How refurbished devices will power the circular phone market in 2022

The mobile industry is changing. Five years ago, it was all about ‘new’. The latest model release was marked with midnight queues outside stores and owning the top model as soon as possible was the ultimate goal. Therefore, in 2022 attitudes have shifted, says Matt Kennedy, Chief Commerce Officer at giffgaff...


New is not king anymore. In a recent study commissioned by giffgaff in March 2022 to find out the UK’s view on the cost of living, almost half (46%) of the UK say they will stop or reduce spending on upgrading their mobile phones in 2022. On top of this, our own data shows we have experienced double-digit year-on-year growth in refurbished phone sales between the 2019/20 period and 2020/21.


Let’s call double-digit growth what it is, a booming market. Markets do not boom in isolation, and it is important we are able to capitalise on these changing consumer trends, especially when they have an underlying social good. To do that, we need to understand the driving forces behind this move to more sustainable decisions.


Customer demand for a better value…


It seems like a given, but you have to listen to what is actually going on outside your company walls to understand what consumers really want. Back in 2020, research suggested up to 60% of the UK would buy a refurbished phone when their current one needed replacing. That is more than half of the UK saying this, so you have to explore why people want the option between refurbished and new now.



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