Cell Phone Depreciation & Price Drops

2018 - 2019's Biggest Winners And Losers

iPhone resale image

Smartphone Depreciation Intro

Typically, cell phone depreciation is a result of the regular releases of new phones making yours outdated, the decline in software or hardware capabilities, second-hand market demand and physical general cosmetic wear. Taking your new cell phone out the box causes the same financial result as driving a brand new car out the showroom, its resale value tanks

That said, not every phone value depreciates the same, cell phone trade-in store BankMyCell tracked the trade-in prices hourly for 12 months so we can analyze when smartphone prices drop and find which phones are 2018’s biggest winners and losers.


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By Ash Turner
As CEO of CompareMyMobile.com and BankMyCell.com since 2009, Ash has been a pivotal figure in the mobile tech industry. With a background in managing Brightstar’s PhoneRecycleBank, he boasts extensive experience with global carriers and MVNOs like T-Mobile and O2, and leading manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung.

Learn about our editorial process

| Updated on March 11, 2024
Fact Checked By
Joey Bobiles
Joey is adept at creating comprehensive comparison guides and product reviews for devices from brands like Apple, Samsung, and Google. His expertise extends to thorough evaluations of smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, MVNOs, and phone plans, all while simplifying intricate technical information into easily understandable content.

Learn about our editorial process

Edited By
Kim Juanillo
Kim, an editor with a rich background in digital content management and developmental psychology, brings a unique blend of analytical and creative skills to BankMyCell. With her background in Psychology, Kim is adept at understanding complex concepts and transforming them into engaging, accessible content.

Learn about our editorial process

Use the links below to jump to navigate the pricing analysis or jump straight to the bottom where we have over 100 phones depreciation values for 2018. Simply filter by brand, model, release date and depreciation rate to find this year’s biggest winners and losers.

Consumer Focused Report Summary

6 Need To Know Tips About Phone Depreciation

Galaxy S Price Drop Tips

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Galaxy S Phones Might be the Worst Investment!

The Samsung Galaxy S9 released in March 2018 for $720. Almost 60% of its value vanished in nine months, being one of the fastest depreciating handsets ending the year, worth $290. Additionally, out of all the phones, in only nine months the S9 was ranked third for losing the most physical money out of all devices, followed by the S9 Plus in fourth.

In fact, the S9 lost 41.66% of its value in month one. If the S10 follows the same depreciation pattern as its predecessors, it is set to lose almost half its value in the first month of release.

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Galaxy S9 Dropped Double the Rate of the iPhone X After Release

On a percentage basis, the Galaxy S9 depreciated almost twice as fast as the iPhone X from its original release price. As smartphones become more expensive, consumers need to be aware of these trends if they plan to use their old device as upgrade collateral.

  • Galaxy S9 was released at $720, but was worth $290 9 months later (-59.72%)
  • iPhone X was released at $999, but was worth $690 9 months later (-30.93%)

In fact, the S9 lost 10.73% more of its resale value in the first month of release than the iPhone X did in nine months! Ouch

iPhone Price Drop Tips

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iPhone’s Have Solid Price Retention (Well, 9/12 Months ONLY)

A massive 68.86% of the iPhone X and 8’s total yearly depreciation was seen in Q4 following the Sept 2018 Apple Keynote (31.14% of their value between Q1-Q3). The months after the keynote is a trade-in black hole consumers should avoid, to visualize this data in physical money:

  • Jan – Sept 2018: the iPhone X only depreciated $62 (9 months)
  • Oct – Dec 2018: the iPhone X depreciated $138 (3 months following the event)
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Secret: iPhone Values Trend Upwards Every January (Even New Ones!)

Brand new iPhones always get listed at a low price, this is due to trade-in stores looking to maximize profits when people keep their old phone and look to cash in the new one. The new iPhone XS/XR range AND the iPhone X/8 saw trade-in price increases as we entered 2019. This reaffirms that the 3 months following the keynote is a trade-in black hole that consumers should avoid.

General Price Drop Tips

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Price Drop Hack: Abuse Trade-in Stores Price Locks (Earn $100+ More)

Customers that take advantage of trade-in stores 30-day price lock could have earned $100+ more selling an iPhone X before the event. Consumers should be aware that there is no obligation to send their device in, essentially they can lock the price and decide if they want the new phone after its announcement event.

iPhone stats
Ignore Hype: Android Releases Don’t Cause Large Trade-In Price Crashes

The iPhones releases were the only that had a drastic impact on depreciation, typically most other Android devices see a small drop. For example, when tracking the 2015-2017 Galaxy S6-S8 models, most only saw drops of 5-13% in weeks following the March Galaxy S9 release.

iPhone Depreciation & Price Drops

2018 iPhone Resale Pricing Trends

Resale Value Impact Of 2018’s iPhone Releases

How much does an iPhone depreciate each year? The table below shows how the yearly release cycle is the driving factor in your iPhone’s trade in depreciation; this data demonstrates the devaluation of iPhone’s purchased in 2016-17. As you can see, if you’re planning on upgrading to a new model and you finally paid off your old phone, the headlines about selling your iPhone before the yearly release is not a statement to take lightly.

Between the US and UK markets we’ve tracked since 2009, we’ve consistently witnessed the most significant resale price drops every time a new iPhone is released – for newer models this can be well over $100 in a matter of weeks. Furthermore, as you’ll see from the chart below even the newer staggered release format between September-November did not spare the iPhones from falling in value. For up to date pricing, view your used iPhone trade-in prices here

  • iPhone resale value aggressively plummets with every new iPhone release
  • Out of the 38.46% loss in value the iPhone X 256GB received this year, 26.29% happened between Sept-Dec
  • Out of the 29.91% loss in value the iPhone 8 Plus 256GB received this year, 20.75% happened between Sep-Dec
iPhone depreciation 2018

*Figures shown are averages from all storage sizes for each device, see here for storage capacity specific depreciation.

**Depreciation figures are from the first resale price listed in 2018, not the phones brand new price.

Brand New iPhone Depreciation (XS, XS Max And XR)

Following the standard September release pattern of Apple, new iPhones see a hard-hitting dip in value from their original resale value in the first few months, then stabilize as they enter the following year – this stabilization is seen in the previous chart above. In the case of this year’s iPhone releases, we ignored September pricing for the XS as they remained the same until October, then began to decline.

From the recent XS and XR releases in 2018, we’ve seen:

  • iPhone XS Max lost 15.30% from its originally resale value
  • iPhone XS lost 12.89% from its originally resale value
  • iPhone XR lost 5.38% from its originally resale value (Nov 2018 Release)
iPhone trade-in depreciation 2018 models

*Figures shown are averages from all storage sizes for each device, see here for storage capacity specific depreciation.

**Depreciation figures are from the first resale price listed in 2018, not the phones brand new price.

Resale Value Decline Of The 2017 iPhone’s

Again, the new iPhone keynote and releases triggered an overwhelming loss in value for last year’s iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X models. In fact, 78.89% of the iPhone 8’s total depreciation this year happened in just over 3 months following the announcement of the XS/XR models. Likewise, 69.37 of the iPhone 8 Plus and 69.99% of the iPhone X happened in the same period.

From its resale starting price in January 2018:

  • iPhone 8 lost 31.41% with 24.78% dropping between Sept-Dec
  • iPhone 8 Plus lost 29.91% with 20.75% dropping between Sept-Dec
  • iPhone X lost 38.46% with 26.92% dropping between Sept-Dec
iPhone trade-in depreciation 2017 models

*Figures shown are averages from all storage sizes for each device, see here for storage capacity specific depreciation.

**Depreciation figures are from the first resale price listed in 2018, not the phones brand new price.

Resale Value Decline Of The 2016 iPhone’s

Breaking the normal release date pattern, the iPhone SE launched in March 2016, however, the iPhone 7/Plus came in September 2016 as usual. As you can see the decline of in value from year start to finish is much the same, however, the monthly decline curve is much steadier. A lower figure of 53.39% of the total year’s iPhone 7 depreciation happened over 3 months following the announcement of the XS/XR models, 59.58% for the iPhone 8 Plus – both are still much lower than 2017’s iPhone 8 losing 78.89%.

From its resale starting price in January 2018:

  • iPhone SE only lost 10.28% of the 37.20% during the Sept-Dec
  • iPhone 7 lost 40.55% with 21.65% dropping between Sept-Dec
  • iPhone 7 Plus lost 31.13% with 18.55% dropping between Sept-Dec
iPhone trade-in depreciation 2016 models

*Figures shown are averages from all storage sizes for each device, see here for storage capacity specific depreciation.

**Depreciation figures are from the first resale price listed in 2018, not the phones brand new price.

Resale Value Decline Of The 2015 iPhone’s

The iPhone 6S/Plus was released in September 2015, the data shows that even devices 3 years old can be impacted by the new releases in a big way. In this case, the more expensive 6S Plus model lost 60.82% of its total depreciation in 2018 from the XS announcement onwards – The iPhone 6S only lost 37.17% of its total.

From its resale starting price in January 2018:

  • iPhone 6S lost 42.64% with a lower 15.85% decline between Sept-Dec
  • iPhone 6S Plus lost 25.83% with 15.71% dropping between Sept-Dec
iPhone trade-in depreciation 2015 models

*Figures shown are averages from all storage sizes for each device, see here for storage capacity specific depreciation.

**Depreciation figures are from the first resale price listed in 2018, not the phones brand new price.

Samsung Galaxy S Depreciation & Price Drops

2018 Galaxy S Resale Pricing Trends

Samsung Galaxy S9 2018 Price Drop

You would think the value of the latest phones packed full of cutting-edge power and features would be safe for a year or so, you’d be wrong. In less than nine months the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ models have lost up to 35.07% of their resale value. Furthermore, when you look at the brand new price in March (S9: $720 / S9+: $840) these phones are now worth 59% less than what the consumer paid for them. That’s some crazy smartphone depreciation right there!

From its resale starting price in March 2018:

Galaxy S9 trade-in depreciation

*Figures shown are averages from all storage sizes for each device, see here for storage capacity specific depreciation.

**Depreciation figures are from the first resale price listed in 2018, not the phones brand new price.

Samsung Galaxy S7 And S8 2018 Price Drop

The release of the Samsung Galaxy S9 this year impacted the value of the Galaxy S8 the most, losing half of the total smartphone depreciation in the year in the first 4 months, similar to the iPhones. The Samsung Galaxy S7 pricing has been much more volatile, losing value initially during the months after the release then recovering to its initial year start value through in June.

From its resale starting price in January 2018:

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 lost 34.01% of its trade-in value, a huge 33.67% being in Q3/Q4
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 lost 38.11% of its trade-in value, 20.52% in the quarter following the S9 launch
Galaxy S trade-in depreciation 2016-17

*Figures shown are averages from all storage sizes for each device, see here for storage capacity specific depreciation.

**Depreciation figures are from the first resale price listed in 2018, not the phones brand new price.

Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge 2018 Price Drop

The values of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge showed real volatility following the S9 announcement, instantly dropping the resale value by half of its total depreciation in the year. This sharp spike trend was however short-lived, much like the S7 in the previous chart, all 3 devices showed signs of recovering their worth 2-3 months following the S9 launch.

From its resale starting price in January 2018:

Galaxy S trade-in depreciation 2015

*Figures shown are averages from all storage sizes for each device, see here for storage capacity specific depreciation.

**Depreciation figures are from the first resale price listed in 2018, not the phones brand new price.

Top 10 Phones Depreciating In 2018

Significant Drops By Value And Percentage

Top 10 Phones Losing Value By Percentage

The table below shows the cell phones that lost the largest amount of value by percentage between January and December 2018. The majority of the devices are several years old so it’s no wonder the demand is wavering as they become vastly outdated. The LG G6, however, was released the year before (March 2017) and lost just under half worth, starting at $220 it declined to $110 in 2018.

SonyXperia Z3+-57.78%Jan-15
AppleiPhone 5S-51.67%Sep-13
AppleiPhone 6 Plus-51.00%Sep-14
HuaweiNexus 6P-49.86%Sep-15
SamsungGalaxy S4-48.28%Mar-13
AppleiPhone 6-47.22%Sep-14
AppleiPhone 5-46.78%Sep-12
AppleiPhone 6S-45.51%Sep-15
AppleiPhone 5C-43.25%Sep-13

Top 10 Phones Decreasing By Physical Value

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ were the only handsets released in 2018 that saw their value plummet, as smartphones get increasingly more expensive, it begs the question; Are the latest Samsung Galaxy S devices worth investing in if you upgrade every year?

The wrath of the new iPhone XS / XS Max / XR releases had enough impact to leave the iPhone X depreciating by $190. As mentioned in the iPhone specific depreciation part of this study, 26.29% of the total 38.46% yearly depreciation of the iPhone X 256GB was seen in Oct-Dec 2018 following the iPhone event. It’s also worth noting that now the trade-in market isn’t as saturated by iPhone X models, the value at the end of February 2019 has actually increased by $50, signifying just how important it is to not sell during Q4 following the announcements.

AppleiPhone X$190Nov-17
AppleiPhone 8 Plus$160Sep-17
SamsungGalaxy S9$156Feb-18
SamsungGalaxy S9+ Plus$147Feb-18
AppleiPhone 8$144Sep-17
AppleiPhone 7$137Sep-16
AppleiPhone 7 Plus$126Sep-16
SamsungGalaxy S8$117Apr-17
GooglePixel 2$110Oct-17
AppleiPhone 6S$110Sep-15

100+ Popular Phones Depreciation In 2018

Phone Depreciation Winners And Losers

BrandModelStart PriceEnd PriceDepreciationRelease Date
AppleiPhone 5S 16GB6526-60.00%Sep-13
SonyXperia Z3+9038-57.78%Jan-15
HuaweiNexus 6P 32GB12053-55.83%Sep-15
AppleiPhone 5 16GB4622-52.17%Sep-12
AppleiPhone 5S 32GB7034-51.43%Sep-13
AppleiPhone 6 Plus 32GB20098-51.00%Sep-14
AppleiPhone 6 32GB14070-50.00%Sep-14
LGG6 64GB220111-49.55%Mar-17
HuaweiNexus 6P 128GB14272-49.30%Sep-15
SamsungGalaxy S4 32GB5830-48.28%Mar-13
AppleiPhone 6S 128GB235125-46.81%Sep-15
AppleiPhone 6 16GB13575-44.44%Sep-14
HuaweiNexus 6P 64GB12670-44.44%Sep-15
AppleiPhone 6S 32GB190106-44.21%Sep-15
AppleiPhone 5C 16GB5028-44.00%Sep-13
AppleiPhone 5S 64GB7844-43.59%Sep-13
AppleiPhone 5C 8GB4023-42.50%Sep-13
AppleiPhone SE 32GB13075-42.31%Mar-16
AppleiPhone 7 32GB310180-41.94%Sep-16
AppleiPhone 5 64GB5834-41.38%Sep-12
AppleiPhone 7 256GB366215-41.26%Sep-16
AppleiPhone 6 128GB170100-41.18%Sep-14
AppleiPhone 6S 16GB170101-40.59%Sep-15
HTCOne M8 16GB4225-40.48%Mar-14
HTCOne M8 32GB4225-40.48%Mar-14
AppleiPhone 5C 32GB5533-40.00%Sep-13
HTC10 32GB11670-39.66%Apr-16
SamsungGalaxy S8 128GB314190-39.49%Apr-17
LGNexus 5X 16GB8250-39.02%Sep-15
MotorolaNexus 6 64GB9055-38.89%Nov-14
LGNexus 5X 32GB8552-38.82%Sep-15
AppleiPhone 7 128GB340209-38.53%Sep-16
SamsungGalaxy S4 64GB5232-38.46%Mar-13
AppleiPhone X 256GB780480-38.46%Nov-17
MotorolaNexus 6 32GB8653-38.37%Nov-14
SamsungGalaxy S9 256GB470290-38.30%Feb-18
AppleiPhone 5 32GB5031-38.00%Sep-12
AppleiPhone 6S 64GB200124-38.00%Sep-15
AppleiPhone 6 64GB14490-37.50%Sep-14
HTC10 64GB12075-37.50%Apr-16
SamsungGalaxy J3 (2017)4025-37.50%Jun-17
SamsungGalaxy S8 64GB300190-36.67%Apr-17
GooglePixel 2 64GB300190-36.67%Oct-17
AppleiPhone SE 16GB11070-36.36%Mar-16
AppleiPhone SE 64GB14090-35.71%Mar-16
SamsungGalaxy S9 128GB450290-35.56%Feb-18
AppleiPhone SE 128GB155101-34.84%Mar-16
AppleiPhone X 64GB720470-34.72%Nov-17
SamsungGalaxy S7 64GB15098-34.67%Mar-16
AppleiPhone 6 Plus 128GB206135-34.47%Sep-14
HTCOne M96442-34.38%Jan-15
GooglePixel 2 128GB320210-34.38%Oct-17
AppleiPhone 7 Plus 256GB430285-33.72%Sep-16
NokiaLumia 10203020-33.33%Jul-13
SonyXperia Z3 Compact6040-33.33%Jan-14
HTCOne M8s3020-33.33%Mar-14
SamsungGalaxy S7 32GB14798-33.33%Mar-16
SamsungGalaxy J7 (2017)7550-33.33%Jan-17
SonyXperia Z27047.5-32.14%Jan-14
SamsungGalaxy S9+ Plus 128GB500340-32.00%Feb-18
AppleiPhone 6 Plus 16GB170116-31.76%Sep-14
AppleiPhone 8 256GB490335-31.63%Sep-17
AppleiPhone 8 Plus 256GB570390-31.58%Sep-17
AppleiPhone 7 Plus 32GB350240-31.43%Sep-16
AppleiPhone 8 64GB430296-31.16%Sep-17
SamsungGalaxy S9 64GB420290-30.95%Feb-18
AppleiPhone 7 Plus 128GB405280-30.86%Sep-16
LGG6 32GB160111-30.63%Mar-17
AppleiPhone 6 Plus 64GB188131-30.32%Sep-14
AppleiPhone 6S Plus 128GB270190-29.63%Sep-15
GooglePixel 2 XL 128GB350247-29.43%Oct-17
HTCDesire 8203525-28.57%Sep-14
SamsungGalaxy S9+ Plus 64GB475340-28.42%Feb-18
HTCDesire Eye5036-28.00%Jan-15
AppleiPhone 8 Plus 64GB500360-28.00%Sep-17
SamsungGalaxy Note 3 16GB6144-27.87%Sep-13
GooglePixel 2 XL 64GB320232-27.50%Oct-17
HTCOne A97051-27.14%Jun-18
AppleiPhone 6S Plus 64GB240178-25.83%Sep-15
AppleiPhone 6S Plus 16GB215160-25.58%Sep-15
SamsungGalaxy Note 3 32GB6146-24.59%Sep-13
SamsungGalaxy S5 32GB5844-24.14%May-14
SonyXperia Z2 Tablet 32GB5240-23.08%Mar-14
SamsungGalaxy Note 5 32GB131101-22.90%Aug-15
SamsungGalaxy Note 3 64GB6148-21.31%Sep-13
AppleiPhone 6S Plus 32GB204161-21.08%Sep-15
SamsungGalaxy Note 5 128GB130104-20.00%Aug-15
SamsungGalaxy Note 5 64GB131106-19.08%Aug-15
SamsungGalaxy S5 16GB5444-18.52%May-14
SamsungGalaxy S6 64GB11897-17.80%Mar-15
AppleiPhone XS Max 512GB825680-17.58%Sep-18
SonyXperia Z2 Tablet 16GB4033-17.50%Mar-14
SamsungGalaxy S6 Edge+ 64GB140116-17.14%Aug-15
SonyXperia Z36050.5-15.83%Jan-14
AppleiPhone XS 512GB760640-15.79%Sep-18
AppleiPhone XS Max 64GB680580-14.71%Sep-18
SamsungGalaxy S6 Edge 128GB130111-14.62%Mar-15
SamsungGalaxy S6 128GB121104-14.05%Mar-15
SamsungGalaxy S6 32GB10086-14.00%Mar-15
SamsungGalaxy Note Edge 32GB10591-13.33%Nov-14
SamsungGalaxy Note Edge 64GB10591-13.33%Nov-14
AppleiPhone XS Max 256GB750650-13.33%Sep-18
AppleiPhone XS 64GB600521-13.17%Sep-18
SamsungGalaxy S4 16GB3228-12.50%Mar-13
AppleiPhone XR 256GB500440-12.00%Oct-18
SamsungGalaxy S6 Edge+ 32GB125111-11.20%Aug-15
SamsungGalaxy S6 Edge 64GB120107-10.83%Mar-15
AppleiPhone XS 256GB650590-9.23%Sep-18
AppleiPhone XR 64GB400390-2.50%Oct-18
AppleiPhone XR 128GB4704700.00%Oct-18

Depreciation Data Explained

2018-2019 Specific Data Methodology

  • The depreciation data displayed is for the online trade-in market in 2018-2019
  • The initial figure is the first available trade-in price for a phone in 2018, the final figure is the latest available price for a phone in 12/31/2018
  • Depreciation is measured by a percentage decrease calculation of those figures.
  • This is not a depreciation decrease from the devices initial launch (unless the phone launched in 2018 or being specifically mentioned within the content)

Today’s Phone Trade-In Prices

To get an idea of the values you can get when selling your old phone in the US, check out our main website: