Second-hand smartphone market to hit $17bn in 2016

The second-hand smartphone market will hit a value of US$17 billion worldwide, while one quarter of smartphone users will no longer make a traditional phone call in a given week, according to Deloitte.

These are predictions made by the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice at Deloitte in its TMT Predictions 2016, now in its sixteenth year.

The company said consumers will sell outright or trade-in approximately 120 million used smartphones around the world in 2016, generating a market of more than US$17 billion, at an average value of US$140 per device. Deloitte also said 2016 will also see a marked increase from the 80 million smartphones traded in 2015, which had a value of US$11 billion.

“The second life of the smartphone is an increasingly important market in the mobile industry,” said Ed Marsden, partner and telecommunications lead at Deloitte. “There is an innate consumer desire to upgrade in order to have the most personal and useful devices. Savvy teenagers may urge their parents to upgrade their handset in the hope that they would in turn benefit from an upgraded hand-me-down. The growth of the second-hand smartphone market presents huge opportunities for the sector.”

The company also made predictions on photo sharing, estimating 2.5 trillion photos will be shared or stored online globally in 2016, a 15 per cent increase from 2015. Around 75 per cent of this total will likely be shared, and the remainder backed-up online. “Over 90 per cent of these photos will be taken using a smartphone. Digital SLRs, compact cameras, tablets and laptops will collectively contribute the remainder,” said Paul Lee, partner and head of TMT research at Deloitte.

According to Deloitte, in 2016, 26 per cent of smartphone users will not make any traditional phone calls in a given week, instead preferring to communicate using messaging, voice and video services delivered over the internet. The company also expects 2016 to see the emergence of Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) and Voice over LTE (VoLTE), with about 100 carriers worldwide offering at least one packet-based voice service by the end of the year.

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