Yesterday’s Apple launch event is significant for the smartphone and secondary device market—and not just because Apple has launched its first set of 5G iPhone.
We can’t ignore that the only ancillary offering that was mentioned at any point during the event was trade-ins. And there are a number of reasons why so much focus was put on trade-ins.
Verizon’s participation in the event was an important move for Apple. Apple has positioned the proliferation of 5G networks as one of the important reasons for consumers to upgrade to its latest set of devices.
Trade-ins will be a significant contributor to the super cycle that our carrier partners, and that industry analysts, are expecting as a result of yesterday’s launch. During the event itself Apple called out promotions it is running with Verizon when trading in an iPhone X, where an iPhone 12 would cost as little as $15 per month. Apple has also partnered with AT&T to offer trade-in promotions, where an iPhone 12 can cost a consumer just $6 per month—both carriers are also offering a $30 discount, waiving the activation fees.
Apple’s carrier partnerships have always been integral to its success, but the renewed focus on carrier partnerships at yesterday’s launch is crucial for encouraging upgrades. For its latest devices, it is allowing customers to buy directly from Apple, and process trade-ins via its carrier partners, so consumers can get the benefit of the best possible trade-in offers—something it has never done before, and something that will contribute massively to upgrades and the super cycle. Yet another data point that highlights trade-ins as the single most important tool in the consumer purchase experience of a new device.
When it comes to device features, Apple’s innovations will delight consumers. Consumers aren’t interested in radical form factor designs—they want innovations that provide convenience. It has used technology to make its screens more durable; improved charging capabilities and battery life; Smart Data mode to fall back to LTE when 5G coverage is spotty to conserve battery life; it has launched different sized form factors while maintaining screen size; it has significantly boosted its camera capabilities to support creatives during the pandemic; and it continues to make its devices and services compatible with one another (HomePod) for ease of use. It is these innovations that consumers expect, and Apple has delivered. Another move that will encourage consumers to upgrade.
Apple did all of this with a strong focus on sustainability and commitment to Carbon Neutrality by eliminating redundant accessories and reducing packaging.
Secondary device market
But Apple’s innovations aren’t just important for the here and now—they are also important when we consider the secondary device market. For example, Apple is supporting multiple 5G bands in all of its new devices. Which means when it comes to selling these devices into the secondary market, they will be compatible. The fact that Apple tested the devices on 100 carriers also makes selling devices into the secondary market a lot easier.
The much-anticipated launch of Apple’s 5G devices is set to give the global smartphone market the boost it needs. With a super cycle imminent, Apple has positioned upgrades as a crucial contributor to the success of its new devices. With over 180 million people estimated to upgrade their iPhones over the next 12 months, the secondary device market is also set to benefit from Apple’s launch—from the abundance of 4G devices that will enter the market, and the innovative 5G devices that will make their way into the secondary market in years to come.