Is It Worth Buying a Used iPhone?

Buying a used iPhone can help you save a lot of cash, but it’s not always a good idea. Therefore, please consider the advantages and disadvantages of second-hand mobile phones before buying second-hand mobile phones. In today’s guide, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of buying a used iPhone. Read on for more information.

1. The Pros of Buying a Used iPhone

Several advantages make buying a used iPhone better than getting a new model directly from Apple or other retailers.

1) Cheaper than buying a new iPhone

One of the main advantages of buying a used iPhone is the slightly lower sticker price. Savings are always guaranteed relative to purchasing new ones. Still, savings will vary depending on the device’s condition, age, model, and other factors that affect an iPhone’s trade-in value.

It also depends on where you get the device from. For instance, buying a refurbished iPhone from Apple will be slightly more expensive than buying from third-party websites for buying and selling iPhones.

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2) Environmental friendly

Buying a used iPhone is environmentally friendly because it saves one more device from ending up in a landfill sooner. Even if it eventually becomes electronic waste, you’ll have extended the period before it meets its final fate.

Like Android-powered smartphones, iPhones use different materials mined from the earth. And at the end of their life, most smartphones are not recycled. A small proportion is properly disposed of, while the rest end up in a landfill as electronic waste, a major environmental problem.

It is estimated that over 5.3 billion mobile phones will become electronic waste in 2022. That’s how big of a problem constant tech upgrades have become. Buying a second-hand device is one way of saving the planet.

3) You can get older discontinued iPhones

Buying new is the best way to get the latest and greatest iPhone. But if you want an older discontinued iPhone model from a few years back, you may have no choice but to buy it from the second-hand market or from a used iPhone wholesaler.

For example, as of June 2023, finding a brand-new iPhone 11 is pretty hard. Your only option is to buy second-hand models. The same applies to older iPhone models like the impressive iPhone X, which is still a great buy in 2023.

4) Used iPhones depreciate less than new ones

Another advantage of buying a used iPhone is that it tends to preserve its value longer. After the initial unboxing and use, the device had already shed a chunk of its value.

As of writing, a brand new iPhone 12 (launched in 2020) from Apple starts at $599, while a used one begins as low as $330 on Amazon (or even cheaper). Most of the phone’s price has already been knocked off at such a price, and it’ll retain its value much longer.

To see this phenomenon in play, the price of a used iPhone 11 starts at about $300 on Amazon, which is a meager difference relative to that of a used iPhone 12 despite launching a year earlier.

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2. The cons of buying a used iPhone

Even with the advantages we mentioned above, buying a used iPhone has its fair share of drawbacks.

1) Low resale value

Used smartphones reserve their value much longer because of their discounted price. However, when you want to sell your iPhone in the second-hand market, it will be valued much less compared to a device that was bought new. It will also be less attractive if several years have passed since the official launch.

2) Lack of warranty or limited warranty

One of the major downsides of buying second-hand smartphones is the lack of warranty. Some companies offer a warranty to counter this, although most of the time, it’s limited compared to if you bought the device new.

Fortunately, you can counter this problem by purchasing an Apple Certified Refurbished iPhone, where you’ll get a one-year warranty, similar to what you get with a new iPhone. But even so, there’s still a catch which brings us to our next point.

3) Limited options

When you buy a new iPhone, you’ll typically find a whole assortment of models in different colors and memory options. But you’ll be limited to only what’s available when you purchase from the second-hand market.

For example, as of writing, Apple only has a few iPhone 12 models under its Certified Refurbished program. Additionally, you may find a model you want but maybe not in your preferred color or onboard storage. The same is true for other marketplaces where you can buy a used iPhone.

4) May lack accessories

Some second-hand iPhones may be shipped in something other than the original packaging box. But most of them usually don’t include accessories. That means you may have to buy a separate charging cable and brick (for older iPhone models that shipped with one).

Buying accessories from third parties can be risky, especially if you go for cheap generic options. That’s why we recommend using an original charger and charging brick to charge your device.

5) Used iPhones lose software support sooner

Apple typically supports iPhone models for an average of six years. If you buy an iPhone launched two, three, or four years down the line, the length of software support is already reduced. For a three-year-old iPhone, you have at least three extra years of iOS updates before Apple ditches support.

Considering the importance of iOS updates, you’ll be at risk of missing out on essential security updates and bug fixes. Because of this, buying an iPhone X (launched September 2017) in 2023 is a great risk because Apple could drop software support anytime soon. In fact, it’s not on the list of iPhones that support iOS 17.

3. Should you buy a used iPhone?

Well, it depends. Buying a used iPhone has several advantages, especially the great value proposition compared to new iPhones. They also depreciate slower in value in the long term than new iPhones. Some disadvantages include the lower resale value, lack of or limited warranty, lack of accessories, and the potential to lose software support sooner.

In conclusion, buying a used iPhone is a great choice if you’re on a tight budget or need to save cash. However, we don’t recommend buying an iPhone launched a while back because it may soon lose software support. You should also ensure that your device has a warranty, even if it’s limited.

Buying from Apple is the safest bet because the company offers original accessories and a one-year warranty even though limited models are available.

used iphone

4. Conclusion

This article explains the pros and cons of buying a used iPhone if you are planning to buy one in the near future. Please review this article carefully and you will make your choice.

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