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.


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

Thumbnail image courtesy of HDforindies.com.

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45 Comments

1. Striker

Posts: 92; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

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

2. bigdawg23

Posts: 467; Member since: May 25, 2011

Agreed.

7. Dmann

Posts: 165; Member since: Oct 17, 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.

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

24. metallica43

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 09, 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

15. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 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.

23. jskrenes

Posts: 209; Member since: Dec 11, 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.

3. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

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

4. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

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

16. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

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

29. thephoneguy92

Posts: 191; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

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

10. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 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???????

30. thephoneguy92

Posts: 191; Member since: Dec 29, 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!

11. YouLostTheGame

Posts: 441; Member since: Dec 11, 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.

13. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 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

20. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 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)

19. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 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).

31. thephoneguy92

Posts: 191; Member since: Dec 29, 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.

45. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 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...

12. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 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

14. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

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

26. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 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".

34. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 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

35. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 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....

38. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 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...

40. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 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...

43. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

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

32. thephoneguy92

Posts: 191; Member since: Dec 29, 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

33. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 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..

36. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 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.

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