U.S. Mobile Trade-In Programs Saw $970 million Returned to U.S. Consumers

Assurant, a leading global business services company that supports, protects and connects with major consumer purchases, revealed that it returned approximately $970 million to US consumers in the third quarter of 2022 through mobile device exchange and upgrade programs. This is the highest quarterly percentage on record, and an increase of 28% year-over-year.

These findings are part of Assurant’s Quarterly Mobile Upsell and Upgrade Industry Trends Report for Q3 2022, which reveals a steady pace of growth in the secondary device market. The report uses data from Assurant’s Device IQ analytics platform, as well as industry market data, to provide insights into device trade and upgrade trends in North America. The report identifies the best smartphones that went through trade-in and upgrade programs during the quarter, the average smartphone trade-in value, along with trade-in trends for Apple Watches.

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Other highlights of the report are:

For the second quarter in a row, iPhone 11 was the best device acquired through exchange and upgrade programs. The device accounted for 38% of the top five most played devices. This was closely followed by the iPhone XR, which was the best device throughout 2021.

– iPhone 12 is the first 5G smartphone to enter the list of the top five devices on the list.

The Galaxy S9 has remained the best Android device ever since Q2 2020.

The average age of devices in circulation decreased slightly across the board, falling to 3.46 years compared to 3.5 years in the last quarter. The average age of iPhones in circulation now is 3.41 years, while the average age of Android smartphones in circulation is 3.56 years.

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– The average replacement value of devices was $111, down $26 from the previous quarter.

The number of online deals in the third quarter increased by 86% year-on-year compared to the same quarter last year. Since the pandemic, more consumers are shifting their business from the store to the internet.

For wearables, Apple Watch Series 7 continued to generate the highest trading value at $171, followed by Apple Watch Series 6 at $109.

Biju Nair, Executive Vice President and President, Global Connected Living & International at Assurant
We typically see higher device swap deal volumes in the third and fourth quarters due to new device launches around this time of the year that drive consumers to upgrade. Although the average trade-in value decreased, the total dollars returned to consumers through exchange programs increased significantly in the third quarter as we saw more customers take advantage of trade-in offerings. Positive volumes are a testament to consumer reception of various promotional carriers, OEMs, cable operators and retailers offering to migrate customers to 5G-compatible devices and premium service plans. Additionally, many consumers rely on these promotions to purchase their new devices especially during times of economic uncertainty, such as the current inflationary environment. Globally, our clients and their customers are taking an increasing interest in sustainability initiatives and how exchange and upgrade programs enable them to contribute to those initiatives. To date, through these programs, 16.5 million devices have been collected resulting in more than 3,000 metric tons of potential e-waste being diverted from landfills.

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