Everybody has an opinion on the iPhone vs. Android debate. Both of them have plenty of arguments in their favor. And we are sure they all must make sense, in some way or the other. But when it comes to resale value, we think that iPhone is way ahead of the Android. In this article, we put forth our rationale.
iPhone and Android – different ecosystems
As we all know, the entire mobile phone industry is primarily reliant on two types of OS. The iOS works on Apple’s iPhones, and the Android OS powers almost all other phones of leading brands. There are a few other alternate Operating systems in the market. But none of them come even close to these two in terms of sheer popularity.
But amidst all that, it is important to remember that the iOS and Android phones function in two very different mobile phone ecosystems. While Android sees immense competition from several leading companies, the iPhones know that their only competition is the previous iPhones. They have a different consumer base, clientele, and starkly different methodologies with which they approach business. While iPhone has a limited lineup every year, in the case of Android, there will be 200 to 300 new phones in the same year.
This vast difference in the market ecosystems has a huge impact on the resale value that is offered by the devices.
Why do iPhones retain better value
iPhones, typically, are known for their resale value. Most people usually sell off their old iPhone and add some money from their own to get the new iPhone on the market. The primary reason for this is the longevity offered by iPhones. An iPhone will support the new iOS even 5 to 6 years after its initial purchase. This option of upgrading the iOS also keeps old phones up to date with the latest technology.
This iOS support provided by Apple is unparalleled. Typically Apple offers iOS updates for four to five years. It is one of the contributing factors to better resale.
Why can’t Android phones compete with the resale value of iPhones
There are 3 primary reasons why Android phones cannot compete with the resale value of iPhones.
- Android phones are produced by a number of companies like Samsung, OnePlus, Google, Motorola, and Xiaomi. Each of these companies is in a constant race to come up with the best possible smartphone for each and every price range. In doing so, they increase the number of options that a buyer has while buying. This makes it easier for the consumer to get a brand new Android phone for a certain price instead of buying a second-hand flagship Android phone.
- Most Android devices provide system updates for up to 2 years. There are some devices that are known to offer system upgrades for 3 years. But that is about to. Compared to the 5 to 6 years offered by an iPhone, an Android phone’s 2 to 3 years of system update availability seems measly at best.
- iPhones are built to last. That makes it easier for people to invest money in them. Android phones, on the other hand, are manufactured in such a manner that after a certain period of time, they cease to function properly. Hence forcing the user to go for a new phone.
That said there is one exception. Google’s Pixel lineup comes very close to iPhone. Google offers priority updates and support for many years. Thus the Pixel tends to command better resale value when compared with other Androids. However, it is yet to beat iPhone.
iPhone vs. Android resale value: what the numbers have to say
As per a new report by BankMyCell, budget smartphones have been noticed to experience a loss in value of almost half their price within the first year itself. Although the decline is not the same for all Android phones, it is to be noted that the figure is nowhere close to where the resale value of an Apple device stays after a year.
The report by BankMyCell came up with three different points in time after a phone’s purchase to compare the resale value of iPhones and Android phones.
- After 1 year: iPhone typically loses 16.7% of its value in a year. An Android phone, on the other hand, loses about 33.6% in value.
- After 2 years: The difference grows even more after 2 years. iPhone loses 35.5% value while Android loses close to 62.5%
- After 4 years: Around this time the price starts evening out. iPhones lose around 66.4% value and Android doesn’t trail far behind with 81.1% value loss on average.
Android phones are renowned for their variety and options. Some have a better camera, some have better sound while others boast of prowess in gaming. But one thing that no Android phone has ever been able to do so far is better Apple at its resale value. And this has been one of the reasons behind the zeal of people buying Apple products year after year with a religious fervor.
How often do you upgrade your iPhone? Let us know in the comments below.
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Mahit is an engineer by Education with a corporate stint to his name. He ditched the corporate boardroom wars in favor of the technology battleground. For the better part of a decade, he has worked for popular publishing outlets, including Dennis Publishing, BGR India, AppStorm, MakeUseOf, and iPhonehacks.