The second-hand market for smartphones is growing: in 2026, 415 million used terminals will be sold

The second hand smartphone market It is going to experience remarkable growth in the coming years, as pointed out by the IDC consultancy. The trend that is already experiencing in recent years is confirmed, since in 2022 they have been sold worldwide 282.6 million used and reconditioned terminals. Is about 11.5% more terminals than in 2021when 253.4 million units were sold.

In addition, IDC expects that by 2026, 413.3 million will be sold worldwide units of used and refurbished smartphones, which means that between 2021 and 2026 the second-hand smartphone sales market will have a compound annual growth rate of 10.3%.

Renewal programs and plans will continue to be the main driver of the smartphone market, both new and used, worldwide. According to the consultancy, they have detected the launch of new ones of these programs with success in various markets and regions, in which the so-called renewal plans are a new concept for local consumers.

Additionally, in more mature markets such as the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, renewal plans continue to play a prominent role in accelerating renewal cycles. In these markets, this is due to promotions by telecommunications operators, as well as those raised by the retail sector. This has contributed to an increase in the value of the price paid for the terminals that are delivered as part of these renewal plans. This increase is also common when the demand for new devices is lower.

This increase has also increased the price of the second-hand market, since consumers get more money for their used terminals as part of the payment for new devices. Another effect of this is increased sales of higher-priced devices in the new market. This has led to a circular effect, as many of the more aggressive deals set up by renewal plans focus on premium handsets.

Of course, the aggressive renewal plans that are underway in many countries will have to end at some point. Only it is not known when, and it is the big question that hangs over buyers and sellers. In the meantime, there will come a time when tight margins will impact the overall profits of the channel or manufacturer. Or both, affecting them negatively.

Anthony Scarsella, Research Manager for IDC’s Quarterly Global Mobile Trackerremember that “the used market was able to grow 11.5% in 2022 thanks to the 6.1% rebound we saw in the new market in 2021. Used devices show more resilience to market inhibitors than new smartphone sales , while consumer appetites remain high in many areas. Attractive prices are critical for growth, while cost savings remain the biggest advantage. However, the difficulty of high-end inventory, due to longer refresh cycles in the market, has caused used prices to grow around 11% in 2022«.

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