The average smartphone user holds on to their device for more than two years, but if you are an outlier and switch phones frequently, it’s probably a good idea to consider value retention when making a purchase. Generally, Apple’s iPhones lose value at a slower rate than Android smartphones and the iPhone 12 series is no exception, a study by online mobile marketplace SellCell has found.
iPhone 12 super-cycle is not just benefitting Apple, but also buyers
The difficulties caused by the pandemic made Apple postpone the launch of the iPhone 12 range by a month, something which evidently had no bearing on sales. Per analytics firm Counterpoint Research, it took the series just seven months to hit 100 million units in sales, two months less than it had taken the iPhone 11 to achieve the same feat. In the US, the iPhone 12, which also happens to be Apple’s first 5G-ready range, accounted for 63 percent of total sales during the quarter ended June 2021.That signals a strong appetite for Apple’s newest phones and this has been reflected in the resale value. In the first six months, the series lost an average value of 34.5 percent. During a comparable period, the iPhone 11 family had lost approximately 44 percent of its value.
Interestingly enough, both the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 suffered the sharpest plunge in the first month, but thereafter, the resale value started stabilizing, and in the case of the latest lineup, it’s actually on an upward trajectory now.
iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 resale value comparison
The 512GB iPhone 12 Pro Max, for instance, which has a retail price of $1,399, saw its value drop to $710 during the first month, but by the sixth month, the resale value had climbed to $995.
The iPhone 12 mini, whose demand has been so low that Apple recently reportedly halted production, unsurprisingly didn’t fare as well as the rest of the range. The 256GB model, which has a sticker price of $849, was down to $430 after a month, and in the five months that followed, the situation only got marginally better, with the resale price increasing to $501.
For comparison, the 512GB iPhone 11 Pro Max, which was $1,449 at launch, dropped to $850 after a month, and after the six-month mark, the price fell to $830. The 256GB iPhone 11, which cost $849 at launch, plunged to $580 after a month. Five months after that, the resale value dropped further to $504. Samsung’s Galaxy S21 range, which was released in late January, had depreciated by up to 50 percent in the first three months alone.
iPhone 11 depreciation
SellCell theorizes that continued strong demand for the iPhone 12 has influenced buyer perceptions and this has helped the series recoup some of the value that was lost initially.