How much is the phone in your pocket worth? Probably not as much as you paid for it.
With the unveiling of Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S9, set to take place at the Mobile World Congress in February, research conducted by mobile trade-in comparison service Sellmymobile for Moneywise shows that top-end phones lose about £20 of their value each month.
While Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones tend to lose their value at the same rate, the premium versions of these phones - the Galaxy Edge and the iPhone Plus – do so at a slightly faster rate than the standard models.
Sellmymobile's research looked at the initial sales price and current trade-in value of the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 series. Both have been on the market since 2016 and are now at an age where owners would typically upgrade to a newer model.
It found that the Samsung Galaxy S7 has fallen in value by £17.48 each month since its release in March 2016, which means it has lost value at a rate of 3.07% per month.
This is almost identical to the iPhone 7, which has seen prices fall by £18.47 per month since its launch in September 2016 – equivalent to a 3.08% monthly drop.
The premium Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge meanwhile, has seen prices fall by £20.81 (3.25%) each month, while the iPhone 7 Plus has lost £23.47 (3.26%) of its value each month.
‘Older models depreciate as soon as a new handset hits the market’
Thom Bryan, mobile expert at Sellmymobile, says the value of a phone falls even faster after a new model is released. He says Samsung Galaxy S7 owners, and even Samsung Galaxy S8 users who want a newer model, should consider selling their phone now before the Galaxy S9 is unveiled if they want the best price.
“With another handset launch imminent from Samsung, and the price to get your hands on the newest mobile tech going up and up, those keen to stay on the cutting edge should investigate the value of trading in their old handset before they go on sale in order to unlock the maximum value,” he says.
“When it comes to handsets, older models depreciate as soon as a new handset hits the market, and while the return can still be great, our data shows that they never return to the values offered before.
“For instance, iPhone 7 handsets, depending on the memory and size, have lost between 10% – 20% in value since the newer iPhone X launched.”
Mr Bryan says that even if a phone is a few years old, you can still earn a good price when trading it in. “While the drops aren’t necessarily as steep initially as they have been historically, the longer you wait, the less you will inevitably get, and the biggest sums spike before a handset is released.
“Waiting can prove costly, but it’s always worth taking the time to check the worth of your handsets as older generation phones can still carry a good value, in fact an iPhone 5 64GB is still worth £53 providing it is in working order.”
|Device||Cost to buy on release||Average trade in price December 2017||Depreciation in price||Depreciation per month|
|Galaxy S7 32GB||£569 (March 2016)||£202||£367||£17.48 (3.07%)|
|Galaxy S7 Edge 32GB||£640 (March 2016)||£203||£437||£20.81 (3.25%)|
|iPhone 7 32GB||£599 (September 2016)||£322||£277||£18.47 (3.08%)|
|iPhone 7 Plus 32GB||£719 (September 2016)||£367||£352||£23.47 (3.26%)|
Source: Sellmymobile , 24 January 2018
Top tips for selling your phone
To find the best price for your old handset, use a trade-in comparison site such as Compare and Recycle, Compare My Mobile or Sellmymobile to ensure you’re getting the best price for your handset – check online or use TrustPilot to check the reviews first as some sites have a bad reputation for not paying the price they said they would.
Sellmymobile has some other top tips for trading in your mobile:
Unlock your phone before you sell. If your contract is complete your mobile network will usually do this for free. This could add extra value onto your trade-in price.
Make sure you give accurate information about the condition of the phone, such as cracks on the screen. Damaged phones are worth less when you trade them in.
Check you can get your phone back free of charge. If you change your mind some trade-in websites charge a fee to send your phone back, double check this before you send your device off.
Transfer all the photos and messages you want to keep to another device and then perform a factory reset to ensure your data is wiped from the phone.