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Mobile Device Trade-In and Upgrade Programs Return More Than $3 Billion to US Consumers In 2021

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Trade-in programs return more than $1 billion to U.S. consumers in Q4 2021 alone, according to Assurant data

NEW YORK, February 22, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ), a leading global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases, today reveals that $3.1 billion was returned to U.S. consumers in 2021 through mobile device trade-in and upgrade programs. This is almost $1 billion more than the $2.1 billion returned in 2020, and even exceeds pre-pandemic levels of $2.4 billion in 2019, according to Assurant’s 2021 Annual Trade-in and Upgrade Industry Trends report.

Assurant also issued a report revealing insights specific to Q4 of last year. According to the report, in Q4 2021, $1.1 billion was returned to U.S. consumers via trade-in and upgrade programs, a 40% increase from $757 million in Q3 2021, and a 34% year-on-year increase. In addition, there was a 220% increase in online trade-ins from Q4 to Q3 2021 and a 42% increase over Q4 2020.

Assurant’s data highlights the significant role trade-in and upgrade programs are playing in the move to 5G. Consumer adoption of 5G is reliant on commercially available 5G devices, and according to recent research by the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), over 850 5G-enabled models were commercially available by the end of 2021. Programs that make upgrading to these devices more attractive and affordable are having a significant impact on the market.

Key device findings from Assurant’s 2021 Annual Trade-in and Upgrade Industry Trends report include:

  • iPhones continued to lead the top five devices turned in through trade-in and upgrade programs in 2021. The top traded devices of the year were: iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

  • The Samsung Galaxy S9 was the top traded Android device of 2021.

  • The average trade-in value for an iPhone in 2021 was $199, while the average trade-in value for an Android smartphone was $98. Overall, the average value of a smartphone at trade-in was $140, a 13% increase from $124 in 2020.

For Q4 specifically, Assurant’s report reveals:

  • The iPhone XR was the top turned in device for the fourth consecutive quarter and, in Q4, made up 33% of the top five traded devices.

  • The average age of devices at trade-in decreased in the fourth quarter, a trend typically seen in this quarter. In Q3 2021, iPhones were 3.39 years and Androids were 3.08 years at trade-in; in Q4 2021, iPhones were 3.36 years at trade-in and Android devices were 2.96 years.

  • There was an anomaly in Q4 in the average trade-in value for devices, which saw an unusual dip of 10% compared to Q3 2021. The average trade-in value of a smartphone in Q4 was $136, compared to $150 in Q3.

  • For wearables, the Apple Watch Series 6 had the highest trade-in value at $183.68.

"Q4 is traditionally a strong quarter for trade-ins and upgrades thanks to new smartphone releases, sales periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, along with holiday shopping. Remarkably, this past Q4 saw trade-ins and upgrades skyrocket—putting over $1 billion into US consumers' pockets and contributed to a record-breaking year which is truly incredible and shows just how important trade-in and upgrade programs are to move consumers to 5G," said Biju Nair, EVP and President, Global Connected Living at Assurant.

"Many operators, OEMs, retailers and cable companies run trade-in and upgrade promotions to encourage the move to 5G, and these incentives are clearly working. We also see more consumers making their trade-ins online, which undoubtedly is providing a boost to the overall trade-in metrics. And, for additional trade-in convenience, we have enabled capabilities like ‘take home-trade later’, which allows consumers to purchase a device in store and trade-in their older devices from home later," added Nair.

Assurant’s report provides insights into trade-in and upgrade trends in North America. Using data from Assurant’s Device IQ analytics platform, as well as industry market data, the report identifies the top smartphones and wearables turned in through trade-in and upgrade programs during the quarter, as well as the average age and value of devices at trade-in and upgrade.

The Assurant 2021 Annual Mobile Trade-in and Upgrade Industry Trends report is available to download here.

The Assurant Q4 2021 Mobile Trade-in and Upgrade Industry Trends report is available to download here.

About Assurant

Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ) is a leading global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases. Anticipating the evolving needs of consumers, Assurant partners with the world’s leading brands to develop innovative products and services and to deliver an enhanced customer experience. A Fortune 300 company with a presence in 21 countries, Assurant offers mobile device solutions; extended service contracts; vehicle protection services; renters insurance; lender-placed insurance products; and other specialty products. The Assurant Foundation strengthens communities by supporting charitable partners that help protect where people live and can thrive, connect with local resources, inspire inclusion and prepare leaders of the future.

Learn more at assurant.com or on Twitter @AssurantNews.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220222005064/en/

Contacts

Media Contact:
Andy Mus
Director, External Communications
770.763.1694
andy.mus@assurant.com