The musicMagpie Bi-Annual Phone Depreciation Report 2021

When is the best time to sell your phone?

Just like a new car starts to lose value the second you drive it out of the dealership, phones start to depreciate as soon as you take them out of the box. However, some phones lose value much faster than others.

Using our own trade-in data we’ve compared the values of the most popular handsets from Samsung, Apple, Google, OnePlus and Huawei, 24 months from their launch date. This report provides a definitive guide to which phones retain their value best.

Explore the chart below and see how well your phone keeps its value.

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    *Our data for the iPhone 12 and all Samsung models, excluding the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Samsung Galaxy Flip, is accurate as of January 2021. All other models are accurate as of August 2020.

    Looking to upgrade to the latest handset? Selling your old phone can be a great way to raise some extra cash.

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    The more expensive handsets retain their value longer

    In recent years we’ve seen the average cost of a smartphone skyrocket, with a number of new handsets regularly exceeding the £1,000 mark. However, our research found that while prices are increasing, these pricier handsets are retaining their value much better than cheaper models.

    The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro managed to retain their values the most in the first 6 months after release, dropping by only 34% and 35% of their original values of £729 and £999. Cheaper models like the Google Pixel 3a, costing just £399 on release, lost almost twice this, at 64%.

    How will the new Samsung release affect the value of your handset?

    When a new Samsung is released, we see the value of its predecessors drop by up to 12% in the first month alone, and by up to 21% after 3 months.

    We saw this when the Samsung Galaxy S20 was released last year, causing the Samsung Galaxy S9 to drop in value by 12% in the first month and the Samsung Galaxy S9+ to drop by 21% after 3 months.

    The table below demonstrates what could happen to the value of the Samsung Galaxy S20 if it were to drop in value by the same amount following the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21.

    Which brands are holding onto the most value?

    • Average value lost after 12 months
    • Average value lost after 24 months

    It’s good news for iPhone fans, as Apple continues to hold the top spot for the brand which retains the most value. On average, iPhones will lose 43% of their value in the first 12 months, and 61% by the end of a standard 24-month contract period. The iPhone 11, released in 2019, lost the least value at just 32%, and 35% for the iPhone 11 Pro. Close by is the iPhone 12 which, after 3 months on the market, has lost 40% of its value so far.

    Samsung shares the number two spot with OnePlus in this year’s report, with Galaxy and OnePlus handsets losing an average of 64% of their value after being on sale for 12 months. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 5G has had one of the worst depreciations for the brand, losing 71% of its value 12 months after release.

    On average, Google handsets depreciate by 72% in the first 12 months after their release and by 79% after 24 months. The Google Pixel 3a and Google Pixel 3aXL both depreciate by the highest percent of all the Google handsets in the first 12 months after release, with a loss of 72%. Older models, like the Google Pixel 2, lost just 59% of its value in the same amount of time.

    Huawei depreciate by 74% on average in the first 12 months, with the depreciation increasing to 88% in the first 24 months after release. One of their pricier handsets, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro brought out in 2019, had a purchase price of £899.99 on release, but just 6 months later it was worth under £144.

    Which handsets are retaining the most value?

    Average % drop in handset value over 12 months

    The iPhone 8 Plus holds onto its value the best, depreciating by just 38% in the first 12 months. The iPhone XS, iPhone XR and iPhone 8 take the 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions, losing 39%, 39% and 41% of their value respectively.

    The OnePlus 7T and the Samsung S7 Edge are the best performing non-Apple handsets, losing 50% and 52% of their value in their first 12 months on sale.

    Which handsets are losing the most value?

    Average % drop in handset value over 12 months

    The Huawei P20 was the worst performing handset in our 2021 report, losing a shocking 84% of its value in the first year. The OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 6 were the next worst performing handsets, losing 78% and 76% of their value after just 12 months.

    Top Trade-Ins

    The most commonly traded-in handset in the 12 months up to August 2020 was the iPhone 7. The handset also only dropped in value by 44% in the first year of its release, earning it a place in our top 10 for retaining value. In second place was the iPhone 8. This handset also retained its value well, losing just 41% of its original value in the first 12 months of release.