EXCLUSIVE: Assurant, an insurance company that has partnered with Apple as part of its trade-in program, expects a slight increase in volume after the tech giant’s “Far Out” event on Wednesday, where the company widely expected to herald the iPhone 14.
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Last year, the risk management provider recovered approximately 20 million trade-in devices across its three facilities in York, Pennsylvania; Lewisville, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, including a record 17 million repaired for resale.
“This year, we anticipate, will be about the same ballpark, maybe slightly north of there,” Biju Nair, president of Assurant’s connected living global unit, told FOX Business in an interview. . “As soon as the launch of the new iPhone takes place, we’ll start to get a better idea of what Q4 volumes will look like.”
Nair notes that trade-in volumes typically triple from the launch date of a new iPhone or Samsung phone due to the popularity of the devices and the start of upgrade promotions by carriers and retailers. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, about $784 million was returned to consumers through industry-wide take-back programs.
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When a trade-in device reaches an Assurant facility, it is tested for condition and rated. About 65% to 68% of devices received by Assurant are from Apple, while about 25% to 30% are from Samsung.
After testing and repairs are completed, device data is erased and auctioned off to buyers in the wholesale market. About half of the devices prepared for resale are consumed in the United States, while the other half is shipped abroad.
According to Nair, the average selling price of a used smartphone on the wholesale market is around $210.
“The wholesaler buys [the phone] and then they do many, many things, but they can break it up into smaller lots and sell it to other small stores that might be interested in selling it more. They obviously get a margin on top of that. So let’s say, you know, they get about 5% extra margin,” Nair explains. “But these end stores, they can actually polish and polish these devices and put them in a box, add a charger and headphones then they resell it at retail price.”
Nair notes that a used iPhone 13 typically sells north of around $500.
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Since beginning its take-back program in 2009, Assurant has reused 116 million devices, diverted more than 23,000 metric tons of waste from landfills, produced 6.38 million metric tons of C02 avoidance and returned approximately $12 billion dollars to consumers.
Apple’s “Far Out” event will air live from Apple Park in Cupertino, Calif., beginning at 10 a.m. PT.