While most people do not buy the latest iPhone every year, some do. And for those who’m looking at the new iPhone 13 this fall, the online marketplace SellCell has some good news: The iPhone 12’s resale value appears to be declining more slowly than its predecessor.
During the first six months of the sale, the iPhone 11 handset family lost 43.8% of its original value, the website reports. During the same period, however, iPhone 12 smartphones lost an average of 34.5%
This figure is also made worse by the unpopular iPhone 12 mini. According to SellCell’s data, the 5.4-inch mini has lost 41% of its value after six months, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has only dipped 28.9%.
If you’ve set your heart on the upcoming iPhone 13, the key question when looking to sell last year’s handset is. If iPhone 11 data is anything to go by, the sweet spot seems to be the nine-month mark. Given that the iPhone 12 came out on October 23, 2020, that really means right now.
As you can see from the table above, the iPhone 11’s resale value took a sharp drop on the 12-month mark that is around the time of the iPhone 12’s arrival (thanks to a Covid-based delay, it came in October instead of Apple’s traditional September event, but close enough that correlation is likely to mean causation in this case).
If you miss the sweet spot, it seems that the iPhone value deteriorates quite slowly after the first new handshake shock, and you can still get a decent price for the iPhone 11 handset even 21 months after its release.
If you are an iPhone owner who finds some impairment a little depressing, you can take comfort in the fact that it can be much worse. Another SellCell analysis found that the Samsung Galaxy S21, one of the best Android phones around, loses its resale value significantly faster than the iPhone 12.
Apple seems confident that the iPhone 13 will sell well, with a report saying that the company plans to build 20% more devices than this time last year, with the expectation of possible Covid resurgence.
The iPhone 13, based on the rumors, is expected to offer a faster A15 Bionic processor, improved 5G, larger batteries, a smaller notch, possible Touch ID support and a number of camera upgrades, including portrait video mode. But the iPhone 13 Pro phones can steal the show with the rumored 120Hz ProMotion screens.