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Over $479 million returned to US consumers through smartphone trade-ins during Q1 2018

HYLA Mobile Q1 2018 trends report shows consumers hold onto devices for longer; Apple iPhones dominate returned devices and payback twice as much as Android devices

26th April 2018—HYLA Mobile, the world’s leading provider of software technology and services for mobile device trade-ins and reuse solutions, has released its Q1 2018 trade-in data trends report, indicating that US consumers received more than $479 million from smartphone trade-ins during the first quarter of 2018. This represents a $35 million increase compared to the same period last year (Q1 2017). The late release of Apple’s iPhone X and the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ had a big impact, driving trade-ins to improve affordability for the premium devices.

HYLA Mobile’s quarterly trade-in trends report analyzes new device entry price points, competitive market trends along with historical performance. It offers a unique perspective on the North American pre-owned device market, including which devices retain their value and which are in high demand from customers. The key findings of the report highlight:

  • US consumers are holding onto devices for longer: the average age of a smartphone at trade-in was 2.66 years, up from 2.49 years during Q1 of 2017 and 2.59 years from last quarter
  • The device with the highest trade-in value was the Apple iPhone X at $580—showing that the latest iteration of the iPhone has lost almost half its value in just three months. This was followed by the Samsung Galaxy S9+, which had a trade-in value of $543
  • Of the top five most traded devices, the Apple iPhone 6 was the most traded at 39%. It was also the top-traded device in Q1 2017 at 34%
  • And perhaps unsurprisingly, the top 5 traded devices from Q1 2018 were all Apple iPhones— potentially due to the introduction of the iPhone X
  • The average trade-in value of an Apple iPhone in Q1 2018 was $163, more than twice the value of Android smartphones which, on average, returned $80
  • EIP plans are now the norm for most US consumers, with 84% favoring them over standard contracts.

With an overall perception of lack of innovation in the market, and the high-cost of new devices, mobile trade-ins are playing an important role in driving uptake of new devices. Carriers and retailers, along with OEMs such as Google, are taking a more aggressive stance with trade-ins and are having success with it.

“The latest Apple iPhone X has ignited a lot of industry discussion around rising device prices and the impact this will have on consumers and the industry alike. But our data shows that neither ought to be worried—mobile trade-ins, which have continued to grow in Q1 2018, have contributed to increased upgrades by consumers,” said Biju Nair, CEO & President of HYLA Mobile. “Not only are mobile trade-ins making high-cost devices affordable, but consumers are beginning to realize the latent value their old devices hold. In order for this upgrade trend to continue, operators and OEMs need to do more to educate and encourage consumers to trade-in their older devices. Trade-ins don’t just enable subscribers to upgrade to the latest smartphones, giving them a great network experience, but they also increase the sale of high-margin accessories.”

Data from HYLA Mobile’s Q1 2018 trade-in trends suggests that trade-in values of smartphones have increased, as consumers hold onto their devices for longer—an extra 63 days than in Q1 2017. Increasing trade-in values is a way for operators to entice customers to upgrade.

But according to CCS Insights, the global growth of the new smartphone market is predicted to hit an all-time low of 0.2% this year, where sales of smartphones in the US could drop by 3%. But while there are reports on growth in the global smartphone market slowing down, the secondary smartphone market is growing at 13% year on year.

Having collected more than 50 million devices since its inception, HYLA Mobile helps mobile operators, OEMs, retailers and insurance companies retain their subscribers, increase new revenue streams, drive down costs as well as contribute to sustainability efforts. By using analytics and insights as well as software and automation focused on maximizing recovery value, HYLA Mobile gives customers the solutions to operate a seamless mobile trade-in programs that improves efficiency, reduces churn and drives profitability.

HYLA Mobile’s Q1 2018 trade-in trends infographic is available to download here:

About HYLA Mobile
HYLA, Inc. (“HYLA Mobile”) is one of the world’s leading providers of software technology and services for mobile device trade-in and reuse solutions, backed by Venture Capital firms Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Silver Lake, OpenAir Equity Partners, RRE Ventures, SJF and NGEN. Since its founding in 2009, HYLA Mobile has worked to develop technology and solutions that extend the lifecycle of mobile devices to build economic opportunity and enable information access for new users, while helping to protect our planet.

HYLA Mobile partners with leading wireless carriers, retailers, OEMs, insurers, and online brands to provide lifecycle management for pre-owned mobile devices. HYLA Mobile extends the life of these devices to consumers around the world, providing access to affordable, high-quality wireless technology in developed and emerging markets.

HYLA Mobile has completed more than 50 million mobile device trade-ins since its founding. To learn more about how HYLA Mobile is changing the way people think about pre-owned mobile devices, visit

Press contact
CCgroup PR
Nicole Louis
+44 (0)203 824 9200

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