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Apple’s iPhone Holds Its Resale Value Much Better Than The Other Guys

Posted in Apple, News on 10/02/2012 by Chris Hauk

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Just like a new car, a smartphone starts losing value the minute you take it off the lot. But some smartphones, (COUGH!) The iPhone (COUGH!) don’t lose their value as fast as others do.

Ryan Faas, writing for Cult of Mac:

…With cars and with major tech purchases like a new iMac, this isn’t an immediate source of pain or dismay since you’ll be using them for at least a few years.

When it comes to smartphones and other mobile devices like our iPhones and iPads, depreciation and loss of dollar value is equally true. The big difference is that most of us don’t hold to them for nearly as long.

If you’re in the habit of passing your iPhone or other mobile device onto friends or family members, that may not matter too much. But what if you’re looking to recoup some of your investment?

Priceonomics, a site that will help you determine a fair value for almost anything from cars to digital camera, has been compiling a pricing guide for mobile phones, and recently used some of that data to determine not just the value of used phones, but the rate of depreciation too. They have good news for iPhone owners. The owners of other smartphones? Not so much.

This was done by taking the purchase price of each phone on its release date (without carrier subsidies,) and comparing that to its current used price. This was done with all iPhone models, 70 popular Android handsets, and 30 common BlackBerry devices and separated out phones based on age (new through four years old).

The numbers show iPhones definitely holding more resale value. Faas reports, “After 18 months, an iPhone will be worth 53% of its initial price while Android and BlackBerry devices will only be worth an average of 42% and 41% respectively.”

The iPhone shows a per month hardware cost of $13.20, compared to Android’s 40% higher cost of over $18.

Even extending the range out to 4 years shows the iPhone with higher resale values.

The report mentions some tips to maximize potential resale value of your device. Such as, “…not opting for larger storage capacities as these don’t impact the ultimate resale value significantly and noting that it’s cheaper to buy a phone on contract and then pay an early termination fee than it is to buy a contract-free device.”

A surprising bit of information about Android phones, inexpensive models that are sold with pre-paid plans actually maintain more resale potential than more expensive and feature-filled models sold on contract.

The full report is an informative read. And goes into more detail than we can here. The site also includes a tablet price guide useful for iPad owners looking to upgrade when the iPad 3 arrives.



Chris Hauk

Author

Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 5 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, and 2 Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine, and the Internet.

Don't forget to check out Chris' two latest endeavors, as the "Apple Expert" at Answers.com, and his own personal tech blog at chrishauk.com