Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market

Market Study on Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones: Quest to Reduce Electronic Waste Complementing Market Expansion

Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market Segmented By Refurbished Mobile Phones, Certified Refurbished Mobiles, Smartphones, Refurbished Cell Phones in Company-owned and Consumer-owned Type

Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market Outlook (2021 – 2031)

The global refurbished and used mobile phones market is projected to increase from US$ 49.9 Bn in 2020 to US$ 143.8 Bn by 2031, expanding at a CAGR of 10.2% during the same period.

Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market Size (2020)

US$ 49.9 Bn

Projected Year Market Value (2031)

US$ 143.8 Bn

Global Market Growth Rate (2021-2031)

10.2% CAGR

Market Share of Top 5 Phone Brands


Refurbished and used mobile phone sales currently account for almost 11% share of the global smartphones market.

Find Out More about the Report Coverage


  • Apple Inc.
  • Samsung
  • Lenovo
  • Huawei
  • Xiaomi
  • Yaantra
  • Cashify
  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Paytm
  • Mobiru India Private Limited
  • Alibaba

Demand Analysis for Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones (2016-2020) Vs Market Outlook (2021-2031)

The global market for refurbished and used mobile phones has grown at the rate of 7% over the 2016-2020 period. Demand for refurbished and used mobile phones has grown owing to growing need for affordable second-hand smartphones across regions.

Consumption of refurbished and used mobile phones is expected to show significant growth over the coming years owing to rising adoption of consumer electronics, refurbished phones, and used phones through various online/ offline sales channels. In addition, economic slowdown due to COVID-19 and rising demand for low-priced smartphones are expected to further augment demand for refurbished and used mobile phones.

Moreover, the ability of vendors to push more affordable refurbished electronic devices in the markets where they normally would not have a presence is helping these players grow their brands as well as their ecosystem of apps, services, and accessories

Persistence Market Research identifies Asia Pacific, followed by Europe, as the leading regional market for refurbished and used mobile phones. Expansion in Asia Pacific is supported by growth in the number of entry-level refurbished and used mobile phone companies.

Overall, global sales of refurbished and used mobile phones are slated to surge at 10.2% CAGR over the decade.

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Which Factors are Majorly Driving Sales of Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones?

“Cost-Effective Alternatives, Adoption of Sustainability, and Favorable EMI Options Driving Used Phone Demand”

Consumers and businesses alike are looking to save money when buying smartphones. In this scenario, refurbished and used mobile devices are cost-effective alternatives for both, consumers and businesses. Manufacturers are assisting customers in purchasing used cell phones at discounted and affordable prices.

For instance, smartphone giant Apple Inc. is offering a refurbished iPhone 11 Pro 256GB at US$ 683, which was originally released in September 2019 at a price point of US$ 899. Customers can get a discount of US$ 216 over its original price.

At the back of these factors, the industrial 5G market is expected to grow at a significant rate, thereby propelling demand for refurbished and used mobile phones and mobile phones accessories over the coming years.

Furthermore, there is an increase in the number of companies providing EMI options for phones and mobile phones accessories, such as BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. It is becoming one of the fastest-growing online payment methods in these regions for buying refurbished devices. BNPL start-ups are partnering with digital wallet providers to expand their market presence.


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Country-wise Insights

How are Sales of Second-Hand Mobiles Shaping Up in China?

“e-Commerce Platforms Catalyzing Used Mobile Phone Sales in China”

Over the years, adoption of refurbished and used mobiles has gained huge traction in China. Currently, China is among those countries that are significantly investing in reselling used and refurbished smartphones. There are many customers and resellers who find it difficult to sell or refurbished mobiles using traditional channels. In such cases, e-Commerce is turning out to be the best platform for buyers and shoppers.

e-Commerce platforms such as Amazon, made-in-china, eBay, OLX, Alibaba, and others are selling refurbished and used smartphones easily and at reasonable prices. These platforms are providing customers a quick look, full description, and the condition of the handset, along with an easy return policy in case of any manufacturing defects.

Thus, increase in the number of e-Commerce platforms in China is fueling demand growth of the mobile phones accessories market.

Will India Emerge as a Prominent Market for Used Mobile Phones?

“Lower Product Prices to Drive Refurbished Mobile Demand in India”

Currently, India is a prominent country in the refurbished and used mobile phones industry in the Asia Pacific region, with its market size is expected reach 4.5X during 2021-2031. The second-hand mobiles market is expected to expand at a high CAGR of nearly 16% during 2021-2031.

Refurbished mobiles provide cost-effective alternatives for both, customers and sellers, and are becoming a trend as they save money for both, providers and consumers. Local vendors such as Shopzen India offer high quality refurbished mobile phones in wholesale, having all brands under one platform for users to optimize cost and shop for their desired smartphones and mobile phones accessories.

Which Country is Leading the Europe Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market?

“U.K. to Lead Demand for Refurbished Phones in Europe”

Currently, the U.K. market is set to register the highest growth in the second-hand phones market in Europe, and its market size is expected expand approximately 2.8X by 2031. The U.K. used mobile phones market is expected to grow at around nearly 11% CAGR during 2021-2031.

Refurbished phones continue to grow in popularity, with around 60% of UK consumers considering a pre-owned purchase. The market for old phones is firmly on the rise.

Multiple factors will encourage growth, including growing residual value of mobile phones, wider options to trade-in or part-exchange existing phones, and attractive SIM-only deals. This presents opportunities to new retail players to stake a position in a device market still dominated by sales through mobile operators, in the U.K.

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Category-wise Insights

Which Product Type Segment is Driving Market Expansion?

“Demand for Refurbished Mobile Phones Rising Steadily across Geographies”

By type, refurbished phone sales will dominate the industry and are set to witness a high CAGR of 11% during 2021-2031.

As refurbished and used mobiles are adopted by every income group, key vendors such as Apple and Samsung are focusing on offering high-end refurbished phones such as the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S21 at affordable rates on their official websites. Even, resellers are also selling such phones at discounted rates. Hence, customers are rapidly shifting toward the adoption of refurbished phones for the latest models.

Used phone trade-in offers and a focused approach on circular economy initiatives are fuelling demand for refurbished mobile phones in developed regions such as Europe. In contrast, developing regions such as India and Africa are showing a higher proportion of new businesses and improvements in domestic tech and repair capabilities.

Will Product Pricing Play an Important Part in Market Growth?

“Mid-priced Refurbished Mobile Phones to Remain Highly Popular”

On the basis of pricing range, mid-priced used cell phones will be a dominating segment and expand at CAGR of around 12% from 2021 to 2031. This attributes to rapidly growing number of e-Commerce platforms and favorable EMI options for consumers for mid-price range used mobile phones.

Increased purchasing power of the middle class in Middle Eastern counties such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar is another reason spurring demand for refurbished phones. On the other hand, widespread use of semiconductors and the entry of new players have made the manufacturing of portable refurbished devices relatively affordable.

High cost of repairing new phones has also made refurbished mobile phones more economical, which is propelling overall growth of the refurbished and used mobile phones marketplace across the world.

Which Sales Channel is Projected to Drive High Refurbished and Used Mobile Phone Sales?

“e-Commerce Sales of Refurbished Phones to Drive Market Expansion”

The e-Commerce segment is expected to dominate refurbished and used mobile phone sales, and is expected to rise at CAGR of around 11% over 2021-2031. The segment is anticipated to create an absolute dollar opportunity of US$ 55.5 Bn during 2021-2031.

  • Best Buy sells refurbished pre-owned phones and open-box phones from a variety of companies at discounts, ranging from 10-30% off. Alternatively, popular sites such as Amazon and eBay also offer a wide variety of refurbished smartphones and accessories.
  • Open-box deals are most popular as they're typically devices that have just been purchased, opened, and returned, and not even used.
  • Mobile specialists such as Direct Mobiles and Carphone Warehouse stock a huge range of refurbished iPhones and refurbished Android phones. Because of this, customers can often find the latest models of phones for sale, rather than just old phone models.

COVID-19 Crisis Impact

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on demand for old phones. This comes as the demand for smartphones in general has seen a significant increase with work and education now moving online.

Moreover, COVID 19 has made governments and consumers understand the importance of refurbished and used smart phones. Then there is the rising 5G trend and enhanced high-speed broadband Internet access through fixed wireless access (FWA).

All these factors result in the success of refurbished mobile phones, which has been shrinking in recent years, as customers have reduced discretionary spending and are purchasing phones only for immediate needs.

Competitive Landscape

The global refurbished and used mobile phones industry is largely unorganized, with few players such as Samsung, Apple, and Lenovo venturing into this space.

  • In February 2021, Xiaomi expanded its local manufacturing in India for smartphones and smart TVs. It named China's BYD and DBG Technology as two of its new partners for producing smartphones. Besides ramping up its domestic smartphone manufacturing, Xiaomi revealed Hyderabad-based Radiant Technology as its second manufacturing partner for making smart TVs locally in the country, after Dixon.
  • In January 2020, Walmart launched the In-Store pilot program to sell refurbished iPhones, iPads, & other Apple devices in around 30 of its brick-and-mortar stores. Stores participating in the program are selling goTRG-certified refurbished Apple products with a one-year warranty.

Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Industry Report Scope



Forecast Period


Historical Data Available for


Market Analysis

  • USD Million for Value
  • Units for Volume

Key Regions Covered

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East

Key Countries Covered

  • U.S.
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Germany
  • U.K.
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • China
  • Japan
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Indonesia
  • Vietnam
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Bahrain
  • Israel

Key Market Segments Covered

  • Type
  • Pricing Range
  • Sales Channel
  • Region

Key Companies Profiled

Report Coverage

  • Market Forecasts
  • Company Share Analysis
  • Competition Intelligence
  • DROT Analysis
  • Market Dynamics and Challenges
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives

Customization & pricing

Available upon request

Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Industry Survey by Category

Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market by Type:

  • Refurbished Phones
    • Company-owned
    • Consumer-owned
  • Used Phones
    • Trade-ins
    • Buybacks

Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market by Pricing Range:

  • Low-priced Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones (Less than $200)
  • Mid-Priced Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones ($200-$500)
  • Premium Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones (More than $500)

Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market by Sales Channel:

  • Online/ e-Commerce Sales of Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones
  • Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Sold at Physical Retail Stores

Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market by Region:

  • North America Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market
  • Latin America Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market
  • Europe Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market
  • Asia Pacific Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market
  • Middle East Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market

Media Release

- FAQs -

The global refurbished and used mobile phones market was valued at US$ 49.9 Bn in 2020.

Government regulations on e-waste and adoption of refurbished mobile phones in institutional and commercial sectors are driving market expansion.

From 2016 to 2020, refurbished phone demand increased at a CAGR of 7%.

Sales of refurbished and used mobile phones are projected to increase at 10.2% CAGR and be valued at US$ 143.8 Bn by 2031.

Key market trends include rising demand for smartphones in every segment of society and rising focus on recycling products by major mobile phone manufacturing companies.

Apple Inc., Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo are the top 5 refurbished and used mobile phone manufacturers, accounting for around 81% market share.

The U.K. and Germany together held almost 46% share of the Europe market in 2020.

The U.K., Japan, India, China, and Qatar account for most refurbished and used mobile phone sales.

Total absolute opportunity for the Japan market will be US$ 8.1 Bn, whereas, India market value will top US$ 13.2 Bn by 2031.


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