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iPhone retains its value best over the years, Android, RIM losing value quicker

iPhone retains its value best over the years, Android, RIM losing value quicker
You’ve probably noticed that already, but here’s a study to prove your observations true and back it all up with data - the iPhone has the best resale value, while Android and RIM trail behind. 

18 months after you buy your device, its resale value would have dropped to 53% of the original price if it’s an iPhone, 42% if it’s running Android and 41% if it’s a BlackBerry, according to a study by Y Combinator price guide startup Priceonomics.

And if you kept your device for only 12 months, its price would decline to 63% for iPhones and 46% for Androids. If you only keep it for half a year, than an iPhone could sell for 89% of the original price.

“We examined all iPhone models and the 70 most popular Androids and 30 most popular BlackBerry models. iPhone is wiping the floor with Android and BlackBerry in terms of resale value.

We should note, though, that the study focused on the American market and didn’t take into account carrier fees.

iPhone retains its value best over the years, Android, RIM losing value quicker
iPhone retains its value best over the years, Android, RIM losing value quicker

The study also showed that in some places people just sell more iPhones. The list of places where all the hip kids exchange iPhone is on the right - you're likely to get the best price there as the competition is strongest.

This makes the iPhone a perfect purchase for those wishing to get the best value out of their phone and sell it to get a newer one later on. For carriers, though, the situation is hardly that good - Sprint said iPhone subsidies pulled it down for the last quarter. We've added an ebay chart displaying how the iPhone 4S resale value decreased over the last couple of months.

source: Pricenomics via TechCrunch

iPhone retains its value best over the years, Android, RIM losing value quicker
Thumbnail image courtesy of HDforindies.com.

45 Comments
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posted on 09 Feb 2012, 05:34 7

1. Striker (Posts: 92; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


No surprise here. It is like comparing the resale value of a Benz with these of a VW or a Toyota.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 06:12 3

2. bigdawg23 (Posts: 307; Member since: 25 May 2011)


Agreed.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 07:50 6

7. Dmann (Posts: 165; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


No it is not. It´s like comparing Benz with almost all other cars altogether, from Toyota to BMW. You can have Android phones on all segments, from low to high end. Each segment with different resale value.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 07:55 8

8. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


correct. ive proven in other articles to our resident apple fanboys that the galaxyS2 is older than the i4s and retains a higher resale value. "android" in this article incorperates everything from the el-cheapo Comet which is only 120 at full retail, to the monster phones like the S2.
Considering that, its not doing all too shabby.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 14:46 1

24. metallica43 (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)


you are so right dude plus id say its an advantage having an option of low end and high end from the same company because say u like htc but can afford say a sensation xe you can get a lower spec phone for about £150 but with apple your stuck with one hefty price tag

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 10:34

15. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


Comparing it to cars sortof brings to light of how unimportant the idea of resale on a phone is in the long term considering you don't take out a loan to buy a phone. When there's used phone lots on the side of highways in the shadier part of whatever city you live in, then I believe this will be an issue.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 14:40 1

23. jskrenes (Posts: 209; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


Not quite a fair comparison. Since Android is an open and fluid system, you have Samsung, Motorola, LG, and HTC, among others, releasing new hardware every few months, that drives the resale price down. If there was only one new Android phone for every carrier every six months, I bet Android would hold its resale value more.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 07:05 2

3. kshell1 (Posts: 1141; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


iphones release once a year and they are extremely popular so naturally the price will be higher.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 07:21 1

4. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


amazing anchorage is #2 on the list considering how bad iphones do in the cold.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 10:38

16. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


I was surprised Portland wasn't higher on the list until I realized it's still 1998 there

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 17:07

29. thephoneguy92 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


When I used to live in Anchorage, people would kill for an iPhone...like literally kill...

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 08:22 1

10. PAPINYC (Posts: 2044; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


This study is seriously flawed.

First off: you can not put a "Premium" Android smartphone, e.g., Motorola Photon/RAZR™/MAXX™, Samsung Galaxy S II/SkyRocket/Galaxy Note, HTC Rezound/EVO 3D, etc, in the same class as a Samsung Dart, Motorola Defy, HTC Hero, etc, or a host of low-end Android phones on carriers like MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, etc.

Secondly, iThink iPhone actually retAiNs more vAlue because, there have been a few tiMes whereiN i'Ve bought iPhones on CrAiGliSt quiTe iNexpensiVely (from people who don't know any better) just so that iCould do a few rAndom tests and then iResell them on CrAiGliSt for much more to people who really don't know any
better aka iShē€p. (baaaa-haaa-haaaa-aaaaaad…)

Finally, RIM actually still has value???????

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 17:11

30. thephoneguy92 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


You are truly evil to make me think that you had some elaborate reason for capitalizing the letters that you did in the second paragraph. I spent 30 minutes trying to decipher that hidden message!

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 08:43 4

11. YouLostTheGame (Posts: 441; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


Interesting that iOS buyers are sheep while Android buyers are superior, LOL! All I know is that my 4S hasn't randomly rebooted or frozen, or encountered any lag whatsoever. However I did have all of the previously mentioned problems with Android. I owned both an original Droid and a Droid X and both phones were ok for about a month or two, but then started randomly rebooting themselves, freezing and laggy for the simplest of tasks. Wake up and smell the coffee, Android is an inferior product for many, many reasons.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 09:48 3

13. andro. (Posts: 1927; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


The simply answer is work in retail and with iphone complaints and theres much will change your mind on the situation. The galaxy s2 for one example is a smartphone we currently in which we've had the lowest returns from

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 10:55

20. PAPINYC (Posts: 2044; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


Yes, agreed. (And, no, I do not work for T-Mo' or AT&T or BB or any other venue wherein electronics are sold)

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 10:53

19. PAPINYC (Posts: 2044; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


Well, iPartiAlly agree wiTh you because iToo had the DROID X and that was one CRAPPPPY A$$ phone; so much so, iSwore never ever to buy Motorola again for as long as iLived. As for theOriginal DROID, had that too for about a month; it was even CRAPPPPPPPIER!! Both phones suffered from a variety of technical glitches and the dreaded random reboots. It's not really Android, it's what the OEM manufacterers and the carriers do to the OS. Also, sometimes in an effort to increase profit margin, they will opt' for inferior hardware. I don't have any issues with my DROID RAZR™, however, it has worked flawlessly [for me] since day one.

As for smelling coffee, no thank you; I would rather drink it with some South American "White Sugar" (Thank you).

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 17:14

31. thephoneguy92 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


To be fair to Android, you did start off on the wrong foot. Android has many leaps and bounds in terms of the phone quality and actual OS. Starting with the original droid/x would come with those problems, but try a SGS2 now and see if you still have the same problems. Just sayin.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 21:45

45. frydaexiii (Posts: 1157; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Maybe one of the reasons is because you're a dimwit who don't know proper phone maintenance? You're like one of those idiots who go around screaming "PC's suck, they crash and get slow after a month!" When they didn't even bother to do system maintenance like defragmenting or cleanup...

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 09:46 1

12. andro. (Posts: 1927; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


This is no shock as the low mentality of ifans insures that they will still pay huge amounts for older generation iphones despite them being over a year or two old and despite it being way outside of the one year warranty.

That saying seeing as most iphones are the pretty exact same phone as each other released year on year then buying a two year old iphone doesn't differ much from buying the latest model,but then you still should pay high value despite this

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 10:26 3

14. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)


lol... I loved remix excused... now waiting for Sniggly and the top ranked fandroids

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 16:41 2

26. taz89 (Posts: 1948; Member since: 03 May 2011)


don't u mean excuse?...also dont think its a fair comparison, as there is different phones made no different price ranges made by multiple oems so its not fair just to put them under one "roof"...the s2 should not be put in the same camp as an HTC wildfire etc...although I agree though that the iPhone easily sells for higher price on the "streets".

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 18:02 1

34. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)


Android is open source while Apple is not.. they are different.. is not fair to put them head to head all this year but they have.. so fair went out the window.. years ago

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 18:13

35. taz89 (Posts: 1948; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Comparing os to os is fair...comparing higher end models to lower end model is not...its like comparing windows to mac but it wouldn't be faitin saying a £1000 Mac has a higher resale value compared to a £400 windows laptop....

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 18:34 1

38. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)


I see your point now... Apple products to Android products not made by Android.... ok.. true not fair....but is not Apple fault or RIM or Windows that Android is the only OS open to whomever....Apple products retain the value simply of brand recognition and Apple just claim the top spot...

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 18:38

40. taz89 (Posts: 1948; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Agree apple have created a brand that keeps great resale value and no one can argue that...just think aome not all android do keep some good value but obviously not at the level of apple products...

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 18:54 1

43. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)


true... I will leave it at that.. lol.. see I admit defeat.. at times

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 17:17

32. thephoneguy92 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Well gallito, maybe if you used logic instead of, well, whatever it is you call, maybe you would understand why the trends are the way they are, instead of screaming to yourself in your bedroom ANDROID SUCKS

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 17:59 1

33. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)


how come I don't hear the same excuses when the topic is .. market share?... I have never hear any fandroid stating that the market share of Android is due to different manufacturers. and all that cr@p... please at least dig deeper into that bag of excuses as those are old. now... being an open OS has it cons..

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 18:15

36. taz89 (Posts: 1948; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Market share is different to price as price comes in at various prices where as android is android and there are charts that just do market shares of individual manufactures too.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 18:38

41. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)


you win Taz89.... very good congrats... I see your point... thanks..

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 18:34

37. thephoneguy92 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


I don't understand what you mean? Maybe use less periods and proper english? Cause I am very confused

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 18:37

39. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)


I don't understand why you being confused has anything to do with the article... I am not dear Abby.... lol... jk.. the article is confusing so the answers will be confusing.. ( I don't understand much either)... if that helps

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 10:46

17. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


It's only because the demand for iPhones is still high and will probably always still be high. People only want it because it's an iPhone.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 10:49 1

18. rasinhussy (Posts: 87; Member since: 28 Dec 2008)


I say all smartphones are Toyota brands, with the iPhone being the Lexus line, you pay a premium for slightly better parts. The Android phones range anywhere from the Corolla up to Land Cruiser.

I really just depends on what you need it for and the status symbol you're trying to live up to.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 14:09

22. speckledapple (Posts: 877; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


I think this is obvious. The main makers of android devices create one every ten seconds it seems. Too much saturation. Apple releases just one a year and that seems to be enough for them. Android manufacturers simply need to cut back and focus more on the quality rather than the quantity.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 15:20

25. sprockkets (Posts: 940; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


Weird, I find supply and demand is still a factor. The original Nexus 1 still goes for more than the 3GS on average on ebay. For that matter, the iphone4S is more expensive unlocked to begin with by $100 than most high end Android phones.

But, whatever.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 17:04

28. thephoneguy92 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


In my opinion, there are a couple reasons for it. One, is that this study is taking into effect all Android phones, even low-end ones. Two, how much you get for a trade in are factored on many things, one of them being demand for the product. With Android realeasing so many phones in a year, higher-end phones can easily become less desirable because something new has come out, regardless of how good it is. Although I could be wrong, someone please enlighten me if I am.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 19:59

44. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 800; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)


The true reason for iPhone higher resales is probably due to they only have a few versions. Android has a new flavor of a phone out many times during the year. Every new Android latest and greatest makes the older model more obsolete. Comparing Benz and Toyota's is so damn stupid and childish. Talk about the blind leading the lame and blind......get a grip!
If any new model had as many new offerings a year as Android the price would fall for the oldest model period. iPhone just has limited models that can be had that all pretty much function the same minus the last siri release 4S.

Who would want an old EVO 4G with a GN , SGII, or Droid Max. Who would want a Droid Max with an SGIII on the horzion.

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 23:12

46. frydaexiii (Posts: 1157; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


It's funny, this should be a good thing for Android...The value of phones go down because a newer superior model has deemed it obsolete, for models like the Galaxy S2, it's priced hasn't dropped much since it was released because no new Android model has really beaten it yet, most are on par (Galaxy Nexus, Droid Razr). For phones like HTC Wildfire, Hero, SE X8 etc. they are low ends that are easily beaten by the newer low ends, thus the significant price drop. Fast price drops are good in the sense that Android phones are advancing really quickly in terms of hardware...

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 23:38

47. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2871; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Oh look another iPhone sales are amazing article, never seen one of these before!

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