Here’s what users do with old iPhones

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Here's what users do with old iPhones


CIRP is out with its latest study today which looks at what customers decide to do with their old smartphones. Instead of just focusing on iPhone though, the survey included Android users to see how things compare when customers buy a new phone.

Following up after reports like how iPhone, iPad, and Mac use varies by age, what iPhone color is most popular, and more, CIRP published “What Happens to Old iPhones?” on its Substack today.

There were six different options seen from the survey on what people do with their old phone:

  • Trade-in
  • Sold
  • Kept
  • Friend/family
  • Lost/stolen/broken
  • Recycled

Not surprisingly, as they hold their value best among smartphones, the largest portion of iPhone users did a trade-in with their old device. Interestingly, just 14% of Android users did the same.

The combination of trade-ins and “sold” for iPhone customers made up 50% of the total. 23% kept their old iPhone with 13% giving it to a friend or family member.

On the Android side, a majority 54% “kept” the old device, that’s more than twice that of iPhone users. Those who decided to sell the old Android device on their own or give it to family or a friend were also lower than iPhone.

What users do with old iPhones or Android smartphones

One detail from CIRP is that 15% of new iPhone buyers reportedly switched from Android and that maybe they want to keep their old device just in case. Also, it could be the lower trade-in values make the option less appealing.

Perhaps the typically lower trade-in values for Android phones makes that a less desirable
transaction. Or perhaps customers switching from Android to iPhone want the security of
knowing they still have a familiar Android device to fall back on or refer to, if their migration
fails to bring every last contact, photo, or note to their new iOS device.

In related news, WSJ’s Joanna Stern recently dug into what exactly happens when you trade in your smartphone, it’s definitely an interesting watch:

Top image via PhoneBuff

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