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iPhone dominated the global refurbished smartphone market yet again in 2022

Published Apr 25th, 2023 9:05AM EDT
Apple's iPhone 13 notch next to the iPhone 12 notch
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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With premium smartphones getting more expensive yearly, the iPhone again dominated the global refurbished market in 2022. Almost half of all refurbished smartphones sold last year were an iPhone, according to Counterpoint Research (via DigiTimes).

The report shows that the refurbished market sales grew 5$ year-on-year in 2022, compared with the 12% drop in new smartphone shipments for the same period. Apple’s iPhone refurbished market sales grew by 16% YoY with a 49% of market share last year, up from 44% in 2021.

One of the reasons why Apple leads the global refurbished smartphone market is due to its one-year AppleCare+ warranty on batteries and outer shell repairs, meaning that if the user has any problem with the refurbished product, Apple got them covered.

With iPhones holding a higher value than their counterparts, it makes sense why the Cupertino firm sells the most refurbished smartphones (49%), followed by Samsung (26%), Oppo (3%), and Vivo (3%).

In addition, while it was difficult to get Apple’s latest flagship iPhone by the end of last year, reaching a refurbished iPhone was more accessible and way cheaper. With the 5G market growing, customers are turning to a few years old iPhone models, such as the 12 – which already offers the new cellular connectivity.

What’s interesting about Counterpoint Research is that China declined in refurbished smartphone sales, making India the largest market for second-hand smartphones in 2022. This comes at a time when Apple is focusing its efforts on the country with ever-growing iPhone production and now two retail stores in the country.

A senior analyst at Counterpoint also notes that players in the refurbished smartphone ecosystem across countries were expanding their domestic market, which could reduce China’s imports and exports of this segment. Not only that, but the refurbished market gets traction in emerging markets such as Latin America, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. However, it’s important to note, not always Apple offers its own refurbished program in these regions.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.