In 2022, Apple will again be the market leader for used smartphones.

In 2022, Apple will again be the market leader for used smartphones.

In spite of shortages, the global market for refurbished cellphones expanded in 2022. As a result of the pandemic in China, the resale industry in India grew rapidly that year.

Market data compiled by Counterpoint Research shows that while new smartphone shipments fell by 12% in 2022, sales of used smartphones increased by 5%. In 2022, Apple held 49% of the refurbished smartphone market, up from 44% in 2021, and Samsung held 26%.

Apple’s policy of providing a complete one-year warranty on battery and exterior shell repairs has helped it gain a dominant position in the global refurbished smartphone market.

According to Counterpoint senior analyst Glen Cardoza, the lack of available refurbished cellphones has a significant impact on economies in developing regions, including those in Latin America, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. In 2022, India overtook China as the top market for refurbished smartphones, as sales in China dropped by 17%.

Meanwhile, Cardoza pointed out that international companies in the refurbished smartphone ecosystem are growing their home markets, which could reduce China’s refurbished smartphone imports and exports.

Further, as 5G-capable smartphones gain popularity around the world, the supply of 5G-refurbished smartphones will rise, causing a drop in demand and a buildup of 4G-refurbished smartphones.

After global smartphone sales took a knock in 2022 due to rising component prices and inflation at levels not seen in decades, budget-conscious buyers sought out pre-owned models.

However, used smartphones may become standard in the market. IDC predicted in January that trade-in programs and premiumization of devices would lead to a CAGR of 10.3% from 2021 to 2026, increasing worldwide smartphone shipments to 413.3 million units.