We asked you last week how many old handsets do you still have lying around the house - you know, the type you switch off and throw in a drawer when you get your new device, thinking that you will use it as a backup phone, put it on Craigslist at some point, or give it to your mother, and it stays there for the next year... or two. Call them crazy, but a quarter of our 1963 respondents have 5 or more old handsets hiding in drawers. Actually, another quarter has just their current phone, or another backup handset, while all the rest have two or more clunkers in the house. Talk about hoarding, and we threw the 5+ option just in case.
Second-hand and refurbished handsets
are making a comeback, a recent study showed, as consumers are increasingly balking at the ever-rising average selling prices of smartphones that hit a record last year
, and the trend will continue into this one, it seems. Top-tier manufacturers like Apple and Samsung predicted and sensed the upgrade slowdown, and started raising prices to offset the slump in demand for the latest and greatest. This culminated in last year's $999 iPhone X or $930 Note 8, but it is actually backfiring, as last quarter saw the first ever drop in smartphone shipments on record.
Now, there is a statistic to explain why is all of this happening, and it shows that people are just keeping their phones longer, buying refurbished or second- and third-hand devices, and generally not willing to splurge a grand on a phone, or thereabouts. Back in 2014, people were still upgrading their phones every 23 months, in sync with the two-year contract subsidies. This year, the length of time between upgrades is projected to hit 33 months, or nearly three years.