The Rise of Pre-Owned iPhones: 50% of 1.3 Billion in 2023

The market research agency, CCS Insight, posits that by the close of this year, the global ownership of iPhones will burgeon to 1.3 billion units, with more than half of these resulting from second-hand transactions. It’s anticipated that from 2024 onward, the average lifespan of an iPhone model will extend to over eight years.

Such a trend is attributed not only to the enduring allure of the iPhone in the consumer market but also to the incremental changes between successive models released annually. Most enhancements in newer iPhones are often cascaded down to their predecessors, bolstering the iPhone’s value retention and fostering robust performance in the second-hand market. Typically, an iPhone, after being in use for 2-3 years by its initial purchaser, enters the second-hand market due to device upgrades. As subsequent users of these pre-owned iPhones upgrade, the devices might reenter the resale market, ensuring that an iPhone’s average tenure in circulation outlasts that of most Android devices.

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In a juxtaposition of this year’s first quarter with the corresponding period from the prior year, transactions of second-hand iPhones witnessed an approximately 27% upswing, while those of Samsung phones contracted by 21%. The resale volume of other Android devices plummeted even more drastically, by 32%, signifying the dominance of iPhones in the pre-owned smartphone market.

CCS Insight projects that by the end of this year, the total iPhone holdings across the globe will escalate to 1.3 billion units, and by 2024, the average lifespan of all iPhone models will exceed eight years.