Can Samsung phone trade-in values ever match Apple's?

February 8, 2014

Savvy smartphone owners know that trading in their existing smartphone can help finance the purchase of their next device.


This is especially true of Apple iPhone owners. But what about Google Android users? Samsung has seen great success with its high-end Galaxy series of smartphones. These phones typically costs as much or sometimes more than the Apple iPhone when they're first introduced. Do these devices hold their value as well as the iPhone when it comes to reselling them?

I asked the folks at the gadget trade-in site Gazelle for some help to answer this question. And I offer their insights in this edition of Ask Maggie. I also asked Gazelle to help me answer another reader's questions about what happens to your smartphone once it's traded in.


The iPhone may be king, but

for how long?

Dear Maggie,
I know that Apple iPhones tend to hold their resale value pretty well. But what about Samsung Galaxy devices? Can I make back a good portion of the cash I spend on a new Galaxy device when I trade it in to buy the next hot smartphone on the market? I am pretty sure a Galaxy S5 is coming out soon, and I'm considering unloading my Galaxy S3 to buy it.

Looking for a good deal

Dear Looking for a good deal,
You are absolutely right about iPhones holding their value. But Anthony Scarsella, who is the chief gadget officer for the Gazelle trade-in Web site, said that smartphones from Samsung compete pretty well in terms of holding their value, at least initially.

Gazelle looked back at data from trade-ins on several phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, and S4, as well as the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. It also included a few other Android smartphones made by Motorola, LG and HTC. The company looked at how well these devices retained their resale value 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months after being released into the market.

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