iPhone vs Samsung: which loses value faster and why


For years, the question of which smartphone is better – Android or iPhone – has been causing a heated debate. While there’s no right answer, Android-powered phones depreciate faster than Apple products. Why?

Samsung has just released its newest phone model – Galaxy S23, at a starting price of $800. If you’re looking for an upgrade, you might want to sell your old device. However, market data shows that Samsung phones depreciate pretty fast.

Analysts at an online phone reseller, UpTrade, looked into the pricing of an older Samsung model – Galaxy S22. Launched at the end of February 2022, it was then priced at $799.

By July, the price of a used Samsung Galaxy S22 model dropped to an average of $469, signifying a 42% decrease in the first six months. After that, the device kept losing value at around 6% a month.

Average price drop
By UpTrade

So, at the time of the release of Samsung Galaxy S23, its predecessor in good condition is worth only around $300.

Meanwhile, released in September 2021, the iPhone 13, predecessor of the iPhone 14, costs from $474 compared to its starting price of $800, signifying a depreciation of around 40%.

This is both good and bad news for Samsung lovers – if you are OK with buying a used phone, six months after the release is the sweet spot to look for the best deals on used Samsung smartphones. If you are looking to sell, keep in mind that your phone might be worth only half of what you paid only months ago.

Higher Android supply

While you won't find iOS on any other phone than iPhone, the Android operating system powers smart devices of many manufacturers, including LG, OnePlus, and Google. People choosing Samsung might be doing so because they are attached to the Android operating system rather than the brand itself.

"This waters down the overall demand for one specific Android phone manufacturer. With that in mind, Samsung devices are expensive flagship phones with incredible technology, but it's somewhat rare that people break out of their comfort zones and switch from one platform to another. This leaves a smaller demand for Android phones in general, in turn, lowering the value of the device as it is used over time," UpTrade analysts explained.

As per an International Data Corporation (IDC) report, Samsung alone (other Android-based devices not included) shipped over 260 million devices in 2022, compared to 226 million Apple devices.

Smartphone shipments

"Unlike iOS, which is exclusively designed for Apple devices, Android is used by various manufacturers with different hardware and software specifications. This fragmentation can lead to a decrease in the resale value of Samsung devices compared to iPhones, which have a more consistent user experience due to Apple's strict control over their hardware and software," Mehedi Hasan, tech expert at TechiAid blog, told Cybernews.

Innovation

While iPhone lovers and haters alike are looking through a microscope to learn how different new and one-generation older iPhones differ, Samsung is said to be making bigger strides when it comes to innovation.

"I think this phenomenon is rather a matter of Samsung's innovation making the prior generation of phones more relatively obsolete to one another than the same effect on Apple," Nicholas Sargent, tech expert and owner of s start-up company Defense Recorder, told Cybernews.

For example, Samsung's flip phone and the uninterrupted single screen have been major advancements in smartphones.

"There's no way to say "yeah, but my current Samsung does that". Whereas, when Apple comes out with a new iPhone, it usually does not have anything as extreme as the Samsung flip phone does," he said.

Moreover, Samsung devices have a wider range of prices than Apple, from budget to high-end. You can get a Samsung phone for less than $200, while the cheapest iPhone will cost you nearly $500.


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