back to article Users now keep cellphones for 40+ months and it's hurting the secondhand market

Used and refurbished smartphones sales continue to expand by near-double digits but that rate is slowing as elongated refresh cycles for brand new handsets means fewer secondhand devices are becoming available. Shipments swelled globally by an estimated 9.5 percent in 2023 to 309.4 million devices - which is still a growth …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shoe Event Horizon

    Are we there yet?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Shoe Event Horizon

      Judging from most High St = we have gone beyond the cellphone horizon and are now in the cellphone cases and accessories aftermath

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Shoe Event Horizon

        My understanding is that most UK High Streets have passed the cellphone event horizon years ago, and are now beyond the Betting Shop, Charity Shop and even American Candy Shop event horizons!

  2. Ball boy Silver badge

    No real surprise

    The evolution of smartphones has slowed: there's little the latest model can do that can't be done with the existing (unless you count bragging rights for having the latest and greatest). Unless I have exceptionally deep pockets, there's really no need to upgrade.

    1. Martin Summers

      Re: No real surprise

      But what about the AI? Ya know that super magical thing we all didn't realise we needed, that Samsung 'might' charge for in 2025. Surely that's got to sell a few phones? Don't upset them by telling them there's actually no need to release a 'new' phone every year.

      They should probably concentrate on selling their existing inventories and bring back a sane refresh cycle for consumers now. We are at peak smartphone until electronics we gadget fans can use as toys are able to fit within the chassis.

    2. sev.monster

      Re: No real surprise

      I would unironically and immediately buy the latest and greatest Samsung Swhatever Ultra Max Pro, if I could remove all the bloat/ tracking or just install GrapheneOS. I am paying you the average monthly salary of a middle class worker, I don't know why I must also pad your data pockets with my personal information, while not being able to do whatever I want with my device (locked bootloaders and proprietary software).

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: No real surprise

        The now moderately discounted Pixel6a works very nicely with GrapheneOS,

        AFAIK they are only supporting Pixel devices from now on

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: No real surprise

          "AFAIK they are only supporting Pixel devices from now on"

          That's sad. I'm not that interested in a phone that originates from the underworld (or at least that's the branding on it). It just seems a bit off to me to de-google a Google branded phone.

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: No real surprise

      I only upgrade because my contract has a "new phone every two years with tacit renewal" and the no-phone price is the same. So, might as well benefit.

      I use my new phone for Netflix, for video and photography, and basically as a SIMless mini tablet.

      My actual phone that I take with me (and am writing this on)? A Samsung S9 that was purchased when the S9 was a hot thing (and a rebate from Samsung that practically paid for it). It's, what, six or seven years old now? Suffers screen burn and the battery ain't what it used to be, but it's good enough and I really can't be arsed with the hassle of transferring everything over to a new device. But, works good enough for basic internet use and the odd phone call. But, honestly, I think we've reached peak phone spec. What does a new one do that a slightly older one can't?

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: No real surprise

        Fair play to you but this does suggest you don't have the best contract for your use: the phones have to be paid for somehow.

      2. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: No real surprise

        If your phone contract makes you pick a new phone every two years then you might consider changing your contract. That phone every two years isn’t free, you pay for it full price.

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: No real surprise

          And if you find a better deal from another company, chances are your current provider will match it

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: No real surprise

            "And if you find a better deal from another company, chances are your current provider will match it"

            And if another provider/reseller comes along with a better price, you aren't locked into your contract for another 18 months paying a premium price.

            The UK and Europe can be different, but in the US there are 3 primary network operators. Where I live only 2 give coverage at my home. I've had all three and T-Mobile can blow me as not only is the coverage in my city very poor, they call going offline for 25 hours a maintenance outage. Obviously, nobody has taught the CSR staff the difference between a repair and maintenance. They also had no clue when repairs might be affected. Other times they'll tell me that the system is up and running when it's most certainly not.

            These days I just get a used phone when I need a replacement and pick a VPNO with good prices and plans.

      3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: No real surprise

        Unless you pay something like £7-£9 per month, you are probably paying too much for your phone contract.

        I use Giffgaff.

      4. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: No real surprise

        -- What does a new one do that a slightly older one can't? --

        Same as the newer PCs - it gets you to spend money - that's about the only positive and its not for the user.

    4. Hairy Spod

      Re: No real surprise

      little they can do to improve except hold a decent quality voice call...

      There's a resson i dont speak to anyone, its not because I prefer text/whatsapp is cos I hate the sound dropping out every 2nd or 3rd word

      1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

        Re: No real surprise

        Reminds me of the old joke about Emacs featuring just about everything you'd need from an OS except a decent text editor.

      2. Lurko

        Re: No real surprise

        little they can do to improve except hold a decent quality voice call...

        There is that. Also, speaking for myself, I want the idle, unambitious bastards who specify phones to pull their fingers out and give me a one week battery life in a package that's not unduly big or thick, doesn't give up on the features I now take for granted, nor hobble the performance to achieve said battery life. Difficult to know how much has been spent on smartphone R&D by Apple and Samsung, I'd be guessing several tens of billions of dollars a year between them, maybe $30bn over the past three years, and where's the f***ing improvement? My technologically middle aged Sammy S22 seems to be all but identical to the S24. I'd imagine Apple owners have the same experience.

        WTF do they spend their research budgets on?

        1. parlei

          Re: No real surprise

          I held out for years with my old Samsung rugged non-smart phone (B100?), mostly due to (a) just working and (b) loooong battery life.

        2. Alumoi Silver badge

          Re: No real surprise

          I'd say hookers, booze and drugs, but I thinks that's for CEOs not workinng bees.

        3. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: No real surprise

          " I want the idle, unambitious bastards who specify phones to pull their fingers out and give me a one week battery life in a package that's not unduly big or thick, doesn't give up on the features I now take for granted, nor hobble the performance to achieve said battery life."

          Are you sure a better name wouldn't be "Veruca Salt"?

          I don't my phone to be wafer thin so a bigger battery is preferable over a thin phone. It's also going to be more robust if it isn't too thin. Since I don't live neck deep in my phone all day long, I only charge a couple of times each week unless I have been using it a lot and then is a third day that week.

          If you want a paper-thin phone that you can use all day long with the power of a Cray, all I can suggest are some courses in physics. Do you want a battery with the energy density of TNT or is it not tooo inconvenient to plug the phone in overnight?

      3. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: No real surprise

        A particular quirk of AT&T here in Left Pond Land is that when it drops words, it does so consistently on the same words every time, to cause maximum annoyance.

        In a call with my wife, for example,

        "I'll be home at ___ o'clock"

        "Sorry? What time will you be home? You dropped out there."

        "I said, I'll be home at ___ o'clock."

        "Err, you dropped out again. Sorry. Repeat?"

        "Oh FFS, I really hate AT&T, can't they even get simple phone calls right? This is ridiculous. I said, for the third time, I WILL BE HOME AT ____ O'CLOCK."

        "What o'clock?"

        ...and so on, ad nauseam. It's really quite impressively clever, and must have taken years of R&D work to make a network so infuriatingly yet selectively glitchy.

        1. Clarecats

          Re: No real surprise

          Have you heard of text?

        2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: No real surprise

          My guess would be an exceptionally savage and lossy audio compression compression algorithm has been configured by AT&T. They will have reduced the bandwidth down to as little as possible to save the odd bits per second on their transport infrastructure. I doubt there are any many remaining analogue phone systems out there, for years the infrastructure has been digital only.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Deep Pockets

      You need deep and wide pockets these days. The days of miniaturization are gone and every phone must be bigger than the last. I'd probably be more inclined to update mine if I could get something in the 5 inch range. Even if it's a bit fatter I'd be happy, I just don't want a huge slab.

      1. David Austin

        Re: Deep Pockets

        I miss the Galaxy Mini and Xperia Compact ranges so much; mid to high end phones that you can hold single headedly are becoming so hard to find - honestly may be a case that the iPhone 13 mini may be the best one around, and at 5.4", that's stretching the definition of mini a tad too much for my liking...

      2. Bebu Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Deep Pockets

        《The days of miniaturization are gone and every phone must be bigger than the last.》

        Reminds me of the Corner Gas (Cell phone episode) but in reverse but the ending is still a propos.

        With the end of the 3G service in AU all my nice smaller phones will be ewaste. A Huawei and a Nokia Asha 300 in particular. Really odd, years ago I bought two small ZTE non android phones (with keypad) for AUD7.00 each and only much later discovered they supported 4G/LTE. (Don't ask why I purchased $7 phones. :)

        1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

          Re: Deep Pockets

          > (Don't ask why I purchased $7 phones. :)

          Oh please, what would the world be without some hobby to invest time on? No one should question whatever other does for fun (as long as no third party gets hurt).

      3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: Deep Pockets

        When I was prescribed a continuous glucose monitor I had to buy my first smartphone. My criteria were size (smallest I could find) and NFC. I'm still only using it for CGM and the occasional phone call.

    6. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: No real surprise

      Agreed. I only replace phones when they stop functioning, which they usually do after about 3+ years. Having said that, my Flip 4 is awful enough that I'll replace it as soon as I've paid it down in 6 more months.

    7. Marty McFly Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: No real surprise

      The entire smartphone industry continues to be evolutionary. Faster CPU, more storage, more pixels. The industry hasn't been revolutionary for a long time. No big & compelling WOW to get people to buy a new device.

      Not to mention iPhone prices range from $429 to $1599. That is more than I paid for my first car, and I got 10 years service out of it. As the prices have gone up, the expectation for a longer life span makes more sense. Dropping that much money on a top line phone, I should get at least 5+ years life out of it (assuming unexpected damage is avoided).

      Icon is for the customers with disposable income who must have the latest status symbols models.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No real surprise

      Bloody expensive, and the top-line phones are overkill for most users.... I admit it is pretty cool to carry around a terabyte of storage in a pocket.

      First time I saw that much storage it took two racks, 240v power, 50 amps, extra cooling, and specialized disk management software.

      1. Lurko

        Re: No real surprise

        "I admit it is pretty cool to carry around a terabyte of storage in a pocket. First time I saw that much storage it took two racks, 240v power, 50 amps, extra cooling, and specialized disk management software."

        Ha, kiddo! Some of us are old enough to have worked with systems when 80 MB of storage served all users, and came in the shape of a dustbin lid mounted on a machine half the size of a wheelie bin.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: No real surprise

          Careful there, you're emitting the siren sound of the Four Yorkshiremen attractant call... we'll be inundated with "80MB? Pah! I remember when you were lucky to get 1 sector of a 360KB floppy AND had to share that with the entire faculty!" and the like before you know it :)

          1. Blogitus Maximus

            Re: No real surprise

            Worry not. It won't be long before we get to "You were lucky, when I was a lad we had to chisel the zeros and ones into a cold hard wall in t' mine"

            1. David 132 Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: No real surprise

              "You were given a wall? Lucky Southern bugger. We 'ad to chisel the ones and zeroes into our own feet. Wi' blunt ferrets."

              1. Blogitus Maximus

                Re: No real surprise

                <northernaccent>Luxury.</northernaccent>

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: No real surprise

          "I admit it is pretty cool to carry around a terabyte of storage in a pocket."

          I already hear about plenty of people that have lost all of their digital stuff when their phone goes titsup or missing. If they only had a limited amount of storage, they would have moved things off to a laptop or desktop (or even somebody else's machine(cloud)). Instead, all of the photos they took of Jr. growing up vanish when the phone takes a swim in the loo.

          From a security standpoint, 1Tb of data you have amassed is going to be a huge liability. Are you certain you want to hand all of that over to the filth to have a good rummage through?

  3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    It's a maturing market and the majority of users have found that their mobile phones largely do what they need. Once a phone meets the requirements that the user has, they have no real need to replace it.

    There will always be the marks in the world who need to have the latest phone and think that it's "free" because that's what the sales spiel for their £60/month contract said, and their inability to multiply 48 (months) by £60 (less the cost of a SIM only deal) to work out that they are usually paying 30-50% more for this "free" phone than if they just bought it themselves. These same people often upgrade their phones after only half of the period, often paying a lump sum to do so, and still can't do the maths for their next "free" phone.

    The only place where continual churn on mobile devices is a good thing is the device manufacturers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      no real need to replace it

      Rather like Windows XP or Windows 7.

      1. Alan Bourke

        Re: no real need to replace it

        Apart from the swiss cheese security, terrible driver model, lack of a decent terminal etc etc

        1. sev.monster
          Flame

          Re: no real need to replace it

          It's sad but there are legitimate reasons to keep old versions of Windows and other software around, usually because short-sighted developers fuck shit up and/or remove user choice for reasons and expect you to eat it. Frankly, that's why I switched to Linux, because at least I can maintain the entire system and have complete control if I really wanted to, though I find Plasma 5 (and upcoming Plasma 6) to suit my needs perfectly. And super customizable to boot, no DLL patching needed.

          My favorite quotable Windows "feature" moment is Windows 11 lacking these things at launch:

          • Taskbar snapping to left/right/top of screen
          • Disabling taskbar grouping
          • Showing taskbar labels
          • Moving the volume/Internet icons around separately (they are now combined into one button)
          • Start Menu tiles from Windows 8–10 (hey some people still like em)
          • Forcing the start menu to pop in the middle of the screen
          • No left aligned taskbar
          • No way to hide the news, recommendations, and other annoying elements from the Start Menu
          • Can't disable automatic Bing search (might have been the case during the technical preview, I don't remember)

          And that's just what I remember, about one area of the UX. There is probably so much more that either didn't impact me or that I'm forgetting, in this area alone.

          Want to guess how many of those issues are still problems today? Adjusting taskbar grouping landed only a month or so ago, to enterprise release channels. If that tells you anything.

          And you wonder why people continue to use XP? Especially when the list of things changed/removed between XP and Vista is also quite large? Not to mention the disasterous launch of Vista in general? Or the disasterous launch of 8? And so on?

          There is no denying that older Windows versions have plenty of flaws, and it sucks that Microsoft is essentially abandoning these users in the name of progress... or rather, in the name of selling more laptops and licenses to safeguard their revenue stream. In reality, just like smartphones, many users find that their old versions do exactly what they need in exactly the way that they want and the incentive to upgrade is not worth the money, hassle, technical requirements, or otherwise.

          Do you remember when your favorite feature was taken from you, or when a new "feature" was shoved down your throat with no other option? I remember Windows 11 forcing hardware requirements that were a straight up lie. I remember Windows 10 forcing DWM vertical sync with no native way of disabling it other than exclusive fullscreen. I remember the removal of widgets. I remember the removal of the classic start menu. I remember the disgusting UI and UX changes that needed a whole system upgrade to make actually usable and not make my eyes bleed. I remember the introduction of IE and Edge, and how the whole system is pointed at it by default with either no option to change it or that option hidden behind 10 "ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THAT" prompts. I remember updates deleting your entire Documents directory.

          Sorry if I sound upset. Because I am upset. I hate Windows so much. And I have used every version almost daily since 3.1, ending at 10. I got so tired of always having to hunt down the right third-party software just to make my OS usable to my needs because some marketing exec that did a case study on 50 users got the bright idea to move the "all programs" menu another 2 clicks away while offering no alternative for users that didn't like it.

          I'm sorry, I'll stop now. Before I start thinking about Windows Server.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: no real need to replace it

            I'd love to never ever use Windows again. But sadly I have to use it all day every day for work - and yes we get frequent UI changes as the MS "Evergreen" means we get pretty well everything MS dreams up whenever they feel like it.

        2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

          Re: no real need to replace it

          I know that these days I'm just a domestic user but with each PC I bought I wiped the hard drive and did a clean install of Windows. I still have W7 on 3 laptops and have no trouble with them ditto for my two linux machines. However the W10 & W11 and a constant source of agro.

    2. hedgie Bronze badge

      I also think that more of the market, especially the younger people who are traditionally after newer shiny things is becoming less blatantly consumerist, even those who aren't struggling to keep a roof over their heads with stratospheric rents and everyone trying to add a subscription to things where it doesn't even make sense. I look at such purchases from the lens of the "Vimes' Boots Theory of Economics", and will spend what it takes to get something good and durable, and continue to use it as long as it is fit for purpose.

  4. VoiceOfTruth

    No need for an 'upgrade'

    My phone from three and a half years ago is still good, apart from the battery. So I recently bought another one, exactly the same, new in the box. It's a third of the original price, and less than a quarter of the price of a new phone. I'm getting the battery replaced on the old phone. Mad? I don't think so. I now have two chargers, two charging cables, two sets of earphones for identical devices.

    No doubt the cameras now are better than three or four years ago. But the old one is more than good enough for me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No need for an 'upgrade'

      My 7 year old Samsung J5 would be perfectly good if it still got security updates. I don't need it for computational fluid dynamics simulation.

      1. Fred Dibnah

        Re: No need for an 'upgrade'

        My 7 year old iPhone 6s had a security update just this morning. Lack of LTS was why I switched from Android to iOS.

        Plus, I have no love for Apple but I really, really hate Google.

        1. sev.monster

          Re: No need for an 'upgrade'

          You might be interested in GrapheneOS, which supports Google Pixels for many years, while also thoroughly de-Googling and securing them. I currently run the 6 Pro and find it quite nice. No real reason to upgrade to the 7, basically the same phone.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No need for an 'upgrade'

          Pixel phones get at least seven years of updates too. No need to change to iOS.

          1. Fred Dibnah

            Re: No need for an 'upgrade'

            There is still the problem, for me, that the OS is tied to Google. YMMV.

            1. sev.monster

              Re: No need for an 'upgrade'

              You might be interested in GrapheneOS, which supports Google Pixels for many years, while also thoroughly de-Googling and securing them. I currently run the 6 Pro and find it quite nice. No real reason to upgrade to the 7, basically the same phone.

              Just in case you missed it, friend. It's super easy to install, and functions with a locked bootloader for extra security (of course you can still root if you want, Magisk is recommended for that)

          2. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: No need for an 'upgrade'

            No. Google has made promises, but no Google phone has received an update after 7 years yet.

        3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

          Re: No need for an 'upgrade'

          My 7-year-old Moto G5S had an update 5 days ago, but that's because it can run LineageOS.

      2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: No need for an 'upgrade'

        Unfortunately Samsung do software badly... very badly. Their hardware is usually pretty good but the software is what would happen if a large room full of drunk monkeys were sat in front of computers and forced to code until whatever they banged in compiled (with compiler warnings turned off, of course). While some of Samsung's top of the line devices are supported for a passable period of time, anything other than this is supported for a fixed period that seems to start from when the marketing department first thought about the device and the things while claiming "three years of updates" in the marketing spiel will often only have a year at most left when you buy them.

        1. sev.monster

          Re: No need for an 'upgrade'

          Replace monkeys with outsourced underpaid """talent""" and you have a more realistic scenario.

  5. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    iPhone 7+ here

    Vintage 2016. It does what I need it to do. Bit large, but beggars can't be choosy.

    When SWMBO gets a new shiny one, I get the old one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iPhone 7+ here

      Do you pay for the SWMBO's new phone too?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iPhone 7+ here

        "Do you pay for the SWMBO's new phone too?"

        Don't know where you live, but here in UK women have salaried jobs, and often make more than their spouses.

        And "non working" home makers actually also work (men and women).

        1. I am David Jones Silver badge

          Re: iPhone 7+ here

          To be fair, the compensation package for home makers is not readily usable to purchase phones. Unless you are thinking very long term (decades) in which case I’d be thinking much bigger… cars, holidays, houses etc. that the little tykes really should buy you when they make their millions.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: iPhone 7+ here

            "To be fair, the compensation package for home makers is not readily usable to purchase phones."

            Beg to differ. Shared account is the norm.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: iPhone 7+ here

          >Don't know where you live, but here in UK women have salaried jobs, and often make more than their spouses.

          Here in the USA the children also have salaried jobs, generally in the local mine - we're working on getting under 5s into the salaried chimney sweep industry

        3. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

          Re: iPhone 7+ here

          "Do you pay for the SWMBO's new phone too?"

          All true but the above question still makes sense. Some pay-,omthly packages come with more than one phone. Sometimes it is cheaper to

          have more than one phone on the same account in preference to having two separate accounts. Paying for her phone, or her paying for his,

          might make sense.

          Though I, too, found the form of the above question a little snarky. It could have been phrased better.

      2. sev.monster
        Gimp

        Re: iPhone 7+ here

        Good little paypig!

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: iPhone 7+ here

      "Bit large, but beggars can't be choosy."

      Just a shame that everything newer is at least as large... there is no "small phone" market any more.

      1. sev.monster

        Re: iPhone 7+ here

        What is "small phone" for you? Pixel #a line would like a word. Unless you mean old chocobar phone size?

        1. Piro Silver badge

          Re: iPhone 7+ here

          For me, reasonable size no bigger than 140x70

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: iPhone 7+ here

          I spent some time with a nice thin, small bar phone (nokia something I can't remember) which provided a bluetooth PAN for my Nexus 7 tablet.

          That gave me a week or of standby on the phone, with a decent connection for the tablet which gave me a decent screen for anything else I needed to do (which included having a BT keyboard and a USB OTG connected mouse to run games in dosbox)

      2. Blogitus Maximus

        Re: iPhone 7+ here

        My wife would beg to differ. Her dainty digits are drowned on modern phones like my pixel 7 pro. That phone is too big, even for my (larger than average) man-size mits.

        Isn't this one of those examples of poor choices not accommodating the variety of user requirements? I seem to recall some accusations of iPhone being too massive for women a few years back.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: iPhone 7+ here

          I think you might have misinterpreted my (not particularly clear) comment about there being no market... the manufacturers have decided that there is no market.

          I think it's pretty obvious that there is demand for smaller devices, which don't attempt to be all things at all times, but the decision has presumably been made that they're not worth selling - therefore there is no product to make a market.

          1. sev.monster

            Re: iPhone 7+ here

            Nokia made some after their buyout and rebranding efforts, but they died out pretty quickly and didn't sell much. People seem to prefer the new shiny, which is not necessarily (or most often) the best product for them.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: iPhone 7+ here

      I think lots of people do hand me downs, whether I-Phones or other makers.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: iPhone 7+ here

        I buy old iPhones for peanuts. I have Xs currently. I know its camera isn't as good as a new one but otherwise I need nothing from a 14 or 15.

    4. The answer is 42

      Re: iPhone 7+ here

      My phone gets replaced when my daughter gets a new one- she fixes it to accept my PAYG sim. I don’t have many apps open at the same time so the battery lasts all day. The battery is original, I am told. I am also on an iPhone 7.

    5. IvyKing

      Re: iPhone 7+ here

      I finally replaced my iPhone 6 the middle of last year when the battery finally gave out. Got a new SE because I wanted the Touch ID instead of the Face ID. Going from 16GB to 128GB was a nice improvement.

  6. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Where can I get more of this truly insightful market analysis

    People especially with expensive phones keep them longer (so people have to spend less money)

    Mid range phones, worth naff all on resale, are retained by customers as a backup (so people have to spend less money, if their new phone breaks)

    The number of one wish is for devices to last longer (so people have to spend less money)

    People with less money (younger people) buy second hand (so people have to spend less money)

    Customers care more about if their phone works than up to date security patches (so people have to spend less money)

    Still at least we're moving beyond a two year refresh and creating a huge amount of e-waste.

  7. secondtimeuser

    I recently retired my 4 year old Galaxy S9 (which in itself was second hand) and replaced it with a new Galaxy A34 which was on a great offer in Black Friday sales.

    Any difference in day to day usage is largely invisible, though I do find myself disappointed with the new camera performance. There might be some settings magic I'm missing but I'd have expected mid range to at least match premium from 5 years prior.

  8. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    Xiaomi Mi 9, the one with Qi charging, since March 2019, aka 58 Month.

    The battery is still good for five days standby, from up to seven days in the beginning. Still no reason to replace it.

    But I only switched 'cause Satya Stupella killed Windows Phone when it just was taking off. Or, to be more precise: He decidedly let it rot. Will, maybe, resurrect the Lumia 950 XL when the first ARM64 builds of a server OS is available to the public. Windows 10 and 11 are very slow, mostly due to the defender. Which you can uninstall on a Server OS.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Xiaomi Mi 9, the one with Qi charging, since March 2019, aka 58 Month.

      "Satya Stupella killed Windows Phone when it just was taking off."

      Quite a revisionist take there. WinPhone market was fizzling, with less and less apps was ported for it.

      Micros~1 could have spent Billions more with it, but it wasn't a winning hand.

      NB. I was happy with the Lumia 820 and 640 phones I used at some point. TIFKAM was better interface than what IOS or Android offered.

      Satya has a good record at Micros~1 - now, his predecessor on the other hand...

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: Xiaomi Mi 9, the one with Qi charging, since March 2019, aka 58 Month.

        > Quite a revisionist take there. WinPhone market was fizzling, with less and less apps was ported for it.

        Not really, I am just on a different position on the timeline, were everything was still running Windows Phone 8.1. With Here-Maps (with 100% offline capabilities), Lumia Refocus (combined seven or nine pictures), Photo-Translator and quite a few other things we had a lot of apps which were supplied by Microsoft, and were unique to the Windows Phone world and missing in other worlds.

        Then came Windows Phone 10, and tons of those apps were never ported, and feedback ignored. While the OS of Windows Phone 10 was better, this was the point of letting it rot since many standard apps were not recompiled or repackaged for Windows Phone 10. This is the mistake of Satya Stupella. CEO of MS since 2014. Windows 10 came 2015. And in the beginning Windows Phone 10 could not have two separate "Phonecall" buttons for their Dual-SIM phone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Xiaomi Mi 9, the one with Qi charging, since March 2019, aka 58 Month.

          a happy HP Elite X3 smartphone user here.

          I think the Windows 10 Mobile was a better OS (not as good as MeeGo or Blackberry 10, but better than Android), but the lack of apps killed it.

          The phone was great, good quality, Power Mat and Qi charging of the 4Ah battery, water and shock resitance, pogo pins at the back, B&O tuned sount, 3.5 jack, dual sim, LapDock and desk dock!!!! but without software support it was almost unuasble. The upgrade to Android gave the phone a second life, desktop mode works with its lap dock and desk dock, even the notification led which was NOT used in windows, is working under Android! The phone can be still found on fleebay for less than £200 already upgraded to Android and rooted too.

  9. Mishak Silver badge

    87 months and counting

    Will probably replace this year as the battery is not so good and there are some "new" features that I want.

  10. Filippo Silver badge

    Good

    Less waste of energy and raw materials, less e-waste. Sounds good to me.

  11. Lee D Silver badge

    I don't think I've ever used a phone for LESS than 40 months.

    I've had... 5 phones over the last 24 years. That 57.6 months on average.

  12. terry 1

    Have a Samsung S9+, unlocked, new in 2018. I recall being utterly disappointed with the speed as it replaced my Oneplus One which was much faster. But heyho, lived with it. Last two years some apps crawled / hung and the battery life was down so looked for a new one just before Christmas. Ended up with a Moto g54 from Argos. Does all that I need, sure it's not cutting edge, but sub £200 was considerably cheaper than the Samsung.

    These days it's more about purchase price. I don't need to check my pulse, see how far I walk, how steep a slope is etc, However I do miss the built in wireless charger so ended up getting the adapter

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phones have got more expensive (per month).

    My phone is perfectly fine and now paid for and now out of contract. I'm not particularly bothered about upgrading. I looked and the only one was a slightly better camera.

  14. Lyndication

    Secondary phone retailers are hungry for inventory ass

    Matron!

    An immature chuckle at that typo aside, it is good news that the churn of smartphone E-waste seems to be slowing down. My old phone was very much on its deathbed so late last year I stumped up for a second hand Fairphone 4. If half the marketing on the thing is true, it should be much better for the industry, and I can only assume it's even more green to buy it pre-used!

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Secondary phone retailers are hungry for inventory ass

      It’s not a typo, it’s a sign that the market has bottom-ed out.

  15. AndrueC Silver badge
    Meh

    Bought my S10 summer 2019. I don't intend to replace it until the battery becomes useless. It's currently managing to last two or even three days so that's fine. And if/when it fails I'll try and get it replaced. My S10 does everything that I need a phone to (apart from having an easily replaceable battery). Nothing that's been released since offers anything else I want.

  16. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    Google will mop up.

    Their phones get long enough support for a 5-year replacement cycle, with their 7-year security updates. I see that Samsmug have finally caved, and give you 3 years' app, 4 years' security.

  17. Strong as Taishan Mountains

    Regular security updates are a big deal to me,

    And it's about 90-100 per year for most androids, 120-150 per year of Developer work for Apple devices.

    I've a a Nokia XR which is fine HW wise, but security drops off this Fall. (Reason why phones go on sale, the legion of software developers have or are moving on soon)

  18. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Latest OSes & "updates" suck

    Android 14 tries to remove even more features, so I've blocked updates and I'm sticking to my current phone as long as possible.

  19. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    The longer, the better. My iPads are really old now, which is good. My phone is a Samsung A40.

    My only new-ish laptop is an M1, because the Intel stuff has poor battery, noisy fan, and gets too warm.

    The environment prefers this.

  20. b1k3rdude

    And yes because the phones you have just works. For a while now manufactures have refused to listen to thier customers, instead removing features users wanted and adding features the did not. They are now reeping the benefits or lack there of, as a result of this beligerant anti-consumer behavour.

    An example in my case, Samsung keeps installing unremoveable bloatware, making apps thaat never needed internet access now suddently need to connect to samsung and making it harder and harder to root thier devices. I have owned a bunch of thier devices (D500 slide, S, S2, S4, Note4, S5, S7, Note9) and currently daily drive an S20fe, on which I have a custom recovery, custom rom, rooted, firewall and permission manager. But this may very well be my last SS device.

  21. patrick_

    Beyond what's been mentioned more than a few times. Cell phone providers with discount plans on phones have been pushing out the contracts, it used to be 24-months for year, then 30-months, and now 36-months. If customers don't start looking to replace until after the contract is up, this pushes them out to the 36-40 month mark.

  22. ecofeco Silver badge

    Hurting the market?

    Cry me a river. I have no sympathy for any industry saying consumer are not consuming enough and it's hurting the industry.

  23. Tron Silver badge

    I'm sticking with my PAYG Nokia feature phone until the climate/zombie apocalypse.

    Which, unlike me, it will survive.

  24. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

    "Secondary phone retailers are hungry for inventory ass"

    Yum!

  25. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    OAP phones looking good

    A couple of companies at least in AU market simple, comparatively inexpensive large button phones intended for the visually impaired. "Pensioner", "Seniors" etc phones. Pretty much make(receive) voice calls and send(receive) texts only (likely no camera.) No Android so probably pretty secure too.

  26. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

    My current phone does texts, takes pictures that it claims contain 1 MegaPixel but which look fairly okay-ish, and does voice calls between consenting adults.

    It cost £30 some years ago. Maybe $40 USofAn dollars.

    It is able to send the pictures to other phones but only one at a time. It refuses to display most "emojis". It has absolutely no idea what an URL is nor what to do

    with one of those magic squares full of lesser squares.

    In terms of security, it is not even a poor joke but it doesn't need to be as it hasn't anything on it to be secure about.

    It's about as dumb as a 1950's rotary phone.

    So why do I use it? Well, it was cheap and it makes voice calls. That, I have found, is just about all I need from a phone.

    Sure, the odd text, a couple of time per year, is cool but I'd not miss that facility were I to not have it.

    I think my phone is 3G so it'll probably be made obsolete soon. That's just tough. When it is, if it is, I'll stop phoning people.

    No one will miss me much.

    I don't ever get spam calls so even the scummy scammers won't miss me. :)

    No, I won't be getting a newer one loaded with Google. That idea horrifies me. I've played with newer phones in the phone shops and I dislike them a lot.

    Honestly, I'd rather have a rotary on a landline doing analogue voice calls. If such a thing still exists.

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