Our latest quarterly report is in, and we are pleased with the results.
Carriers, retailers, OEMs, and cable operators have been extending promotions for consumers to upgrade to the latest 5G devices and the response has been strong. In the third quarter, trade-in programs have returned over $970 million to consumers, a 28% increase over the previous quarter. Through the third quarter, this figure is 26% higher than it was last year at this same time. Historically, the fourth quarter has always been the strongest quarter for trade-ins as we see the most upgrades happening during the holiday season. If that trend continues, we will see another record-breaking year, as we did last year, for trade-in programs.
For the second quarter in a row, the iPhone 11 was the top device received through trade-in and upgrade programs followed by the iPhone XR. Between these two devices, they accounted for two-thirds of the top five devices turned in. The iPhone 12 is the first 5G device to enter the top five list and will fill the demand for pre-owned devices in those regions with 5G networks. Currently, 4G devices are highly sought after in the secondary market as global demand is more widespread. As 5G infrastructure continues to expand into new markets, we will expect that the demand for pre-owned 5G devices will also grow.
In the second quarter, we saw that the average age of iPhones at turn-in had crossed the 3.5-year-old mark for the first time. This past quarter, the age had shrunk to 3.41 years. This is likely due to the introduction of the iPhone 14 and promotions tied to newer devices for trade-in.
Online Trades Continue to Trend Up
We showed another strong quarter for online trades. There was an 86% increase in online trades over 3Q21 and an 89% increase over 2Q22. Certainly, the initial rise we saw in the online trade data in 2020 and 2021 were attributed to the pandemic. With this continued increase, it is indicative to consumers’ penchant for conducting all manners of shopping online without any indication of this trend reversing.
Want to learn more about the mobile device trade-in trends for Q3?
Check out our latest quarterly infographic
Is it Time to Trade-in a Smartwatch
Consumers not only have trade-in available to them when upgrading their smartphones but also when upgrading their wearables. The Series 7 had an average trade-in value of $171 and the Series 6 still held significant value with an average trade-in value of $109. The latest Series 8 watch is currently listed for $399. These trade-in values can make a significant difference in the net price to the consumer.
Attractive trade-in values and promotions deliver that extra incentive often needed to encourage a consumer to upgrade their device because it becomes more affordable. It also decreases the likelihood that the consumer will toss their old device into a drawer never to be used again. Every trade-in that accompanies an upgrade is a step in the right direction to extend the device’s lifecycle and a decrease in e-waste created by improperly discarded devices.
If you want to learn more about the mobile device trade-in trends for Q3 2022, check out our latest quarterly infographic.