Wonder what’s happening to all those used smartphones you trade in for an upgrade? Well here’s a thought.
International Data Corporation this week said the market for used and refurbished smartphones is expected to grow to hit an estimated $30 billion in 2020.
According to the group, units in the worldwide used market will nearly triple over the next few years, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 22.3 percent from 81.3 million devices in 2015 to an estimated 222.6 million in 2020. The average selling price of used devices is expected to be around $136 in 2020, IDC forecasted.
IDC said much of the growth stems from trade-in-to-upgrade programs introduced by carriers in North America, as well as Western Europe and Asia over the past three to five years. While North America currently only accounts for 18.7 percent of used shipments – with some 15.2 million – compared to the rest of the world, IDC predicted the used market on the continent will grow at a faster and leech marketshare to hit 24.8 percent by 2020.
“The demand for refurbished smartphones is already becoming constrained in countries such as the United States,” IDC Research Manager Anthony Scarsella said. “Mobile operators are the most constrained given the need for replacement devices for customers who have purchased device insurance plans. In addition, used handsets provide an additional option for customers with subprime credit making them ineligible for equipment installment plans.”
By 2020, IDC said it expects North America will ship around 55.2 million used devices, compared to about 167.4 million from the rest of the world.
The growth of the used smartphone market is expected to impact OEMs, mobile operators, and component suppliers, IDC said. As a result, the group said it was committing new resources to help its customers understand and plan for the “potentially disruptive force.”
“Although there is a potential downside to mobile ecosystem suppliers, IDC believes that the used smartphone market also presents new opportunities to grow revenue and increase market share,” IDC Mobile Phones Program Director Will Stofega said.