Cell phones stacked on a table.

People are increasingly trading in devices online instead of in-person, according to Assurant’s latest trend report. | Sonyerry/Shutterstock

The secondary device market continues to evolve, an Assurant market report finds, with more people opting to trade in devices online. 

The “2022 Mobile Trade-in and Upgrade Industry Trends Report” from Assurant found that the number of trades conducted online in 2022 increased 38% year-over-year. There was an 8% increase in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021. 

Assurant is a publicly traded insurance and warranty company that in 2020 bought reverse logistics company Hyla Mobile for $325 million. Assurant’s annual phone trade-in report covers business activities by Hyla, which runs consumer phone trade-in programs for retailers, brand owners and wireless carriers.

“During the pandemic we saw a steep rise in online trade-in transactions which came as no surprise, but each quarter we continue to see increases over the previous quarter and the same quarter for the previous year,” an Assurant press release noted, adding that “increasingly, consumers are opting for the convenience of initiating their trade-ins online.”

In terms of most commonly traded-in phones, iPhones were the top devices. Specifically, the iPhone 11 made up 37.65% of the top five devices turned in, followed by the iPhone XR at 22.07%, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 8 and the iPhone 12.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 was the top traded-in Android device in 2022, a spot it’s held since the second quarter of 2020, the press release noted. 

The average age of devices traded in during 2022 was 3.39 years. In the fourth quarter, that average age was 3.26 years, down from 3.46 years a year earlier. 

The average age of iPhones traded in during the last quarter of 2022 was 3.37 years and the average age of Androids was 2.94 years. That’s the first time since the fourth quarter of 2021 that Androids were, on average, returned before three years of use. 

In the wearables segment, the Apple Watch Series 7 had the highest trade-in value at an average of $119.23 in the fourth quarter, followed by the Apple Watch Series 6 at $69.56.


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