SellCell.com Reports Smartphone Owners Boost Holiday Spending Power, Eye Apple Gadgets with Extra Cash

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Trade-Ins Surge as Over Half of Consumers Plan to Use Trade-In Cash for New Gadgets

Drop In Value of the iPhone 4 Between Black Friday 2011 and January 8, 2012

The lesson to consumers is clear: trade-in your device now to lock in your pay-out and avoid the value drop once consumers receive their gadget gifts and look to trade in their older ones around January 1.

SellCell.com, the #1 gadget recycling comparison site in the US, today released new information indicating US consumers took advantage of Black Friday week (Monday, November 19 –Black Friday) to trade in more smartphones than ever before, increasing their holiday spending power by over 77 percent compared to 2011. In addition, a new SellCell.com survey found that more than one of two (55.4 percent) of consumers that have traded-in a device recently plan to put the extra cash towards a new gadget. Among the findings of the survey, SellCell.com reported:

  •      Nearly one in two (41.5 percent) of consumers that have traded in a device plan to use the extra cash to purchase an Apple device (iPhone, iPad and/or iPad mini) while approximately 30 percent (28.6) said they would save it or pay bills;
  • Over half of consumers who have traded in a device recently (53.8 percent) would most like to receive an Apple gadget (iPhone 5, iPad or iPad mini) as a gift this holiday season; and
  • Under 2 percent of consumers (1.6 percent) who have traded in a device plan to buy a BlackBerry smartphone.

Colin White, MD for SellCell.com, commented, “It’s very clear from our data that most of those consumers trading in devices are using at least some of the cash to purchase new gadgets, either for themselves or as gifts. Apple appears to again be the big beneficiary of this trend, as our customers are very interested in purchasing iPhones and iPads in large numbers –and trading-in their old iOS devices for cash to put towards those purchases.”

Apple products were also highly traded-in on SellCell.com over Black Friday week. During the holiday week, SellCell.com reported:

  • Apple-manufactured devices were the most popular traded-in during November 19-November 23 (the 5-day week encompassing Thanksgiving and Black Friday) followed by HTC, Samsung and BlackBerry devices, respectively. Nearly twice as many (89 percent) more Apple devices were traded-in over the nearest competitor, HTC;
  • The value of devices traded-in rose over 77 percent compared to the same period in 2011 (November 21-25); and
  • Total devices traded-in rose by 65 percent.

White observed, “Similar to last year, we expect trade-in activity to be high during the rest of the holiday period, which can lead to wide fluctuations in prices. For example, iPhone 4 trade-in values last year varied during the holiday period between $225 and $180, but a clear trend emerged: the longer you wait until the New Year, the further down in value the iPhone 4 was worth. The lesson to consumers is clear: trade-in your device now to lock in your pay-out and avoid the value drop once consumers receive their gadget gifts and look to trade in their older ones around January 1.”

The following chart shows the value of the iPhone 4 (16GB) on SellCell.com between Black Friday 2011 and January 8, 2012. Between the two dates, the average value of the iPhone declined by nearly a fifth of its value (17 percent overall drop).

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Dan Tudesco
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