CounterPoint Data Reveals How The Refurbished Marketplace Grew And Developed Across 2021

Data from CounterPoint sheds light on market shares from different tech companies for the refurbished smartphone global economy.

You know what’s better than a brand new smartphone? One that’s been used to all hell and back, but has managed to be repainted and repaired into a close semblance of its original functionality. “Why would the latter be considered better?”, I hear readers scratching their heads as they contemplate my mental sanity. Why, because it’s much more affordable, and as a writer/arts major living on a tech journal writer’s salary, I live for cutting corners to get work done. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this way either: the refurbished smartphone industry’s been rather successful since, well, forever, and 2021 turned out to be yet another good year for the marketplace. While the industry’s seen periods of stagnancy, which I’ll get to in a short while, the running has mostly been good for reselling old, renovated smartphone products.

First, let’s have a look at just how good growth for the marketplace was in 2021. CounterPoint stats detail a 15% year over year growth for refurbished smartphones between 2020 and 2021, which is the sharpest YoY incline seen in the past few years. As a matter of fact, it even saw a short stoop in sales between 2018 and 2019, before they rocketed up again in 2020. While 2020’s market boom can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, and more users buying such phones owing to tech devices being needed much more often, 2021 is perhaps made of a relatively different mold. With tech part shortages beginning to affect all devices in late 2020/early 2021, leading to original phones becoming incredibly expensive, people perhaps considered it better to rely on the next best possible options.

Market-wise, Latin America and India ended up being sites where the most amount of growth was noted. Both these locations provide high numbers of tech-oriented consumers as a whole, so no surprises there. India displayed a YoY growth of 25%, while Latin America came in strong with a notably high 29%. Other notable areas of growth include the USA at 15%, Europe at 10% (which is also an entire continent, by the way, which diminishes its placement), and China at 10%. Apple by far dominates the marketplace, with a 40% global share, followed by Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, and Huawei. While other brands individually count for little much, their combined share is enough to outweigh our last three brands.

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