Global refurbished smartphone market volumes grew 4 per cent in 2020: Report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 17, 2021

The market saw a sharp deceleration in the first half of 2020 due to the Covid pandemic

The global refurbished smartphone market has witnessed healthy growth across most regions in the second half (H2) of 2020, according to a report from Counterpoint Research.

This helped the market recover from the slump in the first half (H1) of 2020 with a modest 4 per cent increase in 2020 compared to 2019 volumes. Counterpoint expects a higher increase in 2021.

There was a sharp deceleration in H1 2020, primarily due to Covid-19. Due to this, the refurbished smartphone market saw a rise in demand and supply in H2 2020.

Senior Research Analyst Glen Cardoza said, “While there was limited supply of smartphones in the secondary market in the first half of 2020, there was a sharp increase in both demand and supply during the second half of 2020. When the markets opened, most refurb players saw a surge in resell volumes and trade-ins.”

According to Cardoza, there was a year on year (YoY) increase in volumes across all regions in H2 2020. While some markets like LATAM and Southeast Asia took time to recover, other regions like the US, Europe, India, and Africa bounced back and tried to increase supply and distribution-related activities.

Hungry for Apple

Apple gained a significant share in the secondary market.

Research Director Jeff Fieldhack said, “There has been no slowdown in the appetite for Apple within the secondary market. In fact, over the past year, it has increased compared to its competitors.”

Apple’s share in the global market for new smartphones was over 13 per cent in H2 2020. Its share in the secondary market over the same period was over 44 per cent.

“In addition, Apple’s secondary market ASPs (average selling prices) are almost three times higher than the average of all its competitors. Even with the roll out of 5G by over 150 mobile operators in over 70 countries, the demand and ASPs for Apple’s refurbished LTE portfolio remain elevated. This is helping Apple grow its installed base as many of the Apple buyers in the secondary market are first-time buyers,” said Fieldhack.

In regions like Europe, the increase in demand is driven by additional trade-in offers and a focused approach on circular economy initiatives. In regions like India and Africa, a higher proportion of new businesses and improvements in domestic tech and repair capabilities are aiding the demand.

Cardoza added, “We expect more secondary market volumes to move to other areas such as Africa, Japan, India, and Europe. There are established secondary market companies, with new companies also moving into these regions. There is also an appetite for flagships from premium brands but at mid-tier pricing.”

Published on July 17, 2021

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