Gartner Research

Reused, Resold, Recycled — Where Do Old Smartphones Go?

Published: 06 February 2015

ID: G00271821

Analyst(s): Meike Escherich


More than half of all private smartphone owners in the U.S. and Germany replace their smartphones because they want additional functionality, or just want a new device. By analyzing what happens to those used devices, TSP and channel partner strategists can identify possible business opportunities.

Table Of Contents
  • Impacts


Impacts and Recommendations

  • With 64% of replaced smartphones being reused, continued demand for high-end used devices will increasingly impact primary-unit sales, and motivate phone providers to look into the secondhand market
  • The growing number of privately sold phones (22%) will stir up competition in the take-back market, and drive CSPs and refurbishers to engage in more aggressive marketing campaigns and new incentives
  • A mere 7% of used smartphones end up in e-waste recycling programs, indicating a need for phone providers to be seen as more proactive in this field in order to attain "green" credibility

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