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HYLA Mobile: Over $2.2bn returned to US consumers in 2018 through mobile trade-ins


An additional $110 million returned to US consumers through trade-ins than in 2017, despite consumers holding onto devices for longer

31st January 2019HYLA Mobile, the world’s leading provider of software technology and services for mobile device trade-in and reuse solutions, today reveals that mobile device trade-in programs successfully returned more than $2.26 billion to US consumers in 2018. With trade-in programs delivering an additional $110 million to consumers than in 2017, HYLA’s data reveals the growing popularity of trade-in programs, with consumers, carriers, retailers and OEMs all realizing the latent value in devices.

HYLA’s Trade-In Industry Trends 2018 Annual Summary combines live market data with data from its own analytics solutions, which helps carriers and OEMs determine trade-in values to be offered to consumers, as well as the disposition prices for these devices in the secondary market. Because of its leadership position in the market, HYLA is able to offer unique insight into the trade-in market in the US.

Key findings from the report reveal that:

  • Consumers holding onto their devices is a trend that continues; the average age of a smartphone at trade-in in 2018 was 2.77 years, a rise from 2.59 years in 2017 and 2.38 years in 2016
  • The average value of an iPhone at trade-in in 2018 was $157.57, while an Android was $62.05. The average value of an iPhone at trade-in has increased from $149.11 in 2017 and $142.55 in 2016
  • The Galaxy S7 was the top traded Samsung device in every quarter of 2018
  • For the third year in a row, the iPhone 6 was the top traded device. Out of the five top traded devices, it made up 30.52% of device trade-ins
  • The device with the highest trade-in value in 2018 was the iPhone XS Max at $586.58.

Consumers holding onto their smartphones for longer was a trend that continued in 2018, but trade-in programs have helped spur mobile device upgrades. As it stands though, only a small portion of US consumers trade-in their mobile devices when they upgrade. Consumers that do take advantage of these programs and trade-in their old device are getting more money put back into their pockets, which can be used to offset the cost of a new device, or to go towards buying accessories, data plans or other offerings.

“The smartphone market is currently in a state of flux, and our data shows that despite consumers holding onto their devices for longer, trade-in programs are gaining traction. But this is only the tip of the iceberg, and more can be done to boost trade-in programs,” said Biju Nair, President & CEO of HYLA Mobile. “More than ever before, trade-in programs are an important tool to help stimulate upgrades and enable new smartphones to be more affordable for consumers. With only a small portion of the market actually trading in devices, carriers, OEMs and retailers should do more to promote and encourage the trade-in as a part of the normal device purchase process.”

But while the market is seeing prices of new devices rising, models are also losing their value quickly. The iPhone XS Max for example, had the highest trade-in value in 2018 at $586.58, while at the same time the smartphone had lost 59.52% of its retail value since its launch in September. The Google Pixel 2 was released in 2017 and lost half of its trade-in value in 2018. The iPhone 8 on the other hand, which was released in the same year, only lost 28% of its value in 2018.

“This is all the more reason for consumers to trade-in their devices at the time of upgrade, rather than hang on to a depreciating model,” added Nair. “The retail price of new high-end devices is not decreasing, so obtaining a higher trade-in value helps subsidize the price of the new purchase. Trade-ins have proven to be the best antidote for a slowing device sales cycle.”

HYLA Mobile’s Mobile Trade-In Industry Trends 2018 Annual Summary is available to download here:

About HYLA Mobile
HYLA, Inc. (“HYLA Mobile”) is one of the world's leading providers of mobile device trade-in and reuse solutions, backed by Venture Capital firms Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Silver Lake, OpenAir Equity Partners, RRE Ventures, SJF and NGEN. Since its founding in 2009, HYLA has worked to develop technology and solutions that extend the lifecycle of mobile devices to build economic opportunity and enable information access for new users, while helping to protect our planet. HYLA’s leadership in promoting Circular Economy was recently recognized by the World Economic Forum by naming HYLA as a finalist for the prestigious Circulars Award.

HYLA partners with leading wireless carriers, retailers, OEMs, insurers, and online brands to provide lifecycle management for used mobile devices. HYLA extends the life of these devices to consumers around the world, providing access to affordable, high-quality wireless technology in developed and emerging markets.

The secondary mobile device market is estimated to grow to $38.9 billion in 20125, up from $19.7 billion in 2017, making it one of the fastest growing segments in the mobile space. HYLA has completed more than 53 million mobile device trade-ins since its founding in 2009. To learn more about how HYLA Mobile is changing the way people think about used mobile devices, visit

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