Thinking about buying a refurbished smartphone? You're not alone

Sales of refurbished devices are expected to more than double in the next three years

Buying refurbished smartphones will become increasingly popular in the next couple of years, with consumers benefiting from increased competition.

That more consumers are considering getting a refurbished smartphone isn't a surprise. With product innovation slowing down, smartphones that are a generation or two old look increasingly attractive compared to their new counterparts.

This will help the worldwide market for refurbished phones that are sold to end users more than double from 56 million units last year to 120 million in 2017, according to market research company Gartner. That's much more impressive than the anticipated 60 percent growth in sales of new smartphones in the same time period.

For consumers the increase will be a boon. The growing number of privately sold phones will stir up competition in the take-back market and drive mobile operators and refurbishers to engage in more aggressive marketing campaigns and new incentives, Gartner said.

Smartphone makers also have to take a closer look and evaluate the growing popularity of secondhand devices. The market is expected to be worth around US$3 billion this year, growing to $5 billion in 2017, so it would be stupid to just ignore it.

With many new models shipping in the next couple of months, consumers have to ask themselves if they should upgrade. Next month's Mobile World Congress will see HTC and Samsung Electronics launch new flagship products, making it more clear what the options are.

Some of the expected upgrades include 1440x2560-pixel screens, speedier processors, more RAM and 20-megapixel main cameras with optical imaging stabilization. For those that crave the latest and greatest, the new products likely won't disappoint even though the improvements aren't revolutionary.

But for people that have held on to their device for two years or more or are considering buying a mid-range smartphone, buying a used or refurbished high-end smartphone that tech enthusiasts are selling to be able to afford a new Galaxy S or HTC One could be a great alternative.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Gartnerconsumer electronicshtcSamsung Electronicssmartphones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?