Refurbished smartphone sales grew 15% globally in 2021 ; Apple, Samsung were numbers 1 and 2

Refurbished smartphone sales grew 15% globally in 2021 ; Apple, Samsung were numbers 1 and 2
A refurbished smartphone is one that has been returned to the manufacturer, tested to gauge its condition internally and externally, and repaired to look, feel, and perform like new. A couple of days ago, Samsung added the Galaxy S21 5G, Galaxy S21+ 5G, and Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G to its Re-Newed line of refurbished handsets available from its online store.

Both Apple and Samsung are among the smartphone manufacturers that will be happy to sell you a refurbished model. Last year happened to be a strong one for the refurbished market hands with sales in that area of the industry rising 15% compared to a puny 4.5% hike in new phone sales during 2021. Ironically, consumers increasing their demands for 5G phones helped the sales of refurbished models increase last year.

That's because many customers wanted to upgrade to a 5G phone and some had to resort to using a trade-in deal to make such a transaction financially feasable. By accepting these deals, the carriers ended up increasing their inventory of phones that they could recycle as refurbished.                

With a global chip shortage and shortages in other components, Counterpoint says that some global retailers known for selling new devices are increasingly offering refurbished phones in order to keep the lights on and the bills paid.

Counterpoint's data shows that Latin America had the biggest year-over-year increase in refurbished sales with a 29% hike last year. The country with the second-largest smartphone market, India, was second with a 25% hike year-over-year. China also has the largest market for refurbished phones but its year-over-year rise in such revenue last year was only 10%. The U.S.,had the third largest gain in annual improvement with a 15% increase.

Apple was the most popular smartphone brand in the refurbished market with Samsung following. With Apple and Samsung seeing revenue increasing for their flagship models, the carriers are collecting more trade-ins to work with. Counterpoint says that the secondary market for refurbs allows consumers to access some of the most popular models at prices that are up to 60% off.

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