Compare and Recycle

Pro or Pass: The Impact Of iPhone Depreciation

man panicking about iphone depreciation

The iPhone 15 has hit the market and of course, the most expensive model comes with a hefty price tag of £1,599. However, what most people don’t realise is that within the first year, you can expect to lose over 50% of that retail value. The good news is that we conducted a thorough comparison study that can help you make an informed choice and potentially dodge that depreciation. So, if you’re eyeing the latest iPhone for yourself, we’re about to spill the beans on which iPhone model could help you hold onto your hard earned cash a little longer.

In This Article:

What Makes iPhones Retain Their Value Better Over Time

To this day, the iPhone is seen as reliable, sleek and premium handset offering simplicity with its overall design and software navigation. So, it’s undeniable that Apple has poured a lot into building their brand and it’s not just the logo that continues to entice consumers time and time again, but also their reputation for high-quality tech.

Now, compare that to the world of Android where you’ve got an overwhelming number of options, from budget-friendly to the more premium devices. Yes, it can be great to have choices, but it can also make things tougher especially when there’s so much choice for consumers. All this variety dilutes the brand and as a result, Android phones tend to lose their value quicker.

But here’s the interesting part, the iPhone seems to be slowing down. The excitement may be wearing thin due to the fact that we’re not seeing the same massive leaps in innovation as we once did. With each new model release, the changes and improvements resemble baby steps in comparison to the earlier releases. It’s a strong indicator as to why consumers are keeping hold of their iPhones for longer and the refurbished phone market is quickly growing.

“According to Counterpoint’s refurbished handset tracker, the global refurb market is growing faster than that of the new smartphones market, as consumers increasingly turn to refurbished phones amid increasing prices of new devices from leading brands.”

This may be due to current circumstances, including the cost of living crisis, that is having an impact on the majority of people at the moment. Or it could be down to the fact that there simply is not enough of a demand to constantly upgrade anymore. Whatever the reason is, it’s impossible to deny the change in attitude amongst consumers - are we more focused on stretching our budget rather than spending it? Or are we simply catching on to the fact that the latest iPhones just aren’t offering the innovative features to justify the upgrade.

Pro or Pass: iPhone 15 is set to lose up to 60% of its value

In the past, iPhone depreciation has been the slowest in comparison to its competitors. But things have changed for entry model iPhones, especially when it comes to the non-pro models and faster depreciation opens up speculation to whether the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus is a wise purchase for iPhone upgraders. Our [study]( shows that the iPhone 15 series is set to lose £729 in its first year on the market - a record loss in the first year.

During its first 12 months, the iPhone 14 128GB value has decreased at an accelerated rate compared to its predecessors, dropping £30.49 monthly which is a new reality for iPhone users to take seriously. iPhone 14 series’ depreciation surged by 7% on average and was £168 higher in the first year compared to iPhone 13 series - the iPhone 15 lineup may reach a staggering 60% depreciation in year one. Side by side comparison revealed that the value loss of iPhone 14 and 14 Plus models was record-high after the first 12 months on the market - with Plus models being the first ever iPhones to drop 51.07%.

However, the iPhone Pro models show 4% slower depreciation rates and are a much better option for upgraders. This highlights that although anticipation for the iPhone 15 was high, unless you are upgrading to a Pro model, you should skip the iPhone 15 lineup or lose at least 53% to depreciation in the first 12 months.

“Higher capacity, premium models hold their value for two or more years. If you are planning to upgrade to one of the iPhone 15 models, our data tells us that the higher capacity models retain their value better over time, so you will benefit more by paying a slightly higher price for a brand new iPhone with a higher capacity and will get more cash when you decide to sell it after 2-3 years of use.”

In recent years it’s become evident that the value of the iPhone has inflated to the point where the price to features ratio isn’t justified and new insights into iPhone depreciation trends highlight that certain iPhone models are struggling to hold their value.

iPhone 13 lineup showed the same picture as iPhone 14 series, with Pro and Pro Max 128Gb and 256GB variants taking a less harder hit in the first year. iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 13 Mini 512GB were hit the worst, dropping by 56% which is equivalent to £634. We suggest that upgraders should exercise caution when considering iPhone 15 Plus variants.

The iPhone 15 lineup included changes to charging port, introduced titanium body and the mute switch removal - the rest of the features are the same as the iPhone 14 lineup. As iPhone models fail to evolve, the technological improvements between generations may not always justify the upgrade for consumers, leading to reduced demand and hence, faster depreciation. Coupled with rising prices, flagship iPhones may deter potential buyers, which further impacts resale values.

Of course when opting for a higher capacity, pro model iPhone, you must consider the steep price. The good news is that you have options! Buying a refurbished iPhone means you can get a quality device with all the bells and whistles whilst still paying a lot less than what you would for a brand new one. The even better news is that your old phone can be sold as part of the process, leaving you with extra money to put towards your next iPhone - it really is a win-win situation.

Sell Your Old iPhone to Beat Depreciation

So, if you’re looking to upgrade you’re probably wondering when the best time to sell your old iPhone is. As a rule of thumb, we advise selling your phone straight after you’ve replaced it. This ensures you get the best price for your iPhone and it won’t sit in a drawer literally losing you money.

Whether you want to sell your old mobile phone, donate or recycle it safely, there are so many options to choose from. At Compare and Recycle we give you the opportunity to compare all the best prices for your phone and find the recycler that offers the best price for it.

Relevant reading:


In the world of smartphones, it’s very clear that the dynamics of value retention are shifting especially with the iPhone 15 standing as a prime example. Once renowned for its impressive features, consistent innovation and a somewhat slow depreciation rate, we now find ourselves in a different landscape.

The non-Pro models have experienced a rapid devaluation, raising questions about whether consumers should be upgrading to an iPhone 15 at all. The fact that the iPhone 15 series is expected to shed £729 of its value within its first year, should be eye opening for those who once relied on the steady depreciation of previous models. However, despite this shift, the iPhone Pro models have managed to maintain slower depreciation rates, meaning a smarter choice for upgraders.

So, the bottom line is, iPhone upgraders need to make more informed decisions about which iPhone model they invest their money into, especially with prices increasing and features coming in at slug pace. The last thing people want right now is a chunk of their investment slipping away shortly after getting their iPhone out of the box and in this scenario, the iPhone 15 Pro models shine as the wiser option.


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