When it comes to the sale figures pertaining to the smartphone market, the refurbished arena contributes a major chunk of the existing revenues. However, a lot can be made out of India’s appetite for pre-owned and used devices as this segment offers some of the best deals on gadgets and that too at highly subsidized rates. That said, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that a majority of customers are reliant on the refurbished mobile phone market courtesy the popularity of some of the more anticipated brands like Samsung and Apple. With the Galaxy-tagged devices and iPhones often being out of reach for a general user, precisely in terms of affordability, customers tend to rely heavily on the refurbished arena for getting hold of exceptional deals. Startups like Togofogo which deal in used smartphones have also impacted the growth of this mobile phone segment, in an extremely positive manner.
In the subsequent sections, we shall look at the main reasons behind the popularity of the refurbished smartphone market and why the Indian customer base is so dependent on gadgets that are used and fixed for minor and major manufacturing flaws. However, before moving any further into this discussion, it is only appropriate to understand the concept of refurbished devices as there are times when people confuse them with conventional devices kept for resale purposes.
The Concept of Refurbished Devices
Put simply, refurbished gadgets are those which have been identified as flawed directly at the retail point and promptly returned back to the seller. These devices are often as good as new and need to be fixed by the manufacturer or the third-party vendor for reselling purposes. However, unlike used devices, the refurbished units aren’t battered and bruised and often quote higher price points.
Facts and Figures
What’s interesting to note is that researchers are expecting the refurbished segment to grow by almost 27 percent by the next year and even across 2020 with new players joining the bandwagon. With e-commerce giants indulging in resale, it’s time that the retouched smartphone industry gets the most attention and supersedes the sale figures of the new mobile phone market. What’s even more encouraging to note is that this segment is growing by almost 400 percent with each passing year with users constantly relying on the refurbished arena for getting hold of premium iPhones for almost 50 percent of the original price.
Size vs. Market Volume
Here comes an interesting yet extremely relevant discovery regarding the retouched smartphone market. According to reports, not a lot of devices are circulating within the market as a general user is expected to keep a premium device for almost two to even three years at times. Therefore, the volume is certainly on the lower side. However, what’s interesting is that the market size is nearing 35 million which showcases the fact that quite a lot of individuals are regularly reselling and buying used devices. It is also a known fact that a large number of customers prefer their first device to be a refurbished one, especially if they are making a shift from feature phones to smartphones for enjoying diverse flexibilities. Nevertheless, people must not confuse the market volume for the refurbished segment with that of the used mobile phones as almost 25 percent of all new gadgets make it back to the pre-owned market but only a small portion gets refurbished.
Brand Names and the Refurbished Segment
As mentioned previously, the enviable popularity of this market has been further amplified with bigger brands launching new devices with exorbitant price tags attached to them. This automatically makes it harder for people to afford such devices, making them turn to the retouched smartphone market for fulfilling gadget-specific desires. Therefore, it is quite obvious that the likes of iPhones and Galaxy S-series smartphones are the key players when the refurbished market is concerned. Based on facts and figures released by CounterPoint Technology, the Indian refurbished mobile phone market reached 140 million units, in terms of volume with Apple and Samsung branded devices comprising of almost one-third of the total resold units.
The era of refurbished devices is here to stay and we should expect an evolution of sorts with even leading e-commerce players delving into this familiar space. Considerations regarding setting up standalone refurbished units in India are also being contemplated, keeping the current market condition in mind.