Cell Phone Recycling in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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Favorable recycling regulation and a shorter time between phone upgrades is facilitating high demand, while rising commodity prices promise to push up revenue even further. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Cell Phone Recycling industry to its growing industry report collection.

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Business has been booming as consumers trade up to newer phones at faster rates

Revenue for the Cell Phone Recycling industry is estimated to reach $561.7 million during the five years to 2013, which represents annualized growth of 14.0% during the period. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Josh McBee, “Increasing cell phone ownership and the emergence of smartphone technologies that create a replacement market among cell phone users has widened the potential base of phones available for recycling.” In turn, more phones are winding up as raw inputs for precious-metals extraction or as viable inputs for resellers.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, between 100.0 million and 130.0 million cell phones are thrown away in the United States annually. For every million cell phones recycled, 35,000 pounds of copper and 772 pounds of silver can be recovered, with marginal recovery of gold and palladium. The recovery of silver in particular has been lucrative during the past five years, as that metal's price per troy ounce is expected to increase at an annualized rate of 15.0% in the five years to 2013. Meanwhile, copper's price per troy ounce is expected to increase an average of 4.6% per year during the same period. “Rising commodities prices on the back of global demand from emerging economies has allowed cell phone recyclers to expand their operations and hire more workers, in turn increasing the industry's wage rates at a double-digit pace,” says McBee. Amid this environment of high-growth opportunities, companies seeking to gain a foothold in the Cell Phone Recycling industry are acquiring smaller players, while established players, like ReCellular, seeking to expand market share do the same. Thus, industry concentration is on the rise.

Beyond favorable commodities demand, regulations have also benefited the industry, mainly at state levels. For example, states from California to Maine have required cell phone retailers to have a system in place for the acceptance and collection of used cell phones for reuse, recycling or proper disposal since the mid-2000s. As collection of cell phones for recycling and reuse becomes easier, this industry is poised to exhibit growth on the back of a widening base of key inputs (i.e. used phones). As such, IBISWorld forecasts industry revenue to continue growing rapidly through 2018. In the near-term, the industry revenue is expected to grow especially fast as renewed consumer spending and the ongoing release of new phone technologies widens the potential base of used phones for recycling. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Cell Phone Recycling in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Businesses in this industry primarily separate and sort recyclable materials from cell phones, smart phones, pagers and personal digital assistants. Companies also refurbish devices for resale. Revenue from processing other electronics is excluded from this industry.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ibisworld.com or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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