Study finds $47 billion in old phones gathering dust
People aren't trading in their old gadgets, instead preferring to give them to someone, donate them to charity or throw them away.
By Tim Parker
If you've ever wondered why Apple (AAPL) would waste its time getting into the used cell phone business, a recent survey will answer your question.
According to new data from the annual "Mobile Mountain Study" conducted for mobile resale site SellCell.com, Americans have enough phones sitting in drawers to collect a combined total of $47 billion in trade-in value, according to MarketWatch.
Some $13 billion of that total is exclusively old iPhones.
"Americans are still unaware of the money they can make by trading in their old mobile," Keir McConomy, founder of SellCell.com, told MarketWatch.
In the most recent quarter, Apple sold a record 51 million iPhones, according to its most recent earnings report, and although it has managed to convince many consumers to trade in their phones, 50 percent still say that they have an old phone sitting at home gathering dust -- down from 55 percent the year prior.
What are people doing with their old phones if they're not trading them in? About 20 percent say that they give them to a family member or friend, 12 percent donate the phone to charity, and 9 percent say they throw them in the trash.
In a world of Target security breaches and NSA spying, security is less of a concern to consumers than in previous years, surprisingly. Only 18 percent of those polled said that security was concerning to them -- down from 23 percent one year ago. That could be due to Apple's frequently talked-about security protocols.
Interestingly, when asked why they don't just trade in their old phone, 20 percent said they were "too lazy" while 40 percent say they wanted a spare phone in case something went wrong. Another 36 percent seemed to not know about the trade in programs.
These numbers prove what Apple already knows. While it isn't directly handling all of those iPhone trade-ins that it collects in its stores, it gets a piece of the revenue. With 50 percent of consumers holding on to their old phones and 36 percent seemingly not knowing that they can trade in their phone and receive up to a couple of hundred dollars, Apple stands to make a substantial amount of easy money in a market in its infancy.
Companies like SellCell, Gazelle and NextWorth, along with carriers like AT&T and Verizon are in on the action as well.
At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple.
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GIANT SCAM!!!!! Just sell it yourself on craigslist. You'll get between 6-10 times the money then using these god awful companies like SellCell and Gazelle.
what's that iphone5s going to be worth at the end of your 2 year contract? probably not much as iphone17.5 will be out by then and your screen will have a scratch and your port will have pocket lint in it.
i would rather give the phone to charity or let my kids play with it than give it to apple for basically nothing for them to make another 100 off it. or better yet, sell it yourself on ebay and give them 20% of the final value fee. oh just wait, that's why i don't sell on ebay any more with their ridiculous fees.
51 million clueless people overpaying for a phone that's 2 years behind the times in a 3 month period.
No wonder Apple has so much cash on hand. Hard to believe people spend hard earned cash on a product that's not advancing to a company that is Ebenezer Scrooge with its money to shareholders.
this just goes to show if you give someone a free phone they will not take care of them like they would if they paid for them themselves.
All my smartphone collect dust b/c I don't trust the next person that wan tot buy it. Who would want to buy a used old phone on Ebay when they are giving away NEW phone for almost free. 50% chance, someone trying to steal your information.
So what is the big deal.
Sounds like people are talking about Used cars, can't see much difference between the two.
Buy a new car, get low balled on the trade-in, and watch the value drop instantly, same with smart phones of today.
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