The global market for used smartphones will grow to 222.6 million units in 2020 from 81.3 million in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.3 percent, says IDC.
The growth in the global market for used and refurbished smartphones is mainly due to trade-in and buyback programs across multiple channels and platforms.
Used handsets provide an additional option for mobile customers with subprime credit making them ineligible for equipment installment plans.
With the average selling price for a used device expected to be $136 in 2020, the total market value for used devices in 2020 will be an estimated $30 billion, said IDC.
Most major carriers, retailers, and many online retailers (e-tailers) have implemented some type of trade-in strategy or platform to purchase used devices at a deep discount in the United States. These types of programs have appeared in Western Europe and Asia over the past three to five years.
“Mobile operators are the most constrained given the need for replacement devices for customers who have purchased device insurance plans,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager for IDC’s Mobile Phones program.
The used smartphone market will impact OEMs, mobile operators and component suppliers. Though 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.