As soon as you take your new phone out of its box, it begins to lose its value. But how well could your old handset retain its worth?
Tech buyback site and refurbished seller, Decluttr, reveals in its Annual Phone Depreciation Report that within just three months of a new Samsung phone release the value of older mobile devices drops up to 12%.
Every month that follows, the value of current Samsung models rapidly decreases. Samsung devices typically lose 67% of their value in the first year after release, and 80% by the end of the second year.
The Samsung S10 5G, one of the most expensive mobile phones released by the brand, has had one of the worst depreciations ever for Samsung, losing 72% of its worth in just 12 months after release.
After the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S20, the value of a previous model, the Galaxy S10 Plus, dropped by 12% after just three months of the new model's release date, losing $39.63 of its value.
On average, the higher value handsets costing $900 or more lost 51% of their value in the first six months, whilst mid-range handsets costing $700 to $899 lost 56%, and cheaper handsets costing $699 or less lost 64%.
If you want a phone that holds its value, choose an Apple device. Apple handsets lose the lowest percentage of value in the first 12 months, at 51%, and go on to lose a total of just 67% on average by the end of the average 24-month contract period.
On the other hand, OnePlus handsets lose an average of 72% of their value in the first 12 months, but by the end of the average 24-month contract period, the value lost matches that of Google handsets, at 83%.
Of course, you expect depreciation to happen to your tech as soon as you have bought it, so it makes sense to buy a handset that has the least depreciation. You could run your handset into the ground and keep it forever, or move it on as soon as a new model has been announced.
Or you could buy an ultra-cheap phone that does not have the high status of an Apple or Samsung device, and accept that it will be worth next to nothing when you finally do try to sell it.