Now is best time to trade in 2 year old iPhone, research suggests



Image: iPhone 13 Source: 4gadgets

To get the most value and money from your iPhone, the second year of owning it is the best time to cash in. That’s according to 4gadgets’ Smartphone Index.

By analysing launch prices of Apple’s most popular models, how much they’d cost if they launched in 2023, what to expect to recoup if you sold them in today’s market and how much mobile phone prices have risen relative to average UK salaries, 4gadgets has been able to determine how well they hold their value as an investment and how long you should hold on to them before selling.

When is the best time to sell your phone?

On average, the second year of owning the device is the best time to cash in. That way you’ll maximise the amount you can get to put towards that latest piece of tech.

Apple hasn’t confirmed the official launch date for iPhone 15 but we’re expecting it to launch mid-September this year – exactly two years after the iPhone 13. 2022’s iPhone 14 models have already lost nearly 25% of their value against the original launch day price.

Digging into data from 2018 to 2022, 4gadgets Smartphone Index found:

  • Apple iPhone models launched in these years have depreciated on average by 53% – current 2023 value vs. against the launch day price
  • Samsung mobile phone models launched in the same period depreciated on average by almost 70% – current 2023 value vs. against the launch day price

Comparing four of the last five year’s models, Samsung’s lost resale value by a greater amount than Apple’s:

  • 2018 was the exception, but by the smallest of margins
  • Looking at 2023 resale values, the Samsung Galaxy S9 has depreciated by 80% against its launch price
  • iPhone XS has depreciated by 80.2% against its launch price

The greatest difference in loss of second-hand value between the two brands occurred with 2021’s models:

  • iPhone 13 has fallen in value by 38% when comparing its 2023 value against its launch day price ticket
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 5G has fallen by nearly 70%
Chris Price
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