Much like a car, a smartphone will typically depreciate in value the longer you’ve owned it. If you want to make sure you can sell your next handset on for as much as possible once you have no further use for it, further evidence has emerged that you would best advised to invest in an iPhone from Apple.
A study by Priceonomics, an American price tracking service, found that the value of an iPhone holds up much better than Android-powered devices or BlackBerry handsets, even when the phone in question is years old.
The study showed that an iPhone will typically sell for 53% of its original purchase value after 18 months. This compares rather favourably to both Android and BlackBerry smartphones, which will only retain 42% and 41% of their original value respectively. If you decide to sell an iPhone after six months of ownership, you can expect your handset to fetch an impressive 89% of its purchase price. An Android-driven device would give you a return of 66% over the same time period.
So, if you bought an unlocked iPhone 4S for £400 and decided to offload it in favour of an updated model in just half a year, you could expect to see a return of £356, based on the findings of the study.
Priceonomics also calculated how much phone hardware costs a user based on their handset’s resale value after 18 months. The company found that an Android device will cost an average of 40% more than an iPhone, despite the fact that the purchase price of an Apple smartphone is generally higher.
The methodology used for the study was described by Priceonomics thusly: “We measure depreciation by comparing a phone’s current used price to its new price (without a contract) the day it was released. We examined all iPhone models and the 70 most popular Androids and 30 most popular BlackBerry models. We split phones into five different cohorts (newly released, 1, 2, 3, and 4 year-old phones). We then calculated which phones had the best resale by cohort, as well as which platforms in aggregate tended to retain their value the most.”
“The highest quality phones should have the best resale values over time and crappier phones should depreciate the fastest. The evidence is clear – the winner is the iPhone.”