Galaxy phone trade-in values worse because iPhones launch earlier

You never know when you might want to trade in your phone for a new one. But presuming that you’re expecting to do so, you might have already figured that the better investment to have would be an iPhone — all the sites seem to show them retaining their value better than cars, much less other phones.

Well, one such site, BankMyCell, has compiled its own data from transactions made with Apple and Samsung phones and has more granular findings on how the iPhone XS and iPhone XR are doing as well as several models from the past few years. The big surprise, though, may be the increasing alignment in depreciation between iPhones and Galaxies.

For the Galaxy S9 and S9+, it seems as though the story was much better for the first three months with depreciation below 3 percent for both models.

However, in the run-up to Apple’s September keynote — the biggest and, according to BankMyCell, only real meaningful event to generate big swings in smartphone resale prices — prices precipitated down. The S9 Plus was on 7 percent while the S9 was nearing 14 percent. Keep in mind that these figures are relative to the first recorded resale price on the site.

By December, the S9 lost nearly 60 percent of its sticker price to the secondhand market and had dropped 35 percent while in resale. The S9+ lost about the same from full retail price and 30 percent from first trade.

So, how about comparing the Spring 2018 Galaxy models with the Fall 2017 iPhone models? Well, unfortunately, BankMyCell’s resale depreciation data starts from January 2018, three months out from the initial sales (and, presumably, first resales) of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and about two months from when the iPhone X came into play. Still, barring the lack of complete context, we see a surprising thread to pull.

From January to April, depreciation for all three models was not more than 4 percent. Through to July, the iPhone X’s depreciation rate varied month to month as sales rates and promotions churned. The iPhone X landed down 12 percent from first resale, slightly worse off than the iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone 8 was still below 10 percent depreciation at that point.

Between August and September, though, the iPhone X’s resale value crashed by 12 points to about 24 percent while the iPhone 8 series remained around 10 percent. From there, all models took a similar nosedive, though the iPhone X ended up worst of all with a 38 percent depreciation in December.

Theoretically, we could add in resale activity and conclude that while Apple and Samsung each have different release cycles, both end up being worth around the same amount less proportionally during the same time of year.

Focusing on the latest iPhones, it looks as though the iPhone XS Max lost 15 percent of its original resale value through the first quarter of retail availability. The iPhone XS lost 13 percent while the iPhone XR dropped 5 percent. 

Similar respective trends for each brand have been found for older devices and you can check out more data in the source link below this story.

Disclosure: Pocketnow‘s parent company also owns electronics trade-in site Swappa.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.