Refurbished, high-end Apple iPhones are suffocating the growth of cheap, new Android phones

“The fastest growing segment in global smartphones isn’t Google’s vision for super-cheap, simple Android phones,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for AppleInsider. “Instead, according to new market data, it’s refurbished high-quality phones that carry a desirable brand but can be sold at a more affordable price, a segment where Apple is ‘leading by a significant margin.'”

“A report by Counterpoint Research noted that ‘the global market for refurbished smartphones grew 13 percent year over year in 2017, reaching close to 140 million units,’ and contrasted this against the larger market for new smartphones, which grew by barely 3 percent during the year, or just 33.8 million units,” Dilger writes. “Among Android licensees, the retracting volume of unit sales was financially disastrous because most manufacturers were already making very little to nothing selling low-end and middle-tier phones. As sales become harder to sustain, competition among poorly-differentiated, commodity Androids gets increasingly cutthroat.”

MacDailyNews Take: When racing to the bottom, every participant is a loser.

“While cheap commodity phone makers fight over scraps, the strength of Apple’s premium devices is allowing them to return to the market to compete again in a second wave, following a trend that occurred among luxury carmakers selling their certified pre-owned vehicles directly in competition with new, entry-level economy cars,” Dilger writes. “Counterpoint Research Director Tom Kang stated… ‘The mid low-end market for new smartphones is being cannibalized by refurbished high-end phones, mostly Apple iPhones…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Apple certified refurbished is the route we always recommend for someone looking to get an Apple product at a discount. The products offered are basically as good as new. An Apple certified refurbished iPhone beats any new non-iPhone every day of the week! — MacDailyNews, November 9, 2016

31 Comments

        1. Doubtful Apple would want to hear immediate complaints about battery life with a refurbished phone. Especially NOW with recent controversies, but it would not make much business sense not to start off a new used user with a fresh power supply. All my experiences with Apple they have gone beyond what I expected. (Like $2400 in repairs waved for a Mac Pro without Apple Care.) Not that anyone who sees my posts here knows how I also take them to task on other things. Still waiting on a new revamped 2016 Mac Pro I wanted to buy then here now in 2018.

            1. If you come in angry, ignorant & kinda stupid you are at a disadvantage. I totally discovered the art of being gregarious, funny and knowledgeable with them – which they respected – and then they couldn’t do enough to help me.

              I once did a business transaction at an Apple Store and their software was screwing up until I pointed out the problem THEY couldn’t figure out. I usually endear myself (pretty easily) to Apple Store people which proves the old bromide “You get more flies with honey than vinegar.” This technique works pretty much everywhere by the way. I got a speeding ticket the other day (caused by actually another driver – grrr) and the Sheriff who stopped me thought I was so nice, funny and personable he significantly dropped the speed I had been traveling on the ticket!

            2. No, I came in calm and happy, I left that way.

              Okay, I was going to spare you the details…

              a) I bought a 15” MPB in ’08. Absolutely loved it. ’09 models came around and I gave my daughter the ’08 and, while in a hurry, bought the corresponding ’09 for myself. I get home, open it, go to put in my Expresscard adapter and…. the slot wasn’t there! The 17” model had it though, so I said, “oh well, not what I wanted, but I’ll pay the difference”. Not 24 hours after the purchase I went to the same Apple store to exchange it. That’s when I was informed of a $300+ restocking fee. I said I was exchanging, not returning, to no avail. I kept it. I was stuck with USB2 on a $2K+ machine, when $800 machines had them. No computer I ever owned had ever left me so wanting.

              b) Bought an iPhone 3GS soon as it came out, gave my daughter my existing 3G. I go to install a software upgrade (I want to say 3.11…) and the upgrade fails and the phone reboots randomly. So I make an appointment and go to the store. Before doing anything… they shine a pen light in the phone’s orifices and say “it’s not covered, it has water damage” Mind you, the phone was in a case since I bought it, and no never wet. Ever. I asked them to check my daughter’s phone (who came with me) and they said hers too, though it worked. I asked them to open my phone and look at any internal sensors. They refused. I told them I had AppleCare, didn’t apply. Now I’m pissed. I left.

              Outcomes…
              a) I think it was after Jobs died, Apple reversed it’s restocking policy. Vindication at least.

              b) Mind you, I managed to fix my phone myself by jailbreaking it. The city of Houston was up in arms with humidity voiding their warranties with those bogus sensors. Many other complaints too.

              Apple settled a lawsuit over bogus water sensors, and I got a check for $304. I put it towards a Note 4.

              I never take Apple for granted, and I never assume with them.

            3. Never had any of those issues. You’ve just been unfortunate to have had the wrong stars align. I always fully check out and am aware of what any new machine I might buy has or doesn’t have in any case. (But then I usually buy fully loaded.) Surprised still they wouldn’t exchange but as you say that policy has changed. Water in a new iPhone, well – that’s just weird. They saw some moisture in the phone’s orifices? How could moisture cause enough damage to notice anything amiss on the iPhone itself while inside the box? Time to move to some place less humid perhaps? That was also a while ago. But I know bad experiences have a tendency to linger in one’s mind. My 2005 G5 PowerPC was majorly faulty with 3 successive logic board failures and other issues. But then the PowerPC G5’s just ran too darn hot and another dead end for Apple. Most Macs I’ve owned though have been sterling machines. Can’t wait for the modular Mac Pro 2018 and it BETTER be good.

            4. with peterblood. No disrespect applecynic but I don’t buy for a second that you weren’t acting like an asshat when dealing with Apple support. Be nice and you tend to get nice back. I’ll buy that you *think* you were being nice. I’m sure you believe that. I’m just as sure you were not being nice.

        2. “They get me every time…”

          In that case, applewhinylittlebitch, what mental disorder keeps you coming back for more?

          Plenty of other companies and products out there.

            1. You didn’t address my point.

              I’d love to see you try to explain why you keep complaining and complaining and complaining and complaining, rather than going and buying the (presumably) many other better products out there.

            2. 1. So what? You could still blind us with the wonder and logic of your explanation of why you stay here when Apple “gets you every time”.

              2. What the heck is this “debt” and “owing” thing?

              3. And FYI, you have loooong since abdicated the debt of not being like a long-term toothache.

            3. I’d still like an actual answer to my actual point — Why do you stay here complaining, complaining, complaining and complaining, when Apple “gets you every time”?

    1. This is true of any battery-operated phone or device, not just iPhones. Batteries only last so many charges. Not so unlike a typical car start battery, now that I think of it…

      1. Other battery powered devices are designed with forethought. They allow the user to easily and inexpensively replace the battery without any special tools or professional services. Apple rapes its customers because they accept the anti-user behavior. As Apple grows fatter lazier and more out of touch, it sows the seeds of discontent. The market is ripe for a more user friendly hardware maker. Hackintoshes exist, next it will be other stuff that Apple is too lazy to build.

        1. I have replaced several iPhone batteries and replaced my wife’s broken screen. It is not hard. Anyone who wants to, can do it. You do need to be able to follow instructions. And you should have a modicum of ability to work with your hands, although this can be learned. Check out ifixit online for instructions and parts. (I have no connection with them.)

          However, if you cannot, or will not, take a door off its hinges, or tighten a kitchen cabinet door hinge for yourself, or unplug a toilet, then I would NOT recommend trying to replace an iPhone battery. Although it might be good for you to try.

  1. And over time plenty of previous models accumulate for sale to the second hand market market stifling new low end Android garbage sales. That should cause some serious damage and keep some from even starting to be involved with Android at all and becoming Apple fans instead. Eventually they may afford the newer iPhone models. Humans don’t let other humans suffer with Android – if at all possible.

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