5G devices to spur second-hand market growth in 2020, says Blancco

What Mobile
March 4, 2020

Many consumers will be involved in the second-hand market for the first time this year

The growth of the 5G smartphone market in 2020 will lead to an increase in the availability of used 4G devices, according to a new study from mobile diagnostics company Blancco Technology Group.

Blancco’s study, 5G Smartphone Upgrades and the Secondary Device Deluge surveyed 5,000 global mobile consumers about their attitude towards 5G and found that 68 per cent would be willing to trade in their used device at the point of 5G upgrade.

Extrapolating this based on the number of global smartphone users today, Blancco estimates there could be as many as 810 million “new” used devices collected from trade-ins this year.

According to research firm IDC, shipments of used smartphones reached 206.7 million in 2019, an increase on the 175.8 million recorded in 2018. Even if half of Blancco’s estimated number of devices is collected this year, it will still be nearly double that figure. IDC says that the second-hand market will be worth $67 billion by 2023.

Blancco’s executive vice president for products and technology, Russ Ernst, said: “The widespread global availability of 5G in 2020 is going to significantly increase the number of used devices coming back to operators and OEMs through buy-back and trade-in programs. Secondary market stakeholders must be ready to deliver an excellent customer experience, and that means securely and efficiently processing devices through various customer touchpoints and processes—from the retail store and back through to the reverse supply chain.”

Blancco’s report shows that 36 per cent of respondents haven’t heard of the secondary market, and 62 per cent have never traded in a device.

“Most consumers engaging in the secondary market in 2020 will be doing so for the first time,” added Ernst. “It is critical that the operators, OEMs and third-party logistics providers provide the best possible experience by offering customers the maximum amount of money back for their devices, thereby maximising their chances of repeat business. To do this, they must consolidate existing procedures and improve visibility of every stage of the mobile device journey, while committing to data security and erasure best practices and trustworthy diagnostic, grading and valuation solutions.”

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