In the cell phone market, the second life of the devices is something common; In fact, the business of used and refurbished phones grew 15.4% in the world last year, while that of new mobiles only advanced 4.5% due to price issues, scarcity and a greater offer on electronic commerce platforms, where brands like Apple or Samsung dominated.
According to Counterpoint Research, only in Latin America this business reported an increase of 29% in 2021 compared to 2020, positioning itself as the region with the highest growth worldwide.
According to the consultant, this market in China and Europe grew 10% last year, in Southeast Asia, 12%; in Africa, 4%; in India, 25% and the United States increased 15%.
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As prices for new flagship smartphones remained on the higher end, a larger share of consumers considered buying refurbished models from popular brands like Apple and Samsung.
In this sense, the analyst senior Glen Cardoza points out that refurbished cell phones are part of the devices used in general that re-enter the system through various routes.
“Exchanges are the fastest growing source for this type of used smartphone, with volume growing more than 10% globally in 2021. We are seeing a year-over-year increase in volumes among refurbished players in developing markets such as China, India and Latin America”.
Likewise, the specialist pointed out that the average sale prices of refurbished smartphones increased marginally since 4G devices still retained value.
Meanwhile, the consultancy’s research director, Jeff Fieldhack, stated that the Indian and Latin American markets experienced the highest growth rates in 2021 and also have the highest potential future growth in the coming years.
“There were supply shortages in the secondary market in 2020 due to Covid-19, lockdowns and other supply chain disruptions. But the market roared back in 2021. There is a huge consumer appetite for flagships and the latest flagships have the highest point-of-sale prices,” he highlighted.
And it is that, he commented, the secondary cell phone market offers consumers the possibility of accessing these devices at an average price 60% lower than the new versions, in addition to the improved durability and high quality of flagship equipment that make them very attractive in the secondary market.
Likewise, the consultancy exposes that there is a renewed focus on value chain activities such as repair, especially in mature markets such as the United States, Europe and Japan, due to the impetus generated by the “Right to Repair” movement.
Meanwhile, the green aspect is another sustainability step taken to help consumers make an informed purchase. Both initiatives are gaining support not only among consumers, but also among operators and manufacturers.
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