iPhone 6 resale value higher than previous models, analyst says

The heavy demand for Apple's iPhone 6 lineup is surfacing in the resale market with higher relative prices seen in both the US and China, according to analyst Gene Munster.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are beating their predecessors in the resale market. CNET

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are outshining the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in terms of resale value.

Released last September in the US and other countries and last October in China, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have raked in huge sales for Apple. Over the last quarter of 2014 that ended in December, Apple sold a record 74.5 million iPhones, or 46 percent more devices than the record 51 million sold in the year-earlier quarter. With consumers increasingly craving big-screened smartphones, the new iPhones represented Apple's acknowledgment of that demand, helping it win more customers and gain lost market share.

Tracking the prices of all four iPhones on both eBay in the US and Taobao in China, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster found a significant difference in resale value as detailed in an investors note released late Tuesday.

Nine months following the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, used models were selling on eBay for 72 percent of the price of new models. In contrast, used editions of the iPhone 5S and 5C were selling for just 60 percent and 48 percent of the full retail price, respectively, also at nine months post launch.

The results were about the same for China's Taobao, an online shopping site similar to eBay. In the eight months following their launch, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were selling for 73 percent of the price of a new phone, while the iPhone 5S and 5C were selling for 65 percent and 53 percent of the full retail price, respectively.

Munster concedes that using resale value as an indicator for new iPhone demand "is not a perfect science," but he said he believes that it points to an encouraging direction for future sales. The analyst said he expects the iPhone to continue to gain share at the high end of the smartphone market. China and the US are also the world's top customers for Apple's iPhone, so the higher resale values for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in those two countries are especially significant.

For the current quarter, Munster estimates iPhone sales of 46 million, up from 35.2 million in the same quarter last year. And for next quarter, the analyst is eyeing iPhone sales of 43.5 million, up from 39.2 million in the prior-year quarter.