back to article Not the droids you're looking for – worst handsets to resell

iPhones maintain their resale value much better than Androids. That much you probably already know – but which are the worst droids to resell? A survey of over 100,000 eBay transactions provides some answers. The data isn't just a handy guide to flogging your unwanted upgrade, but also an indication of the "real" market value …

Silver badge

Same as with cars

This goes to show that "use until it is dead" model is significantly better financially than "change shiny-shiny every 2 years". The fact that it sucks marginally less for an iPhone is just that - "sucks marginally less".

So if you run the same model till full depreciation which for a phone now stands at around 4 years you get that you have a net gain compared to selling old and getting new every 2 years.

That is not news - it is well known from other goods - cars, white goods, etc. Just there the depreciation periods are longer (up to a decade).

23
1
Silver badge

Re: Same as with cars

Agreed, Voland, except the model is rather more "run until the mfr stops issuing security updates", which for a Sammy phone is probably around 18 months if you're lucky - and if you insert the word 'timely' before 'security updates' 18 days. And no, I don't want to put Cyanogen on it, but thanks for asking :).

6
3

Re: Same as with cars

Unfortunately for iPhones "use until dead", or in practice "use until battery dies" is about 2 years. I have very few of the work ones go much longer than that, and some are dead after 18 months.

2
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: Same as with cars

"which for a Sammy phone is probably around 18 months if you're lucky"

Horseshit. Here is the wakeup call, the Internet lies.

5
6

Re: Same as with cars

That's strange. My old 4S still had decent battery life after 4 years. I suppose the mileage is different if you do lots of calls a day,

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Same as with cars

Unfortunately for iPhones "use until dead", or in practice "use until battery dies" is about 2 years.

Again same as with cars. Just think of it as the extortionate amount of money the local VW garage will charge you for a timing belt chain after 75K miles. While it may be extortionate, it is still a service item you have to include in the model. I generally consider 1-2 battery changes for all devices (even the ones which need using the wife's hair-drier as a tool to open them) in the modeling. As long as the battery cost is not 50% of the cost of a new device (hello Kindle) it usually works out correctly in the cost and depreciation model.

0
0
Silver badge
Devil

Re: iPhones "use until dead"

Unfortunately for iPhones "use until dead", or in practice "use until battery dies" is about 2 years. I have very few of the work ones go much longer than that, and some are dead after 18 months.

Which makes the resale price nuts. If I'm buying a gadget I want it new, or at least 50% cheaper than cheapest new option. Such a high risk buying ANY second hand gadget.

Obviously buyers of S/H iPhones are keen to have Apple specifically, but can't actually afford a new one?

Subsidised or part of Contract phone selling by mobile operators, or their resellers such as Carphone/Currys should be stopped. It's anti-competitive to other HW makers and unfairly raises cost of contract or PAYG for SIM only customers and locks in Customers. It's nasty.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Same as with cars

iPhone battery replacement, 10 minutes and £10.

Not including iPhone 7 - I haven't done one of those yet and the waterproofing might make it a bit trickier.

2
0

Re: Same as with cars

truth.

personal s5 still running strong. S7 is barely 4 months old tho. Work S5 still going strong.

iPhones get resold because of both marketing hype and foreign desire.

People will buy old ones simply to play apps that are no longer supported after a couple years of iOS upgrades leave the new device behind.

But seriously, anyone buying handsets "for the resale value" is playing a serious fool's game. Like refusing to lower a convertible top on a new car because it "ruins the resale value"-like anything will do what simply driving it off the lot did. All mine have "value" as terminals, robotics programs, donated to charity, whatever. If I get any money for one, bonus.

But since I never pull a handset before 2 years, what do I know LOL

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Same as with cars

With cars, that may be true but I think it's because modern old cars are so much better than the used to be. My first car in 2005 was 10 years old - a '95 car, it was awful. Now a 10 year old car is a 2007 plate - they're practically new. When I bought my first car the bloke selling it told me about how great it was because it had an automatic choke!

With phones, I personally have started buying £200 phones outright - you don't need top end phones anymore in my opinion. Back when the iphone 4 was new, you did if you wanted anything decent.

1
0

Re: Same as with cars

In the last 15 yrs I think I've had 4 or 5 phones... each one on average lasts between 3-4yrs.

Early 2000's I got a little SE T610 and 6 months later was given an identical one as a work phone... I used both alongside each other until I got an SE P990i smart phone in 2007... then in 2011 I got the HTC Desire HD (the first and last time I'll ever buy HTC) and then in 2014 (or early 2015) I got a Moto G 2nd gen which I found wasn't actually fast enough for what I wanted.. but I loved the almost vanilla android with no overlays and bloat. So in April 2016 I picked up a Wileyfox storm which I love and aside from the fact the company seem to have disowned it now whilst still supporting the cheaper & lower spec Swift.. it's still a reasonably decent phone for the money (I paid 20% under RRP).

Each time I replaced a phone it was because it was either no longer able to do what I needed it to, was no longer supported (OS is 2 or 3 gens behind) and continuing to use it put my privacy/security at risk.. or the phone was actually starting to fail and replacement batteries were not helping.

Providing the Storm doesn't break or become too obsolete, I won't really be looking for a replacement for another 2yrs. By which time the sub £200 market will be as feature rich as the £600+ ranges are today... and I'm OK with that.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Same as with cars

"That's strange. My old 4S still had decent battery life after 4 years. I suppose the mileage is different if you do lots of calls a day,"

Probably has more to do with the way you treat the battery. I mean, charge cycles and stuff. Do a web search to find the best practices.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Same as with cars

"iPhone battery replacement, 10 minutes and £10."

iFixit FTW.

1
0
Silver badge

I don't trust their results

They claim:

But best of all was the iPhone 6 Plus. It retained 38% of its initial sale price even 24-months on. That’s actually less depreciation that any car we studied, bettering the 36% an Infiniti Q50 clung on to.

An Infiniti Q50 loses 64% of its value in 24 months? I've never heard of ANY car depreciating even remotely that fast. I also know their data is bullshit from what they claim about iPhone 5 depreciation, because I actually did sell mine at the 36 month mark, and for nearly twice the residual value their graph claims.

Then when I reached the bottom of the page I saw that "START SELLING" link and all became clear. They want you to think everything loses its value quicker than it does, so you'll think the pittance they offer is a great deal!

3
0
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Until the battery dies

Surely a replacement battery is cheaper than a new phone.

I tend to keep stuff long past the "until it dies" point. With me it's more like "until its fossilised remains are unearthed by a team of archaeologists and sent to the natural history museum's research department for further analysis", and even then I usually steal it back from the museum and renovate it to full working condition, and will stubbornly cling to it until it's prised from my cold, dead hands.

I'm not kidding, either. Literally just this week I bought a new battery for my SGS1. I'm buying seven candles and a cake on the 4th of June.

"Until it's no longer supported" just makes me laugh, and a little angry. As a point of principle I refuse to have my property arbitrarily terminated by the vendors. I'd happily spend ten times the cost of a replacement just to deny them the satisfaction, although in practice I rarely have to spend anything at all, especially when the thing being "terminated" is just proprietary software that can easily be replaced with Free Software, and in my case usually is on day one.

Not that I don't buy new stuff, but the old stuff would literally have to vaporise in a puff of blue smoke first. I think that's happened maybe once in my life. I was in therapy for months afterwards.

3
0

Re: Until the battery dies

"I'm not kidding, either. Literally just this week I bought a new battery for my SGS1. I'm buying seven candles and a cake on the 4th of June."

My original SG S11 battery has at last decided it doesn't want to charge up any more...but I already had a spare, bought at a time when the little pocket rechargers weren't available.

And I still have my EE pocket charger (just in case), as it's one of the good ones that doesn't heat up !

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Same as with cars

I had a P990i. What a bloody awful device that was.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Same as with cars

"But since I never pull a handset before 2 years, what do I know LOL"

You had ne until LOL.

0
0

Re: Same as with cars

Ah, the Wileyfox.

Under-exposed, under-hyped, under-appreciated. British too, apparently (for those who are Brexitly inclined).

Rocking the Spark X here and for less than £130, it's a blinder.

1
0
Gold badge
Stop

Re: I don't trust their results

I've never heard of ANY car depreciating even remotely that fast.

You've never heard of the Citroen XM? That had depreciation rates that make the purchase of a Q50 sound like an investment opportunity.

0
0
Silver badge

Cause or Effect?

> Users now hold on to their phones longer so manufacturers are raising the sticker price.

Are we certain we're not confusing cause and effect here? Users now hold on to their phones longer because manufacturers are raising the sticker price ... ?

24
0
Bronze badge

Re: Cause or Effect?

That's a good question, and the real answer is probably "a bit of both" - we buy fewer phones because we keep them longer because they are more expensive, and they raise the prices because we are buying fewer phones.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Cause or Effect?

"Are we certain we're not confusing cause and effect here? Users now hold on to their phones longer because manufacturers are raising the sticker price ... ?"

Or alternatively - users now hold on to their phones longer because it's mature technology and there's little benefit to upgrading regularly, while manufacturers are raising sticker price because it costs more to develop and build the things. There's not necessarily any cause and effect at all, it can simply be two unrelated things happening at around the same time for different reasons.

That said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the original statement is the correct one. It's easier now than ever before to get a cheap low-to-mid-range phone that's more than good enough to do everything the average consumer wants, and do it better than any phone from a couple of years ago. So manufacturers raising prices at the top end will have no meaningful effect on how often people upgrade - those who worry about the price aren't buying those phones anyway. On the other hand, given that people upgrade less often, raising the prices of high-end products that are going to be bought by some people no matter the price is an obvious response on the manufacturers part.

11
0
Silver badge

Re: Cause or Effect?

Or, Ralph B, vicious circle. (feedback loop)

2
0

Re: Cause or Effect?

I can't find anything that new phones do that my Sony Xperia Z2 can't.

Water resist. Noise cancelling headphones. Magnetic charging dock. Full HD screen. Lasts at least all day.

Until Android 6.0.1 is too dated, I'm sticking with it.

0
0
Silver badge

James May

Wrote a rant about this in the car market a while ago. In essence he was questioning why people brought cars with the resale value in mind, so they chose a silver car with black leather interior because that would have better resale than the blue one with cream leather that they actually wanted. So you end up buying a car for someone else, which seems a bit stupid when you're the one shelling out all the hard earned.

Mind you to date my old phones have been re-purposed rather than sold* and I have yet to sell on a car rather than drive it into the ground.

*A £30 monitor off ebay and an MHL lead gave me an instant media centre for my workshop.

15
0
Silver badge

Re: James May

This is a good point, and it's also worth mentioning that the lowest cost of all involves buying a nearly new car when the model has been out a couple of years (so you're not buying one of the first production run with all the bugs). With a lot of modern small autos and cvts, the computer basically prevents people from abusing the engine and transmission so the risk is much lower than with older manuals. External signs of abuse are easy to spot.

I read somewhere that one reason cars depreciate very quickly to start is because if you sell a car which is only a few months old people assume there is something wrong with it.

tl;dr, cars are very different from phones (partly because they are much easier to service and you can replace the battery cheaply).

2
0
Silver badge

Re: James May

The new car market is mainly driven by leasing and company cars which benefit from significant tax subsidies, the idea being that the car industry is hugely important to the economy. Pity the idiots that are trying to keep up with them out of their own pockets.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Leasing companies

Oh yes.

A BMW 318i on a lease for business. Drive more than 5,000 miles in a year and you will pay around £1.00 per mile extra.

Why would anyone sign up for that sort of deal?

The same goes for a lot of Phone contracts.

Tesco Mobile, iPhone 5S, 24 months £17/month Really?

2
0
Silver badge

Re: James May

> benefit from significant tax subsidies... ...Pity the idiots that are trying to keep up with them out of their own pockets.

I was under the impression that the tax subsidies have been tweaked to steer fleets towards lower emission vehicles - more hatchbacks and fewer BMW sedans.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Leasing companies

@ Steve Davies 3: Why would anyone sign up for that sort of deal?

You and I as individuals probably wouldn't, but as a company you are in the happy position of knowing that it's your customers that will be paying it for you.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Leasing companies

Errm ... anyone who knows their annual mileage is going to be a bit under 5,000 miles. Alternatively if they think they are going to do close to 10,000 miles a year they tick that box on the lease quote and get a slightly higher monthly payment that hopefully will amount to rather less than £5000 a year extra.

1
0

I joined the smartphone revolution quite late, hanging on to my SE C902 until it died, so I'm about 4-5 generations behind and picking up once premium phones for about £100 new. I've had my Galaxy S3 for about a year now, it was 'new in box' (box opened but phone unused) and paid £110 for it.

It's getting a bit sluggish now on some apps but if it lasts another year I might get an Galaxy S5 or Honor 7 for similar money...

3
0

I'm the same and also poor, so I always buy used. I'm perfectly happy with my S5 (apart from the fact that it could do with more internal storage ).

1
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

FWIW LineageOS is now available for the S3. It's well worth giving a go to get more out of the phone.

But the S5 is a much better phone, bought my own second hand 18 months ago. Splashed out on the wireless charging kit and an MHL cable (so I can watch what I want on hotel TVs) and an Otterbox and Quadlock for mounting on my handlebars and a Jabra sport headset. Worth keeping some cash for useful accessories rather than buying more shine.

1
0
Silver badge

That is a near-term future I would like to see. We don't have just one knife in our kitchen, so why just use one phone/tablet/touchscreen media streamer? It would be nice if an old phone's screen could be easily mated to a Raspberry Pi. Etc etc

0
0
Silver badge

Touchscreens that mount on the RPi's extender are cheap and come with drivers.

0
0

Yes, but...

....shiny shiny beats financial considerations every time.

I *could* bugger around worrying about the resale value of things, or I could enjoy the shiny shiny when it is new and think about when the wife will let me buy the next latest and greatest.

5
0

And the reason why HTC do so badly is because their devices are not seen as "premium" but they charge premium prices..

Look at eBay price for a ten year old HTC hd2=£120 ish,HTC ten about £300+

The reason why the hd2 is still selling at mugger higher ratio price than anything else HTC have produced in the last ten years is because the hd2 is the last decent device they made that actually sold well,it was THE developers phone for 5 years,nothing else came close and it is still the only mobile that can run just about anything you care to try,up to and including desktop os's like xp(embeded).

HTC have been trying to live off the kudos of the hd2 for the last ten years,they built a couple of nearly good devices,but then charged silly prices,they will either change or go bankrupt in the next two years.

The U will be another sales flop,no matter what reviews say,price will kill it,doesn't matter ifvtgey drop price shortly after,something else shiny will have taken the sales by then..

1
0
Silver badge

Likewise, LG have made some odd design choices (G3 had stupid high resolution screen that sapped battery, another had a weird modular set up, their 'sane' V10 / V20 alternative high end offerings weren't sold in Europe) and then they had an endless boot cycle issues on some handsets, leading to bad press.

Shane, cos LG seem able to make a great flagship phone, but stumble at the last hurdle. Their latest G-series phone has a similar 2:1 screen to the latest Galaxy S, but reviews suggest Samsung's offering will be just that little bit better around the board.

0
0

I am on my third HTC phone (over a period of 10 years), and, I will probably by another one in two to three years time if they are still in business.

There main problem is the lack of advertising/marketing clout compared with Samsung and to a lesser degree LG.

They produce well designed Android phones, with superb, better than Apple, build quality; whats not to like. Yes they tweak the Android UI -- bit unlike rivals the tweaks are usually an improvement on the vanilla OS.

Ignoring a brilliant phone just because its not a best seller makes no sense at all.

2
0

Why Does This Matter?

I'm not really sure I understand why this is important. Who sells their phone after only one month? Even six months doesn't make a great deal of sense to me. I've still got the same HTC M8 that I got Gods only know how long ago. OK so it's got LineageOS on it so I get the weekly updates but it's still working perfectly well. Doesn't freeze up, UI responds speedily enough and the battery is easily good for a day and a half of normal usage. I've not seen anything on a new phone that's making me think "oh yes, must have that" so why do I care that it's worth pennies to the pound on what I paid for it?

Fingers crossed the next device will be a Gemini (assuming they get the thing out the door). A proper, useful keyboard on a phone would be a wonderful thing to have; and I'll probably hang on to that until the heat death of the Sun.

Rosie

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Why Does This Matter?

> Who sells their phone after only one month?

I bought an iPhone SE which was less than a month old. The seller had bought it, but then decided he really wanted the larger 6S instead. I paid about 30% below the price new.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Why Does This Matter?

It doesn't matter, and it also fails to take into account an iPhone costs twice the price of an equally as good Android device.

3
1
Alert

Re: Why Does This Matter?

Droid troll alert!!!

1
2
Silver badge

Re: Why Does This Matter?

> m not really sure I understand why this is important. Who sells their phone after only one month?

Hi Rosie! Some people sell on a new phone they get with their network operator contract. It's a bit daft, because they would probably save money if they bought the phone outright ( or on credit card) and then negotiated a SIM-only tariff.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Why Does This Matter?

> Fingers crossed the next device will be a Gemini (assuming they get the thing out the door). A proper, useful keyboard on a phone would be a wonderful thing to have; and I'll probably hang on to that until the heat death of the Sun.

Since you are looking at crowdfunded solutions (and you are an adult who knows the risks), you might also consider a Moto Mod keyboard - five row sliding and tilting keyboard for compatible Moto phones: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/keyboard-mod-a-physical-keyboard-for-the-moto-z#/

You give the impression that you're waiting for real products to ship and be reviewed before laying out your cash, so may the best keyboard win!

My feeling is that the detachable keyboard will be the better solution - should a key fail, you can detach the keyboard from your phone and send it off for repair, without having to faff around digging up a spare phone. Should your phone fail, your investment in the keyboard can be carried over to a new phone. Ditto if you ever wish to upgrade your phone.

0
0

I use the "Gie it to your kids when you upgrade" model.

They get a free newish handset every two years when you do ;)

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Give it to your kids when you upgrade

Alternatively, there's the "Give it to your parents when you upgrade" model!

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Give it to your kids when you upgrade

'Alternatively, there's the "Give it to your parents when you upgrade" model!'

I still don't understand why a man with an aversion to phone calls needs two handsets, but it keeps him happy!

0
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017