Despite the chatter online regarding the unreasonably high prices of the latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S10 and iPhone XS range are still some of the best-selling handsets in many countries. People know that the phones are worth a lot, and expect to be able to trade them in against the next model, reducing the upgrade cost.
According to a U.S. based cell phone trade-in site, BankMyCell, there was a significant difference between the phone buyback prices of iPhone’s compared with other popular flagship Galaxy S Range from Samsung. It’s important to note that these phone trade-on prices are from one company’s aggregated American resale pricing, so can’t accurately represent the market as a whole – but it does give us a remarkable snapshot into the trade-in market.
In the report, the company highlights some attention-grabbing smartphone trade-in trends when comparing last year’s iPhone XS, and this year’s Samsung Galaxy’s S10 in particular. Let’s explore the data in more detail.
Selling your Galaxy S10 vs. iPhone XS
As we well know, Samsung and Apple are among the world’s top smartphone brands, selling vast volumes of smartphones every year and being at the forefront of innovation. The latest next-generation phone, the iPhone XS range was Apple’s shot at snatching back the largest slice of the smartphone market pie. The Galaxy S10 range was Samsung’s answer to this, positioned at slightly lower price points.
Let’s look at the companies published data on how fast the handsets trade-in values declined in 30 days following the release for the Galaxy S10 range:
Above, we see the launch price of the Samsung S10 range versus its trade-in value 30 days after release. The storage size variant that took the most significant blow in terms of physical cash was the Galaxy S10+ 1TB, losing $850 from its launch price of $1,600. All devices lost at least $400 of their value, working out at a minimum depreciation of 40%, with the S10e 128GB suffering the most on a percentage basis at -53.3% of its original value.
The report goes on to point out that the average Galaxy S10 trade-in depreciation for all models and storage sizes was 46.69% in 30 days, 5.03% compared to the 41.66% decline the Galaxy S9 saw in 2018.
When phone trade-in site BankMyCell compared Samsung’s 30-day to the depreciation of the iPhone XS range’s price drops over nine whole months, the results were quite alarming.
In the charts above, the figures to compare are the final columns showing the percentage depreciation for each respective model. When we look at averages across the Samsung Galaxy S10 range, they lost 46.69% in 30 days compared to 42.40% the iPhone XS lost in 9 months of release.
This means, in the US online smartphone trade-in market, the Samsung Galaxy S10 did not have the same pricing stability in 30 days, which the iPhone XS had for nine months.
Of course, the higher storage capacity devices also lost the most value for the iPhone XS range due to their higher retail prices. The iPhone XS Max 512GB lost $648 / 44.7% of its value in the nine months following its launch which was still less than the 512GB and 1TB Galaxy S10 models, ranging 48% and 53.1% respectively.
This is even more attention-grabbing, considering the reports of iPhone’s sales volume declining in the first few quarters of 2019.
Selling your Galaxy S9 vs. iPhone X
It’s worth highlighting that the report also lets us compare data from the iPhone X and XS ranges, depreciating over nine months following release. In the same time scale, the iPhone X only lost 30.93% of its value from release, compared with the iPhone XS’s 44.78% – so everything might not be as rosy as we thought.
Regardless of the perceived Apple resale stability, this U.S. based report shows us, the company did make some price cuts this year to increase iPhone sales. If you’re in China, you’ll be aware that this is where most of the cuts happened due to the ongoing US and China trade wars.
Apple launched some deals on their homepage offering iPhones at reduced rates providing you trade-in your old phone. Many perceived this as a sign of desperation to push sales, primarily as Apple is the sort of company to offer these sort of deals traditionally.
Irrespective of this, the Apple iPhone is by far the best at retaining its original market value, so if you’re in the market for a premium handset that you can get excellent resale value out of, this report confirms it’s still a smart choice.