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iPhones could lose up to 35% of their value in coming weeks

With the 2020 Apple Keynote just around the corner, Apple fans are eagerly awaiting news about the latest handsets. However, those who are looking to get their hands on the new model need to be aware of the best time to trade in their old device to get the highest return, as the value of older iPhones are set to plummet by up to 35% in the coming weeks.

The news comes as tech site musicMagpie releases its 5th Annual Phone Depreciation Report, updated with the latest depreciation statistics for 2020.

The annual report uses trade-in data from musicMagpie, a UK based tech recycler, to track the value of the most popular handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google, OnePlus and Huawei. Since 2015, it is a useful guide to which phones retain their value best, and what happens after a new model launches.

What impact will the new iPhone release have on phone values?

When a new iPhone is released, on average we see the value of its predecessors drop by 11% in the first month alone, and by a total of 17% after three months. The biggest drop from previous releases was by the iPhone XS and XS Max, which both dropped by over 35% in value in the three months following the release of the XR.

With this year’s anticipated first 5G-enabled Apple phone to hit the market, the rate of depreciation could be even higher than previous years due to the new phones having this standout feature.

Liam Howley, chief marketing officer at musicMagpie speaks about the results of this year’s report: “As we’ve found in previous years, Apple handsets continue to hold their value for longer than any other phone brands. However, they still see their value drop dramatically following the release of a new handset.

“With the expectation of 5G, this year’s release could lead to an even quicker rate of depreciation for older models that aren’t 5G compatible. Anyone wanting to upgrade should aim to get a price locked-in as soon as possible, to make sure they’re getting the best value for their old handset.”

More expensive handsets are retaining their value better
According to this year’s report, while handsets are becoming increasingly expensive, the pricier models are retaining their value much better than cheaper handsets.

Of all the handsets released in 2019 onwards, the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro managed to retain their value the most in the first six months after release, dropping by only 34% and 35% of their original values of £729 and £999. Cheaper models like the Google Pixel 3a, costing just £399 on release, lost almost twice this, at 64%.

Which brands are holding onto the most value?

As in previous years, Apple continues to hold the top spot for the brand which retains the most value, with iPhone losing an average of 43% of their value in the first 12 months, and 61% by the end of a standard 24-month contract period.

Samsung comes in a close second, with handsets depreciating by an average of 64% in 12 months and 76% in 24 months.

Huawei is bringing up the rear, with their handsets losing 74% of their value in the first 12 months and 88% by the end of a standard 24-month contract period.

Which phones are being traded in the most?

musicMagpie confirmed that the iPhone 7 was the most commonly traded-in handset in the past 12 months. And in good news for consumers, the handset was among the top 10 for retaining value, only losing 44% of its value in the first 12 months.

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