Subscription iPhones

Benedict Evans on Apple’s new iPhone Upgrade Program:

So what happens to the old phones? When you take that upgrade, you have to hand in your old one. They go into the secondary market, which is rather the dark matter of the industry - we know it must be large and we can get some sense of that from survey data, but we don’t have a solid number. One illuminating data point is the fact that for the last several years the number of iPhones that seem to be in China (if you look at data from companies like Baidu) has been rather larger than the number of iPhones that Apple’s financial reporting implies could have been sold there. Second-hand closes some of the gap.

The reason the whole thing makes financial sense is that you have to give them back your old phone when you upgrade to the new one, and those old phones are worth a few hundred bucks.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015