U.S. consumers received 38% more for mobile device trade-ins in 2017 than they did in 2016, according to new research from HYLA Mobile, a company specializing in the U.S. mobile device trade-in market. HYLA researchers value that market at $2.156 billion.

“Our review of 2017 emphatically proves that the re-purposed device ecosystem is growing and getting stronger,” said Biju Nair, CEO of HYLA Mobile in a prepared statement. “It’s an industry that benefits and rewards all stakeholders: consumers, carriers, OEMs, retailers, insurance companies and the environment. Entities that are offering trade-in as a part of their upgrade experience have shown stronger customer retention and acquisition, increased sales of higher margin products, and higher net promoter scores across the board.”

By analyzing new device entry price points, competitive market trends along with historical performance, HYLA Mobile provides operators, retailers, OEMs and insurance companies with a comprehensive view of device values, the company said.

Mobile Device Trade-In Market
“Operators and retailers need to be aware of the risks tied to the fluctuation in used device values–especially as it can often mean cash scrubbed from their bottom line. The devaluation of the iPhone X underlines the importance to these stakeholders of having real-time device valuation data, according to age and condition, at their fingertips. This will allow them to offer correct valuations for used devices at the point of upgrade, and can trigger these upgrades at a time when maximum value for old devices can be recovered,” added Nair, in a prepared statement.

Among other HYLA Mobile research findings:

  • Of the top five traded devices in 2017, the iPhone 6 accounted for 40% of those traded devices.
  • The iPhone, and its iterations, accounted for 90% of the top five traded devices in 2017.
  • The average trade-in value across all makes and models of smartphones in 2017 was $106, up 7% from the previous year.
  • On average, consumers owned a device for 2.59 years (945 days) before trading it in, 78 days longer than in 2016 (2.38 years or 867 days).
  • The iPhone X had the highest trade-in value at an average price of $614.62.
  • Along with smartphones and tablets, we have seen an increase in the volume of wearable devices. Although a nascent category, Q4 2017 volume showed a 10-fold increase from the previous quarter.

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