IDC Expects Global Market for Used Smartphones to Grow to $67 Billion in 2023

A new report from market research company IDC predicts that the global shipment of second-hand smartphones, including both officially refurbished and used smartphones, will reach 206.7 million units in 2019, which is a 17.6% increase over the 175.8 million units shipped in 2018.

The IDC report also predicts that by 2023, second-hand smartphone shipments will reach 332.9 million units with a market value of $67 billion and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% from 2018 to 2023.

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“In contrast to the recent declines in the new smartphone market, as well as the forecast for minimal growth in new shipments over the next few years, the used market for smartphones shows no signs of slowing down across all parts of the globe,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

The research firm attributes the increase to the rise in demand for used smartphones and the OEMs’ struggle to produce new models that strike a balance between desirable new features and a price that is seen as reasonable. Looking ahead, IDC expects that the deployment of 5G networks and smartphones will affect the secondary market, as smartphone users are already starting to trade their 4G smartphones for higher-performing 5G handsets.

“Refurbished and used devices continue to provide cost-effective alternatives to both consumers and businesses that are looking to save money when purchasing a smartphone. Moreover, the ability for vendors to push more affordable refurbished devices in markets in which they normally would not have a presence is helping these players grow their brand as well as their ecosystem of apps, services, and accessories,” Scarsella added.