Flagship Android smartphones lose their value twice as fast as iPhones

If you're buying a smartphone with the intention of selling it on in a year or so, the iPhone is your best bet, by far.

We all know that smartphone age and depreciate at an astonishing rate, but according to a report by cell phone trade-in site BankMyCell, iPhones hold onto their value better and for longer than Android smartphones.

The report, which tracked almost 300 phones resale values from multiple vendors hourly makes unpleasant reading for Android owners.

During the first year, an iPhone typically loses -23.45 percent of its value, dropping to -45.46 percent of its initial value during the second year. This is quite a big drop, but it's nothing compared to a $700+ flagship Android smartphone, which loses -45.18 percent of its value during the first year, plummeting to -71.41 percent of its initial value by the second year.

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But it's not just high-end Android smartphones that experience huge levels of depreciation over the first two years.

According to BankMyCell, Android devices with launch prices of $350 or less lose half their trade-in value in just one year. Owners of popular budget smartphone brands like Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC, and Google lost an average of -48.65 percent of their trade-in value over the 2019-2020 period.

Comparing iPhones to the Galaxy S10 makes grim reading for Samsung lovers:

  • iPhone XR lost -21.55 percent of its trade-in value in the whole of 2019, compared with the Galaxy S10e losing -37.98 percent in only 9 months.
  • iPhone XS lost -23.31 percent of its trade-in value in the whole of 2019, compared with the Galaxy S10 losing -43.78 percent in only 9 months.
  • iPhone XS Max lost -25.51 percent of its trade-in value in the whole of 2019, compared with the Galaxy S10+ losing -45.26 percent in only 9 months.

And Samsung isn't the worst when it comes to depreciation. Android devices from Motorola, LG, and Google smartphones fare much worse:

  • Motorola lost an average of -59.41 percent between Jan-Dec 2019. The Motorola One (2018) was the fastest depreciating and highest value loss at -75.84 percent (-$135)
  • LG lost an average of -56.76 percent between Jan-Dec 2019. The Nexus 5X (2015) was the fastest depreciating at -70.59 percent, while 2017's V30 lost the highest value -$145.
  • Google lost an average of -51.68 percent between Jan-Dec 2019. The Pixel 3 (2018) was the fastest depreciating and highest value loss at -56.70 percent (-$267)

Here are smartphones ranked best to worse, and it's surprising to see Nokia in second place, behind Apple:

  1. Apple devices lost an average of -25.98% between Jan – Dec 2019
  2. Nokia devices lost an average of -27.68% between Jan – Dec 2019
  3. Sony devices lost an average of -31.30% between Jan – Dec 2019
  4. HTC devices lost an average of -32.01% between Jan – Dec 2019
  5. Samsung devices lost an average of -34.42% between Jan – Dec 2019
  6. BlackBerry devices lost an average of -34.92% between Jan – Dec 2019
  7. Google devices lost an average of -51.68% between Jan – Dec 2019
  8. LG devices lost an average of -56.76% between Jan – Dec 2019
  9. Motorola devices lost an average of -59.41% between Jan – Dec 2019

If you're buying a smartphone with the intention of selling it on in a year or so, Android handsets are a bad buy, and you're better off buying an iPhone.

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