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iPhones and Android devices get treated differently when retired

Most iPhone users trade in their device

A new report focuses on user behavior when a smartphone is retired, and illustrates the differences between iPhone owners, and Android users.

The latest report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) found that, among consumers who purchased a new iPhone in 2022, 43% chose to trade it in. Another 7% of people sold their devices to a third party.

Meanwhile, 36% of consumers kept their older phones as a backup or to give to a friend or family member. Those using an Android phone had different patterns for disposing of their old models.

Most of them — 65% — kept their old phone as a backup or to give to a friend or family member. Even though most iPhone retailers also accept trade-ins for Android models, only 14% of Android users do so.

"Perhaps the typically lower trade-in values for Android phones makes that a less desirable transaction," CIRP writes. "Or perhaps customers switching from Android to iPhone want the security of knowing they still have a familiar Android device to fall back on or refer to, if their migration fails to bring every last contact, photo, or note to their new iOS device."

A report from March 15 gave some insight into the world of smartphone trade-ins. For example, one company, US Mobile Phones (USMP), reportedly handled over 2.5 million traded-in phones in 2022, and most were iPhones.

Businesses like USMP favor iPhones over Androids because they hold their resale value better than other smartphones. Another reason is that Apple supports old iPhone models with software updates for years.

Resellers can also profit from previously-used iPhones. In some cases, they might receive between 10% to 15% in profits by selling secondhand models.