India and Africa are among the key regions that will drive second-hand smartphone sales in the future. The market for refurbished handsets in these regions is growing with improved domestic technology and repair capabilities, market analysis firm Counterpoint Research said.
“We expect more aftermarket volumes to move to other regions such as Africa, Japan, India and Europe. There are companies established in the secondary market, new companies also establishing themselves in these regions. There is also an appetite for flagship products from high-end brands, but at mid-range prices, ”said Glen Cardoza, senior research analyst at Counterpoint Research.
Additional take-back offers and a targeted approach to circular economy initiatives are fueling demand in developed regions like Europe. In contrast, developing regions like India and Africa show a higher proportion of new businesses and improvements in national technology and repair capabilities, he noted.
China is gradually becoming a more difficult place for the secondary market. Demand is still high, but costs have increased for key components. In addition, there is more surveillance in international ports. The Sino-US trade war also added more risk, making many buyers more careful in their purchases, Cardoza said.
In the last calendar year, the first half of the year was marked by a decline in sales. It rebounded slightly in the second half of the year due to increased sales of new devices and a very strong iPhone launch cycle from Apple which boosted device supply in the aftermarket. All major countries and regions posted a decline for the full year of 2020, mainly due to Covid-19.
“The global refurbished smartphone market saw healthy growth in most regions in the second half of 2020. The market more than offset the decline in the first half of 2020 with a modest 4% increase in 2020 over 2019 volumes. Counterpoint expects a larger increase in 2021, ”the agency said.
Due to the sharp deceleration in H1 2020, mainly due to Covid, the market for refurbished smartphones saw an increase in supply and demand in H2 2020.
“While there was a limited supply of smartphones in the secondary market in the first half of 2020, there was a sharp increase in demand and supply in the second half of 2020. As the markets opened, most home improvement players have seen an increase in resale and trade volumes. All regions saw their volumes increase year-on-year in the second half of 2020. While some markets like LATAM and Southeast Asia were slow to recover in the second half of 2020, other regions like the United States. United, Europe, India and Africa rebounded and tried to increase activities related to supply and distribution. “said Cardoza.
Regarding Apple’s performance, Counterpoint’s research director, Jeff Fieldhack, said there has been no slowing of appetite for Apple in the aftermarket. In fact, over the past year it has grown relative to its competition. Apple’s share of the global new smartphone market was just over 13% in the second half of 2020. Its share in the secondary market over the same period was over 44%.
In addition, its average aftermarket selling prices are almost three times the average of all of its competitors. Even with the rollout of 5G by more than 150 mobile operators in more than 70 countries, demand and ASPs for Apple’s refurbished LTE portfolio remains high. This helps Apple grow its installed base, as many of Apple’s secondary market buyers are first-time buyers, he added.