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.
To create our annual Phone Depreciation Report, we use our own trade-in data to compare the values of the most popular handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google, OnePlus and Huawei, for 24 months from their launch date. Widely covered in the media each year, this report provides a definitive guide to which phones retain their value best.
Looking to upgrade to the latest handset? Selling your old phone can be a great way to raise some extra cash.
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.
Of all the handsets released in 2019 onwards, 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%.
The average percent loss in the first 6 months of the handsets we assessed costing £999 or more is just 44%. Mid-range phones with a release value of £600-£899 lost on average 56%, and handsets costing £599 or less lost 61% 6 months after release. This pattern continues, with the value of handsets dropping in value by 53% for those with release prices of £999 or over, 61% for £600-£899 priced handsets, and 68% for handsets worth £599 or less, 12 months after release.
Previous iPhone models drop 11% in value in the first month of the new iPhone release
When a new iPhone is released, on average we see the value of its predecessors drop by 11% in the first month alone, and by a total of 17% after 3 months. The biggest drop from previous releases was by the iPhone XS and XS Max, which both dropped by over 35% in value in the three months following the release of the XR, which came out just one month after their own release. By looking at previous drops in value around different iPhone launches we were able to predict the drop in price for the 2019 iPhone releases.
It’s good news for iPhone fans, as Apple continues to hold the top spot as 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, which is approaching 12 months since its release has lost a record low amount of its value for the brand, at just 32%, and 35% for the iPhone 11 Pro.
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 10 5G has had one of the worst depreciations for the brand, losing 71% of its value 12 months after release.
Google Pixels will have lost 67% of their value on average, with the latest releases, Google Pixel 3a and Google Pixel 3aXL both depreciating in value 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. Google handsets lose an average of 79% in the 24 months after their release, beating OnePlus handsets which have an average loss of 81%.
Huawei will have depreciated 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.
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.
Average % drop in handset value over 12 months
The Huawei P20 was the worst performing handset in our 2020 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.
The most commonly traded-in handset is the iPhone 7. The handset had only dropped in value by 44% in the first year of its release, earning it a place in our top 10 for retaining value. iPhone 8 came in second and accounted for 4% of all handsets traded in in the last 12 months. This handset also retained its value well, losing just 41% of its original value in the first 12 months of release.