February 25, 2021
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More than 225M used phones were shipped last year, IDC estimates


Used phone sales aren’t expected to slow down anytime soon.

Angela Lang/CNET

Worldwide shipments of used smartphones is expected to reach 225.4 million units for 2020, according to a forecast released Thursday by market researcher IDC. That’s an increase of 9.2% compared with 2019, the firm says. Additionally, IDC predicts used phone shipments will hit 351.6 million units in 2024. 

These numbers include officially refurbished as well as used smartphones. IDC says much of that projected growth is driven by the fact that trade-ins are increasingly used to persuade consumers to upgrade their phones and to offset the cost of pricey devices

The volume for 2020 was lower than expected, IDC says, but the used market still did well when compared with the new phone market, for which the firm expects a 6.4% decline. IDC projected in late February of last year that the coronavirus pandemic would negatively impact the global smartphone market in 2020

“In contrast to the recent declines in the new smartphone market, as well as the forecast for minimal growth in new shipments over the next few years, the used market for smartphones shows no signs of slowing down across all parts of the globe,” IDC research manager Anthony Scarsella said in a release. “Refurbished and used devices continue to provide cost-effective alternatives to both consumers and businesses that are looking to save money when purchasing a smartphone.”

See also: Are refurbished eBay phones worth it? $650 later, I have some advice 

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