Apple dominated the refurbished smartphone market last year

26 Apr 2023

Image: © picsmart/

The company took the majority share in both refurbished and premium smartphones in 2022, though a report suggests its PC sector has been impacted this year.

Apple has managed to carve out a significant piece of the world’s refurbished smartphone market, representing 49pc of global sales last year.

This is according to new research by Counterpoint, which claims the demand for these devices grew by 5pc in 2022. The research firm said this would have been higher if not for China suffering a 17pc decline in the refurbished smartphone market.

India saw the highest growth in this market with a 19pc increase, while Latin American countries saw an 18pc growth.

Apple took the biggest share and saw its global sales rise by 16pc last year compared to 2021. Samsung took second place at 26pc of all sales, which is a drop of 2pc from 2021.

“Apple is the fastest-growing brand in the used and refurbished sectors globally,” Counterpoint said. “This secondary market demand is affecting new iPhone sales and service revenues in many markets.”

The report highlighted some changes occurring in this market, as a larger share of consumers have been moving toward “premium and flagship refurbished smartphones” compared to previous years.

Counterpoint claimed more consumers are shifting their focus toward sustainability and environmental awareness, while the trust in refurbished smartphones appears to have grown “across markets”.

Counterpoint senior analyst Glen Cardoza said global refurbished markets are going through “transitions” and claimed supply remains an issue as consumers are holding on to their smartphones for longer.

Imports from mature markets like the US, Europe and Japan have reduced as they have to cater to their own demand,” Cardoza said. “We are looking at a transition where most markets are growing their own repair and refurbishment ecosystems domestically.

“Domestic players everywhere are focusing on expansion, partnerships and additional supply avenues.”

Smartphone wins and PC losses

Previous Counterpoint research claimed Apple also strengthened its dominance in the premium smartphone market last year, representing 75pc of global sales.

This report also claimed that the total global sales of premium smartphones – with a wholesale price of more than $600 – grew by 1pc in 2022, despite the global smartphone market shrinking by 12pc in the same period.

But while Apple is achieving success in multiple areas in the smartphone market, the company’s PC sales have taken a hit this year.

A preliminary report by research company IDC claimed PC sales fell worldwide this year, with major suppliers suffering an average drop of 29pc. This report also claimed Apple was the worst impacted, with a 40.5pc drop in sales compared to the first quarter of 2022.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic