The smartphone market is witnessing perhaps its biggest shift in years. As it turns out, a lot of smartphone buyers are now turning towards the pre-owned and refurbished smartphone options, for their next phone purchase. That is according to data released by India’s top re-commerce marketplace, Cashify. It turns out that Xiaomi, Apple and Samsung phones are the most popular when it comes to purchases of pre-owned smartphones, according to Cashify’s latest User Behavior Study. A lot of users are looking towards pre-owned and refurbished products as they need to buy gadgets for the work from home routine or for educational purposes, and also for family members.
The Cashify study suggests that Xiaomi’s Mi and Redmi phones are the top selling brand in the pre-owned market with a 27% share. This is followed by Apple (16%) and Samsung (16%) leading the second position, followed by Motorola (12%). Specifically, for the Rs 30,000 and higher price points, OnePlus is incredibly popular with 35% market share by the end of Q3 2019. Cashify says they analyzed the buying and selling data of over 1 million users on its platform in the year 2019-20.
Data from research firm Canalys suggests that refurbished phones dominate the sub-Rs 10,000 price bracket and is expected to grow by as much as 25% by the end of the year 2020. They also suggest that the entire pre-owned smartphone market, on the other hand, is expected to almost double its sales to 48 million in 2020 from 26 million in 2016.
On Cashify, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (4.79%) is the most popular smartphone followed by the Apple iPhone 6 (4.58%), Apple iPhone 6S (3.34%), the Xiaomi Redmi 4 (2.67%), Samsung Galaxy J2 (1.30%) and the Samsung Galaxy J7 (1.26%).
In terms of the city data, Cashify suggests that Delhi (18%), Bangalore (13%), and Mumbai (12%) take the largest chunk of sales of pre-owned smartphones. This is followed by Gurugram (6%), Kolkata and Chennai to complete the top towns list. Cashify also says that satellite towns Faridabad and Ghaziabad have shown the fastest growth, taking top spots in the upcoming city category, which also includes Lucknow, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.
Apple iPhone (29%) purchases are very popular among women followed by Xiaomi (28%), while Samsung Galaxy phones are the pick of as many as 63% users in the 25-34 years age bracket. Xiaomi’s highest user base is in Delhi while OnePlus clocks its maximum users in Bengaluru.
“Numerous launches, more brand options, new price points and the overall aspirational value of an upgrade, are some of the factors that led the second-hand smartphone industry to widen its turf during 2019-20. Be it selling or buying, a majority of Indian smartphone users have come to trust platforms and services such as ours to derive maximum value out of their pre-owned smartphones,” says Nakul Kumar, COO & Co-Founder, Cashify.
The Cashify transaction data through 2019 also suggests that Oppo and Vivo phones lost their resale value the fastest, while Apple and OnePlus phones were the slowest in resale price drop.
It is perhaps no surprise that the pre-owned and refurbished smartphones are very much on the radar of buyers, who are looking for the best possible prices and deals at a time when the COVID pandemic has impacted finances of most households. At the same time, they may need a new phone or tablet as they work from home while they may also need a new device for family members, for scenarios such as online classes.