– The refurbished phone market has seen growth at an exponential rate over the past two years.
– The iPhone 7 is one of the most popular refurbished models in the UK.
– 98% of all refurbished phone sales by Quick Mobile Fix are Apple products
The competitive market allows room for price wars and is a buyers market right now.
– The quality of refurbished phones has rapidly exceeded expectations with near-original quality
parts and further factory original parts being available to restore & refurbish mobile phones.
– On average, customers will happily spend between £200 – £350 on a refurbished device.
Why are refurbished phones so popular?
It’s no hidden fact that the refurbished phone market has seen growth at an exponential rate over the past two years. But is this just due to bargain hunters jumping on the bandwagon? Or is there a deeper reason for this rapidly increasing market? The answer may surprise you.
The reality is, there are multiple factors that contribute towards this sudden jump. There is no one reason as to why more and more consumers and turning towards buying a refurbished device rather than splashing out on the latest smartphone flagship.
How much do refurbished phones cost?
Let’s start with the most obvious contributor first – the price point.
On November 3rd 2017, Apple announced the release of the iPhone X. For the first time, a smartphone had the hefty price-tag of nearly £1000 which at the time had been widely considered entirely ludicrous and unnecessary for a device that is purely for convenience.
But that’s just it – mobile phones have become such an integral part of our day to day lives that a phone has become so much more than a digital contact book and the ability to play snake when you’ve got a spare few minutes. They’re multimedia monsters enabling users to become a writer, pocket photographer, music artists or just to be entertained at the flick of a finger.
So it’s no wonder that this attractive package is desirable, but not at that price. This is where refurbished mobile phones play a huge role – enabling a customer to be able to have all of those fancy features, at a price that suits them.
As of late, there has been high demand in the refurbished phone market for Apple’s previous model, the iPhone XR, and understandably so.
According to Quick Mobile Fix, a ‘new’ iPhone XR will still set you back £629 from Apple. Whereas a refurbished iPhone XR in ‘Excellent’ condition will only cost you £507.99 – a whole £120 more you can save to use at your local coffee chain.
Their findings also suggest that one of the most popular refurbished phones the avid internet shopper tends to sway towards is Apple’s iPhone 7 which released in 2016. This raises a couple of interesting points – the first being that it’s very clear that the iPhone 7, even nearly four years later, is still an incredibly popular choice among would-be shoppers. In fact, Quick Mobile Fix reports that on average, over 1000 orders a month for their refurbished iPhone 7 models. That’s an utterly staggering number.
Looking past the next most obvious reason, being the price of the Apple devices which can largely be outside of the price-range consumers are looking for – There are far more iPhone’s available in the refurbished market due to their popularity with consumers over the past few years. Interestingly, however, this statistic is slowly changing with more users switching over to Android with brands such as Samsung, Huawei, Honor and countless more bringing some serious competition to the market.
Interestingly, according to Quick Mobile Fix Director Chinedu Emechebe, not only is the iPhone 7 one of the most popular in the UK, but Apple products appear to be on top in general – this, however, is not reflected in Europe where the majority of refurbished phone sales are attributed to manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei and the like.
Quick Mobile Fix has also reported that out of its 178,000 orders over the past two years, a whopping 98% of refurbished devices bought from their site (per year) are Apple products – A number which, for the most part, certainly translates across the industry. Why is this? Well, that could well warrant an article of its own – but the long and short of it is that historically, Apple is a premium and desirable brand, which naturally gains more interest than it’s Android rivals in the refurbished market.
Samsung is currently dominating the Smartphone market with their device sales making up nearly 22% of the global market – Huawei follows behind at 16%, with Apple trailing in third place with 10% market share for Q2 (According to research completed by counterpoint).
What are the conditions of refurbished phones?
The professionalism of refurbished phone retailers is also having a big play in why customers are leaving high-street providers and switching to refurbished mobile brands. In recent years, the quality of refurbished phones has rapidly exceeded expectations with near-original quality parts and further factory original parts being available to restore & refurbish mobile phones.
For the majority, most refurbished phone retailers will use a grading system to let you know the condition of the device you’re looking to buy. For example, Quick Mobile Fix uses an easy to understand system which translates across the entire industry.
Pristine Condition – Near factory condition. No signs of use and almost identical to a brand new device.
Excellent Condition – Minimal signs of use, often with very light blemishing.
Good Condition – Fair condition with more obvious signs of use and wear.
Naturally, these different conditions allow further choice for consumers to pick the right refurbished phone for them. Pristine condition not quite in your price range? No problem, good condition device is the perfect choice for you. QMF state that the most popular condition they see being purchase is Good to Excellent condition mobiles which is to be expected at such an attractive price. This variety of options allows consumers to really nail down and find exactly what they’re looking for, and with such a competitive market with price wars happening daily across the industry, it really is a buyers market.
Coincidently, this competitiveness has awoken the bigger brand names to invest heavily in the refurbished phone market in recent months.
Quick Mobile Fix Director, Chinedu Emechebe said: “Bigger brands are looking to enter the used market. Five or six years ago, we didn’t see many manufacturers getting into the refurbished phone market at all, but that has changed recently. We’re also seeing customers becoming more environmentally aware. They genuinely don’t want to keep harming the environment with harmful waste from phones – but ultimately, it’s the customers pocket which is the deciding factor right now. People are seeing that these latest smartphones are getting very expensive – and because they’re expensive, when the time comes to renew their contract, those contracts have gone up from around £40 per month to prices as high as £80 – that’s a huge jump.
So what a lot of people are doing now, they’re holding onto their existing device and opting to repair them if they’re faulty. But at the same time, if the customer does want a new phone, they’re choosing refurbished phones rather than buying a brand new. ”
This sudden spike has not just increased awareness of the effect that refurbished phones are having on the market right now, but also brings in more interest and trust into refurbished devices as a whole. More consumers are flocking to the idea of refurbished phones with big players such as Apple even offering a trade-in service, refurbishing those devices and then redistributing them back into the market.
The future of the refurbished phone industry
Of course, as mentioned previously, the cost is a major factor in what causes many customers to buy refurbished instead of opting for a brand new device. Quick Mobile Fix discovered that on average, customers will happily spend between £200 – £350 on a refurbished device – depending on the model, make and condition.
Despite the refurbished market already being very established in terms of its main key players – more and more high-street brands are joining the bandwagon with companies such as Curry’s, O2 and Argos all trying to grab a piece of the refurbished market. It will certainly be interesting to see what new milestones the industry achieves with Black Friday and the Christmas period – and 2020 in the new year.