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How much will your phone decrease in value when the new iPhone is released?

Abigail Fenton
·3-min read
Previous iPhone devices have dropped 40% in value upon the release of a new model. Photo: Drew Coffman/Unsplash
Previous iPhone devices have dropped 40% in value upon the release of a new model. Photo: Drew Coffman/Unsplash

Your iPhone’s value could drop by over 40% in the weeks after Apple (APPL) releases its new 2020 models, research suggests.

Brits who are planning to upgrade should be on the lookout for the best time to trade-in their device to earn the highest return, tech buyback and seller site Decluttr advised.

The value of older Apple devices typically plummets within hours of a new one being announced.

This year, Apple’s much-anticipated first ever 5G-enabled phone could hit markets — meaning the rate of depreciation could be even higher than in prior years, although the tech giant said it was delaying the release of its signature smartphone during Tuesday’s virtual event.

Decluttr’s Annual Phone Depreciation Study found mobile phones lose about 40% of their value within just the first month of their release. The value of older mobile devices then drops another 15% just in the first month of a new phone announcement.

READ MORE: The best iPhone accessories for 2020

However, the quickest and most significant drop from past releases was the iPhone XS and XS Max — they lost 40% and 39% of their value, respectively, in the month the XR was released.

Higher value mobile devices costing $900 (£693) or more go down 51% in value in the first six months months. Meanwhile, mid-range mobile devices costing $700 (£539) to $899 lose about 56%, and cheaper phones costing $699 or less lose about 64%, according to the study.

After 12 months of release, depreciation continue. High-value devices lose about 58% of their launch value, mid-range devices lose about 65%, and low-cost handsets lose about 66%.

For non-Apple device users, the need for timely trade-ins is even more important, Decluttr warned.

READ MORE: Huawei phone prices rise in China on fears of chip shortage

Compared to other manufacturers, Apple phones are by far the best, losing 51% of their value in the first 12 months, and 67% over a typical two-year contract period.

In comparison, Samsung (BC94.L) devices lose about 67% of their value in the first year, and 80% by the end of the second year. The Samsung S10 5G — one of the most expensive models the brand has released — has so far had one of the worst depreciations ever for the brand, losing a massive 72% of its worth in just 12 months after release.

Google, Huawei and OnePlus phones are among the worst when it comes to depreciation rate, typically losing between 69% and 72% of their value after the first year of release, the study found.

Overall, iPhones maintain eight of the top 10 spots for retaining value in their first year of release, showing the brand’s ability to hold value, compared to others.

READ MORE: How you could be invalidating your mobile phone insurance

Of every phone analysed, the iPhone XS and XS Max, which cost $999 and $1,099, retained the highest percentage of their values in the first 12 months after release, dropping by just 45% and 43%, respectively.

The iPhone X also performed well, losing just 58% of its value in the first year of its release.

“With the expectation that Apple will be releasing its first 5G-enabled device, we’d encourage everyone planning to make an upgrade to trade-in their devices as early as possible to get the best return,” said Liam Howley, CMO of Decluttr.

“We’ve seen how the availability of innovative features has previously impacted depreciation of other devices and it’s likely to play a significant role this year.”