With the new flagship phone pricing at a four-digit (US dollar) foothold, the demand for refurbished mobile phones appears to be stronger than ever.
According to the "Wall Street Journal" report, consumers who previously purchased Apple's iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S smartphones are also shocked by the price of the new flagship mobile phone.
In the fourth quarter of last year, shipments of the new generation of smart phones hit a record low. From October to December 2017, shipments of smart phones fell for the first time in three quarters.
Industry executives said that today's new mobile phones will be eliminated after being used by four different users. And those buyers who "like refurbished machines" are no longer just from developing countries such as India and Africa.
Nowadays, 93% of people who buy used smart phones online are from the United States.
According to BayStreet Research LLC, as early as 2014, when operators were accustomed to subsidizing phone purchases and often provided two-year contracts, U.S. consumers upgraded a new phone every 23 months.
The research company said that the latest data shows that Americans are upgrading their new mobile phones every 31 months, and this number is expected to reach 33 months next year.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said on the February 1 conference call that Apple will keep up with this trend and that the reliability of the iPhone is usually "very good."
Having said that, Apple has had to throttle down some older models because the weaker batteries force the CPU to shut down when it runs some complex tasks.
The tech giant issued a statement and lowered its battery replacement price by US$50 (RMB317) to US$29 (RMB184) for the rest of 2018.
As for Samsung, head of mobile services D.J. Koh said that due to the popularity of previously used mobile phones, the company may adjust its strategy. Samsung did not introduce new low-cost models in certain regions, but said that Samsung may decide to provide refurbished Samsung flagship products in these markets.
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