Buying a used smartphone is not an easy task. If anything, it’s harder making up your mind on a used smartphone because there’s always the possibility of a better deal amidst fluctuating prices and bargaining. However, the old Android vs iPhone debate exists when buying used phones as well.
The price dynamics change differently when buying used iPhones and comparable Android flagship phones. The software scenario for a three year old iPhone can look very different from that of a three-year old Android. Even aspects like accessory support can change quickly over a couple of years for older devices.
Here is a quick handbook for choosing your next used phone, where we go over some pointers you need to keep in mind before finalising a deal. Note that the pointers below are relevant assuming you are comparing an older Android that is placed in the same segment as the iPhone.
The most important aspect of buying any used phone is the pricing. While prices can be subjective to what user, or dealer you are buying a phone from, you need to be aware of the general trends of pricing when it comes to older iPhone models and older Android flagships.
Prices of older iPhones tend to go down more slowly, leaving less of a price difference between newer and older iPhone models of the same class and storage category. In comparison, you will find the price of Android phones slipping relatively quicker as the years go by. So, if you’re looking to save some cash, you will find used Android phones to be cheaper than used iPhones.
The second most important aspect you need to pay heed to is software. Apple iPhones have a much longer software cycle compared to Android phones. While most Android phones only get system updates for two to three years, iPhones get major system updates for much longer.
The iPhone 6S for instance, which launched in 2015, can run iOS 15. Meanwhile Android phones from the year like the Nexus 6P, Galaxy S6 Edge and Xperia Z5 Premium are completely irrelevant today in terms of software. So if you’re buying an Android phone that’s over two years old, you may be buying a device that has already run its course through its update cycle, but an iPhone from the same year will still get updates for a few more years.
If you plan on buying a used phone and selling it again after a few months or a year down the line, pricing will go down differently for phones of different brands. You will almost always find takers for Apple’s iPhones. Even if there are no buyers you can directly get in touch with, there will be platforms like CeX and Cashify and offline stores that will readily buy your old iPhone.
You may not find the same treatment with an old Android phone. A large number of competing phones in the Android ecosystem mean that most buyers have multiple options to choose from at any given price in the second hand market, leading to a sharply decreasing demand for older Androids.
The accessory market for older Apple iPhones is much larger than that of older Android phones. You will be able to find old phone cases, skins and screen protectors for older iPhone models with relative ease compared to older Android phones, for which you may not find compatible accessories without some serious online and offline hunting.
Sometimes you may not even find accessories for Android phones that are only a couple of years old. Many premium casemakers make innovative cases exclusively for iPhones. Sometimes getting a screen guard or case for an older Android flagship might be tougher as well.