sector as a battle between oses.

      At the risk of being coarsely over-simplistic myself, the upgrade issue (or the ways the carriers and manufacturers and their business models impact the Android phone user's experience) should be a drag on resell value.

      And yet, I kitchen-drawered my July 2007 iPhone in September 2010 because I didn't think any one would want it: it couldn't use iOS 4 (or 5). So, hundred bucks? Huh.

      Remember when Ballmer said Apple customers pay 500 bucks more just because "Apple" is on the badge? At the time I thought it was - yet another - Dumb Ballmerism, because if Microsoft could get 500 more for having Microsoft's name on something, they'd love it. (Just as Samsung would love to have artist-aspiring baristas in line for their doodads.) But, maybe there is a value to the fruit logo. Who am I to blow against the wind? Apparently 100 bucks poorer and a kitchen drawer more cluttered.
      DannyO_0x98
    • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

      @NonZealot

      Update: I actually read the report. Two quotes:

      "Not all cell phones are created equal. You can buy an iPhone 4S today and sell it a few months later on the secondary market for almost what you paid for it. However, if you buy the latest big fancy Android phone, a few months later it has lost hundreds of dollars in value."

      So they did break out the data by original price.

      "Pre-paid Android phones are relatively inexpensive and hold their value extremely well. The Motorola Triumph, HTC Wildfire, and Samsung Exhibit 4G, for example, retain 86% of the original value on average. These phones appear to be a much better value than the expensive Android phones that are typically nationally advertised."
      msalzberg
    • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

      @toddybottom_z It would be more like comparing resale values of the Infinity G37 and a Ford Taurus, after a set period of time. If the G 37 is worth a higher percentage of the original retail price, the it is perfectly okay to publish that. I wonder how many iPhones are finding a second life in the Pre-paid market?
      Joel-r
      • First, thank you for addressing me by my name

        @Joel-r
        I do not reply to those who do not use my name.

        Second, had the statistics compared the iPhone resale value to the Nexus resale value, that would be like comparing the Taurus resale value to the G37 resale value. But that isn't what these statistics were for. These statistics averaged out the resale value of every single Ford and compared it to the resale value of the G37. Do you think the depreciation rate of a Ford GT is the same as the depreciation rate of a Ford Taurus? I doubt it. It could be but I doubt it.

        Please also note that I'm not disputing that iPhone has a great resale value. I know it does. I'm also not disputing that some Android phones have terrible resale value. I'm sure they do. I'm not even disputing the statistics as they have been presented. I'm sure that as far as statistics go, they are 100% accurate. They are also 100% meaningless when it comes to helping this example consumer:
        "I care a lot about resale value. I'm trying to decide between the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S2 (or whatever they are up to now). Which one holds on to its value better?"

        Like I said in my example, it would be like someone asking "What is the resale value of my Ford GT?" and someone answering "The average Ford maintains 40% of its value after 3 years." Meaningless.
        toddybottom_z
    • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

      @toddybottom_z

      What color is the sky in your world?
      gribittmep
  • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

    I've always heard that there are three kinds of liars: Liars, Damn Liars and Statisticians. A statistician can take any set of data and manipulate it to generate the outcome that they are looking for. Oh, and just to show that I think I can be impartial I'm an iPhone user and I think the thing is great.
    gribittmep
  • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

    Unless you drop that original iPhone (or even one of the somewhat newer phones) and it breaks on you.
    jkohut
    • RE: iPhone commands better resale value than Android or Blackberry

      @jkohut That's true for ANY mobile device - what's your point?
      athynz