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High durability lets iPhones & Androids maintain their value

iPhone battery

A new report delves into how iPhone and Android smartphones both stay in good shape for years, enabling them to be reused — but Android smartphones fare slightly better at maintaining good battery life.

The majority of old iPhones are reused in some way, whether it's being given to a friend or member of the family, or exchanged for a new one. Some people also keep their old iPhones as a spare or backup.

The reason is due to the iPhone's longevity, according to new data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). Apple's smartphones hold their value, not only because the company keeps them alive with software updates for years but also because of their durability.

The condition of old smartphone displays
The condition of old smartphone displays

The battery and display are two critical factors in a smartphone's continued use. Four-fifths of customers who purchased an iPhone upgrade from a prior model have a display that is either "perfect" or "scratched but useable." Only 6% of older iPhones had an unusable display.

For battery life, approximately 60% of iPhone users reported that their previous model's battery lasted all day or most of the day. Meanwhile, 15% said the battery on the old model lasted only a couple of hours.

The situation is similar on the Android side too. For example, about 15% of iPhone buyers who previously had an Android phone said their displays were in the same condition as previous iPhone owners.

The battery life is slightly better, as 67% of iPhone users who had an Android phone said it lasted all or most of the day. Only 7% said the battery lasted a couple of hours.

Apple has gradually improved the battery life of its devices over the years, such as by making its chips more efficient. However, the company increased the cost of replacing an iPhone battery in March.

While it's keeping the cost of replacing an iPhone 14 battery at $99, it raised the battery service fee by $20 for all iPhone models before the iPhone 14 lineup.

For all supported iPhones with a home button, the cost rose from $49 to $69. From the iPhone X to the iPhone 13, the price increases from $69 to $89.