Report: Apple's iPhone holds its value longer than the competition

iPhone XS Max
iPhone XS Max (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's iPhones depreciate more slowly than other phones.
  • Sony Android phones depreciate particularly badly.
  • LG phones don't perform much better.

There has long been a belief that iPhones depciate more slowly than competing flagship products and now new data from SellCell (via Apple Must) backs that up.

That data covers five of the top US smartphone brands and then looks at their flagship devices over the last year or so. It then compares their original selling price to how much they can be traded in for today. The depreciation is then calculated and the table speaks for itself.

Smartphone depreciation data

Smartphone depreciation data (Image credit: CellSell)

Apple's iPhone XS Max sold for $1099 in September of 2018 and can now be traded in for $580. That's a depreciation of 47.2%. But when you compare that with Galaxy Note 9 which sold for $1000 a month earlier, things don't look great for Samsung. It's now worth just $321 which means a depciation of a massive 67.8%.

Sony's XZ2 and XZ2 Premium fare even worse, and LG isn't far behind. If you're buying an Android phone and want it to hold its value you're best looking at the Pixels or the Samsung phones. Google's Pixel 3 line saw its value fall around 69% which is still a lot. But it's also a lot better than most other Android phones.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.