Published: August 1st, 2017

Yes, there is a market for used smartphones. And, according to New York research firm Persistence Market Research (PMR) its about to record a high single-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2025.

PMR’s latest report called The Global Used Mobile Phone and Refurbished Market found the market for refurbished and used cell phones expanding by 8.9 per centCAGR through 2017-2025 and global sales of used and refurbished mobile phones in 2017 account for revenues worth US$19.7 billion. PMR added the market is expected to reach US$40 billion by the end of 2025.

There are a couple of factors for this growth:

  1. Some of manufacturers are adopting green initiatives and implementing recycling and reusing policies.
  2. A massive reduction in customer cell phone usage cycle is occuring because of the rapid changes in technology.

All this has given customers a choice in the market to look at a used smartphone especially considering prices hover around a mid-point compared to new.

In terms of value, the new PMR research found the consumer owned market type is expected to dominate the market over company owned smartphones. However, company owned product has been the fastest area of the refurbished market since 2015. Sales of used and refurbished smartphones within company owned and consumer owned markets will together account for 277 million units by 2025.

According to investigation of U.S. EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) in the past decade environmental waste witnessed increased 120 per cent, out of that 25 per cent waste subjected to recycle and reuse.

In order to overcome such issues, countries such as Canada and the U.S. have imposed stringent regulations for e-waste regulation. Additionally, increased environmental effect of E-wastes such as leakage of toxic substances has become a major setback for North America. The recycling and use of electronic instrument directly affects expected results of U.S.EPA’s mission. In North America such factors are projected to drive the growth and acceptance of used and refurbished cell phones. The forecasters expects the U.S. to be the most lucrative country for the growth of budding used cell phone and refurbished market in North America with projected sales at 7.5 per cent CAGR through 2025.

However, refurbished cell phone’s categorization as second-hand phones, generating biased notions among North American consumers regarding quality of such cell phones. This is unexpectedly the barrier behind gain of used and refurbished phone market in the region.

Beyond Canada and the U.S., Japan has become a major market for used and refurbished smartphones in the Pacific Rim. China will record the quickest expansion at a high double- digit CAGR through 2025, the PMR report read.

With this kind of market growth new vendors are emerging such as Overcart, Greendust.com and Reboot in the Pacific Rim. Countries such as India has opened new boulevards of online business stores for selling used and refurbished goods. Other players include the likes of Apple, Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Amazon.com, Synergy Telecom Inc., Nippon Telephone Inc., Lenovo, Verizon, AT&T, and BestBuy.com.

There are some roadblocks emerging as well. PMR reported that the maintenance of distribution channels is becoming difficult because of the limited availability and clumsy supply chain of refurbished and used cell phones. PMR stated that the refurbished market is practically an under organized sector.