UC Advanced - issue #3


Grading yesterday’s technology

With device prices continuing to rise, the second hand, or graded, market has become a more enticing proposition for consumers and businesses alike.

Fresh after my first year of university, with an overdraft of “free money” (a direct quote) I bought my first mobile phone. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge specifically, the predecessor to the curved screen phase that distinguished flagships in the Samsung portfolio. However, fresh-faced and barely able to grow a tash, let alone a credit score, I had to look to eBay in order to quench my thirst for cutting-edge technology; no pun intended. Back then, in 2015, Mazuma Mobile seemed to be the only phone recycling brand on the market, and with the price range for flagship devices from Apple and Samsung costing between £500 and £650, there was no real necessity for one either. Now that prices have soared and tangible technology has stagnated, the value of the second hand market has grown to $99.9 billion for smartphones alone according to IDC. Much of this trend has been attributed to the growing numbers of consumers trading in their devices when they upgrade to a new handset. This is a trend that is being emulated within B2B hardware markets, with David Nelson Senior Director of Mobile & Trade In Services – EMEA at TD SYNNEX attributing its own 30% growth in second-hand sales to economic conditions, the capabilities of graded devices, along with the upgrading of devices bought during the technological supermarket sweep of spring of 2020. “B2B is slowly starting to trade in devices and purchase graded devices to a greater extent than in consumer,” said Nelson. “As consumers, we quite happily walk into a store or shop online, get a new device and then trade back to the old one. “I think as we’re going through economically challenging times, not just for the consumer but for business, we are coming round to the idea of secondhand devices. Over the last three to five years, people understand that the second-hand device will be a good device, they understand that there’s an ABC grading,

and they understand, roughly, what kind of condition the device is going to come in.” “The business and enterprise channel is more aware and getting more comfortable with the adoption of pre-owned technology,” added Fergal Donavan Regional President, Europe at PCS Wireless. “There is a compelling business case for those that take the time to understand it. “In addition, it is also a great way to align to corporate ESG, eWaste and sustainability goals. With the smaller leaps in technology we are experiencing in the mobile device world today companies and users are seeing that owning a one to two-year-old device does not mean you have to forgo large technology developments.” Reducing Waste Being able to carry out day-to-day responsibilities is obviously key for any new device adoption; some might say fundamental. In fact, Nelson also added that one of the sticking points for businesses on the road to buying graded devices was the transfer of data from old to new(ish) devices, but went on to say that second-hand devices are able to carry out the basic functions a business needs from it, namely, emails, document sharing and taking calls. With this in mind and the rising awareness of the technology industry’s detrimental contribution to the environment, Nelson added that the environmental impact of e-waste is influencing buying decisions and removing the stigma around graded devices. “That environmental message resonates much stronger with Gen Z and millennial customers,” said Nelson. “We’re definitely seeing an increase in those people asking for a graded device, and I think the stigma around graded devices will slowly fade away. “My hope is that the adoption of legislation in countries or some governance through

David Nelson Senior Director of Mobile & Trade In Services – EMEA



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