With the new mobile phone launches every now and then, the average smartphone upgrade cycle has dropped significantly. According to Cashify, the online platform for selling used smartphones and gadgets, 19 per cent users upgrade their devices within the first year and 44 per cent within 1-2 years. Even the aspirational value of new phones in circulation is so high that around 20 per cent of users have left their perfectly working smartphones unused in drawers.
The findings are from the fourth annual "User Behaviour study" for the pre-owned phone market by Cashify that captures behaviour and preferences of users in the segment. The study focuses on variables that affect the buying and selling decision of users. The findings are based on the buying and selling of over 1 million users on Cashify platform between the year 2019-20.
Xiaomi, the number one smartphone brand in India, turned out to be the top-selling brand on Cashify with 27 per cent share, followed by Apple and Samsung having 16 per cent share each. Motorola came next with a 12 per cent share.
In terms of pre-owned smartphones being sold, Delhi topped with 18 per cent, followed by Bengaluru with 13 per cent and Mumbai at 12 per cent, of the overall sales. Gurugram was in the top five cities, ahead of metros such as Kolkata and Chennai. Interestingly, satellite towns Faridabad and Ghaziabad have shown the fastest growth, taking top spots in the upcoming city category.
Among other insights unveiled by the study, a majority of Indians listed their smartphones for sale between 12 noon and 1 pm in the day. Delhiites seemed to be breaking their smartphone screens the most, with 33 per cent among all Indian metro cities. Bengaluru came in second with 21 per cent, followed by Gurugram with 19 per cent. The major reasons for upgrading smartphone were high-speed network connectivity (3G to 4G), support for gaming, mobile camera specs, to name a few.
"Numerous launches, more brand options, new price points and the overall aspirational value of an upgrade, are some of the factors that led the second-hand smartphone industry to widen its turf during 2019-20. Be it selling or buying, a majority of Indian smartphone users have come to trust platforms and services such as ours to derive maximum value out of their pre-owned smartphones. The re-commerce industry has seen a definite surge in 2019-20, as more people are opening themselves up to selling and buying used devices," says, Nakul Kumar, COO & Co-Founder, Cashify.
Coming to brands, Apple iPhone was most favoured by females with 29 per cent women users, higher than other major brands. Samsung smartphones are mostly used by consumers within the age bracket of 25-34 years. The brand has seen 72 per cent male users and 28 per cent female users in the past year. The largest chunk of over Rs 30,000 was dominated by OnePlus with over 35 per cent market share by the end of Q3 2019, of which 84 per cent were male users. Xiaomi has userbase comprised of 28 per cent females, and 62 per cent of the overall users are in the age bracket of 25-34 years.
With the increase in remote working due to COVID-19, 36 per cent of the respondents invested in refurbished gadgets as price/affordability was the key criteria for buying refurbished smartphones. Even mid-range (Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000) dominated the purchase during the last couple of months and will continue to due to impact in disposable income.