Demand spikes for refurbished devices

NEW DELHI : The increase in smartphone prices is driving Indians towards refurbished phones. As a result, analysts expect the refurbished phone segment to grow 18% in 2022 as consumers look for cheaper offerings, even as overall phone demand has contracted.

“Last year, about 55 million refurbished phones were sold in India. This year, this number is expected to grow to around 65 million by end-2022,” Siddharth Surana, engagement manager at market researcher Redseer Consulting, said, noting that although the growth rate will slow, it would still mark a healthy increase for the industry.

Further, Glen Cardoza, a senior analyst at market researcher Counterpoint India, said that while the sharp rise in demand last year was due to pent-up demand in light of easing covid-19-related concerns, this year, the growth in the number of refurbished smartphones could be attributed to the increased selling price of new smartphones.

According to a quarterly report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), average selling price (ASPs) of new phones have risen by 15% in the quarter ended 30 June from a year earlier. The firm said that ASPs reached around 17,000 this year from around 13,500 last year. However, the total shipments of smartphones also declined during this time, as brands struggled with supply chain troubles.

On the other hand, Nakul Kumar, chief marketing officer and co-founder of refurbished electronics marketplace Cashify, noted that ASPs of used devices have largely remained constant over the past year. “If buyers had a certain budget for a phone before, they are willing to spend that on a refurbished phone—which offers them a better feature set than what a similarly priced new phone today would,” he added.

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