Why used iPhones cost more than used Android phones

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: This iPhone 7 came out three years ago. I could sell it and still get a couple hundred dollars for it. But if it was an Android phone, it would be a very different story. Why can I get so much for this 3-year-old phone?

Right now on eBay a used iPhone 7 goes for around $150 to sometimes over $200. But a Galaxy S7, which also came out in 2016, sells for under $100. This is true for sites like Best Buy and Swappa, too. It doesn't matter where you shop, used iPhones always cost more than the same generation of Android phone. And you have to pay even more if you want a certified refurbished phone. Buying a refurbished iPhone 7 Plus from Apple still costs $480. Unfortunately, all phones lose value as soon as you take them out of the box. Even a used iPhone XS, which came out last year, sells for around $700 to $800 on eBay. That's 20% to 30% less than the original price. But reports have shown that after a year, iPhones retain around 15% more value than Samsung phones.

And it's even worse for other Android phone manufacturers, like LG. The LG G8 ThinQ came out in March. It costs around $850 new, but used it sells for just $300 to $400. That's more than a 50% loss in just four months. So why do we consider old phones to be worth so much less? For better or worse, the smartphone upgrade cycle is quick. Every year you know there will be new phones with new features.

Tim Cook: This is iPhone X.

Narrator: A big reason for buying that new phone is because your current phone is slow or out of date. But this is where Apple has a big advantage. Since Apple is in complete control of the iPhone, they can choose to support products for a longer period of time. And they're more transparent about how long a phone will be supported. That means your old phone can get the newest features and security updates. IOS 12 even supports the iPhone 5s, which came out in 2013. In fact, Apple reports that 85% of iPhone users have installed the latest software. Android P, on the other hand....

Cook: They only had 10% adoption.

Narrator: Data from 2018 showed that the iPhone 6s and 7 are still very popular phones. And Apple is bringing iOS 13 to both of these phones. That means the iPhone 6s has been supported through five software versions. That's not something any Android phone can say. And thanks to these updates, older iPhones remain more popular and can be sold for more money. Companies like Samsung and LG are slow to bring new versions of Android to their devices. It takes time to modify Android for each phone, and companies might not be motivated to bring new versions to phones that are several years old. And it can be tough to tell how long your device is supported, although the speed of Android updates has gotten better over the last couple of years.

Of course, iPhones also have the best brand recognition. People are willing to trust a used iPhone 7 more than a OnePlus 6 because they know what they get with an iPhone. And unless you're the type of person who watches a review of every new Android phone, it can be tough to keep up with each release. New iPhones, on the other hand, are released every September. But there are some things that Android phone manufacturers can do to improve their phones' resale values.

Getting new versions of Android faster is a huge advantage. If you buy Google's own Pixel phones, you know you'll get Google's software updates right away. So you might be more likely to stick with that device. And phones that don't modify stock Android very much usually perform better in the long run. OnePlus phones, for example, don't pack on a lot of extra features on top of Android. As a result, they still run great years after they're released.

But one thing does remain true, iPhone or Android: Try to sell your phone before they release a new model. Phones drop in value almost immediately after a new one is announced. So when that shiny new iPhone gets released, consider buying used instead of new. You can save a lot of money by buying last year's latest and greatest. And now that thousand-dollar phones are the norm, buy a phone that you can use for more than just a year or two.

iOS compatibility chart via Statista.

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