If the Galaxy S20 loses value like the S10 or Pixel 3, iPhone's price retention matters

If the Galaxy S20 loses value like the S10 or Pixel 3, iPhone's price retention matters
Samsung bucked the flagship price depreciation trends against the iPhone with the Galaxy S7-S9 handsets, and those aged rather gracefully in comparison with other Android high-enders. In fact, back in the summer of 2017 we ran the numbers, and found out that the Galaxy S8 lost less value than the iPhone X per month in absolute dollar terms.

Granted, it started from a much lower price then, too, so the percentage depreciation was still in favor of the iPhone, and yet it was soothing for Samsung flagship owners to see that their handsets is holding its price value longer than the typical Android phone.

Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy S10 prices and value retention

That was not the case with the Galaxy S10 series, however. Their average price was quite a bit higher than usual, and as a consequence they lost value much quicker than their predecessors the S9 or S8. 

In fact, the phone reselling website Bankmycell found out that "the S10 range lost a lot more in 2019 than the S9 did in 2018. For example, Samsung Galaxy S10+ lost -45.26% in the 9 months following release in 2019, compared to last year’s Galaxy S9+ did in 2018 at -30.21%.

The Galaxy S20 has an even higher average selling price than the S10, and, with the world economy bordering on recession because of the virus outbreak, tepid sales may prompt Samsung to cut prices even sooner.

Android vs iPhone prices and value retention

While the Galaxy S10 depreciated worse than the S9, the situation among other Android brands is even worse, with LG, Motorola and Google phones losing value the fastest. The carnage is even worse when it comes to Android midrangers and budget phones that can lose 80% of their value in two years.

  • iOS devices lose an average of -23.45% of their resale value in the first year, with 4 year loses ranging between 45% to 33.09% year on year 

  • Compared to iPhones, on average, Android flagship phones depreciate twice as fast, losing 45.18% of their trade-in value in the first year (iPhone’s lose 45.46% on average by the end of year two). 

  • Android devices suffer huge trade-in losses of 71.41% to 79.66% in the first 2 years, then depreciation less than 10% in years 3&4.

  • Budget Android resale value drops are the most aggressive, losing half of their resale value in one year, with an average decline across the brands of -48.65%. 

  • Owners of the 7 most traded in Google phones in 2019 lost –69% to -56.70% of the value of their phone in 12 months, on average losing half!!!

When it comes to iPhone, however, even though Apple almost never slashes prices before the next batch is in, making them hold their value for longer, there are some ups and downs by model.

  • Owners of the 10 most traded in iPhones in 2019 lost -21.55% to -39.61% of the value of their phone in 12 months.

  • 2016’s iPhone 7 was the fastest depreciating out of the 10 most sold iPhones on the site at -38.19%.

  • 2018’s iPhone XS Max lost the highest value, -$176 between Jan-Dec 2019 and was also the highest physical value lost across all iPhone’s (ignoring popularity).

All in all, Apple's pricing strategy proves a winner for the iPhone value retention overall but, with a recession looming, and the Galaxy S-line average pricing surpassing the iPhone's for the first time, all bets are off for the Galaxy S20 family.

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