How Predictive Analytics Demystify the iPhone 15’s Affect on the Secondary Cellular Market

Apple’s newest iPhone debuted early September and, as common, began launching delivery shortly after that announcement. This time round, the discharge consisted of a regular and Professional model, every of which can be found in two sizes, and numerous reminiscence configurations. Aside from the long-rumored transfer to USB-C—probably a must have function for some—the iPhone 15 makes no big leaps by way of efficiency or options. From a shopper perspective, these developments are largely iterative, and this improve cycle is much less by hype than by contract and retailer incentives.

Though the launch costs on these latest fashions aren’t considerably completely different than in previous years, these are nonetheless premium gadgets starting from $800 to $1600. Understandably, shoppers search for any approach they will to carry that worth down, and plenty of are completely content material handy of their present gadget in change for credit score in direction of their new one.

Naturally, securing these completely practical, still-premium trade-ins has turn into a precedence for carriers and retailers.

Enter the Secondary Cellular Market

The secondary market—the acquisition of pre-owned gadgets both at a shopper stage or a enterprise stage—continues to develop, even sooner than the marketplace for new gadgets. There are, in reality, a number of causes and implications for this development.

Catalysts like COVID drove many individuals to purchase extra gadgets as they had been confined to their properties—gadgets for youngsters’s education, distant work, leisure—and infrequently, these patrons regarded to the pre-owned market, and have stayed within the behavior for the reason that pandemic has subsided. 

One other main issue pushing the preowned market ahead is trade-ins, a part of the the explanation why iPhone and Apple launch occasions are extra vital than ever. As any savvy shopper is aware of, there are seemingly infinite promotions from all US carriers all centered on recollecting you customers’ previous telephones for reductions on newer fashions or credit in direction of different gadgets or companies. This subsidy mannequin means top quality gadgets coming into the secondary market at a better price than ever earlier than, and every of those will all want house.

Earlier than discussing the iPhone 15’s launch particularly and the way it impacts the secondary market, we’ll talk about how iPhone launches have performed out traditionally with regard to the secondary market, in addition to some components that drive the iPhone market as a complete.

What Have been iPhone Launches Like in Previous Years?

In a pre-Covid world, these releases and the depreciation of Apple gadgets was extraordinarily predictable, all the time following a really regular, simply understood curve.

pre covid iphone launch

This chart exhibits resale worth of a number of iPhone fashions as a % of authentic retail worth over a 60-month interval.

After all, the depreciation was fairly simple, accelerating barely in relation to new releases. After all nothing is so simple as it was, and massive market adjustments have created macro-level impression on used gadget pricing on the B2B market.

What Giant-scale, Macro-level Components Affect the B2B Market?

Essentially the most influential drivers of the B2B marketplace for preowned iPhones are as follows:

  • Rising Demand for Refurbished iPhones
    Home demand for pre-owned, licensed pre-owned, licensed renewed, refurbished gadgets is rising. Customers now have a number of platforms to buy these pre-owned gadgets and rising direct-to-consumer costs have pushed B2B pricing up, driving some attention-grabbing developments in our knowledge and altering the form of the standard depreciation curves.
  • Provide Chain Points
    A drained topic following years of Covid shutdowns, provide chain disruptions do nonetheless happen resulting from disasters, geopolitical occasions, wars, and so forth, and these components are all the time behind our analysts minds as they take a look at cell resale knowledge.
  • Market Share
    Market share tends to ebb and stream—we see new contenders cropping up periodically, to not point out the unending battle between Apple and Samsung for smartphone supremacy. We definitely watch on the unit stage what gadgets are making up the market as a result of that can change developments and impression pricing downstream.
  • Stock Ranges
    The fundamental ideas of economics state that any time a producer dumps a large provide of a specific good into the market, the worth of these items shall be impacted. And that is one other factor our analysts are expecting. On a number of events prior to now, trade leaders have hit the panic button, so to talk, and launched a wave of gadgets into the market main to cost disruption. Such occasions very a lot signify the human component of the market that may have observable results on the macro stage.
  • Shopper Spending & Inflation
    Whether or not they’re shopping for new or pre-owned, every shopper has their very own funds, and balances their cell gadget purchases towards different monetary duties. Whereas telephones have confirmed to be a precedence in many individuals’s lives, the state of the economic system and inflation will definitely impression what number of gadgets are bought—particularly new gadgets, which in flip impacts the pricing of trade-ins. 
  • Aggressive Reductions
    Apple is legendary for sustaining MSRP, and as a premium model with a really sturdy product, they very not often supply aggressive reductions and promotions. This phenomenon stays on B-Shares radar, nevertheless, as some OEMs could possibly pull enterprise away from others via these packages, or carry new gadget costs down far sufficient to entice shoppers away from shopping for pre-owned. 

What Small-scale, Micro-Stage Points Have an effect on Gadget Pricing? 

Essentially the most influential determinants in an particular person gadget’s worth are as follows:

  • Age
    Unsurprisingly, the best determinant of a cellphone’s worth is its age. Customers merely want newer upgraded variations over previous variations.
  • Mannequin
    Normally, if a tool mannequin is new, it has extra worth within the B2B Market, nevertheless that doesn’t essentially maintain for iPhones. For instance, Apple now gives Professional fashions of every iPhone which can be extra worthwhile than the bottom fashions of successive generations’ base fashions.
  • Situation
    In a vacuum, an iPhone in good situation is extra worthwhile and one in poor situation. An iPhone in glorious situation will command a a lot larger worth than a comparable gadget displaying even gentle use.
  • Provider Locked States
    Unlocked telephones are likely to carry larger costs than locked telephones, firstly as a result of they may perform on any home community, but additionally as a result of they may perform abroad— the place many second-, third-, and fourth-hand items wind up. 
  • Seasonality
    Holidays and seasonal reductions can result in shifts in shoppers’ common spending patterns, and thus adjustments the quantity of stock out there, in flip impacting pricing. 

B-Inventory’s Predictive Toolkit 

B-Inventory has taken all of those macro and micro components into consideration in constructing out our superior machine studying algorithms. Our fashions might help every of our sellers precisely predict—at a extremely granular stage—the B2B and B2C market costs of iPhones so far as 16-20 weeks sooner or later. For instance, it’s totally potential to know what worth a crimson, B-Grade, carrier-locked, 256GB, iPhone 13 will fetch on our market two months from at this time.

This perception into secondary cell market pricing is the worth that B-Inventory brings to OEMs, retailers, trade-in companies, insurers, refurbishers, and third social gathering sellers. With years of Market knowledge and resale experience, we are able to empower your group to make good data-backed selections and optimize your margins. 

Knowledge, AI, Machine Studying, and Predictive Functionality 

B-Inventory has been working at scale and gathering B2B pricing knowledge for all auctions throughout all telephones since 2012. In actual fact, since 2017, we’ve got bought 34 million items in 270,000 auctions, and have used each scrap of data we are able to to construct our proprietary B2B cell knowledge—one of many largest on the earth.

It’s this very knowledge that allows deep perception via enhanced statistical methods together with outlier detection, interpolation, and machine studying.

Outlier Detection 

Outlier detection is the method of figuring out uncommon or irregular knowledge within the historic knowledge set. For instance, fast, seemingly random spikes can and do happen in all markets, however they don’t seem to be all the time reflective of merchandise

outlier detection

The blue arrow within the picture above signifies a spike within the secondary market worth of a C-grade iPhone 13 Professional Max—an apparent outlier that was maybe attributable to an especially excessive misguided bid or momentary market abnormality. Though the anomaly was instantly corrected, it might nonetheless throw off sure metrics, and subsequently must be mitigated inside the knowledge set—one thing which B-Inventory handles with ease. 


In a easy phrases, interpolation is a statistical approach to fill in lacking knowledge utilizing present knowledge. We use methods like spline interpolation, exponential shifting common, Okay-nearest neighbors, and extra based mostly on the cellphone grade provider locked State and plenty of different components.

interpolation 1
Knowledge earlier than interpolation

interpolation 2
Knowledge after interpolation

Machine Studying

We predict the B2B preowned cell costs at a granular stage (mannequin, grade, provider, locked state, et .) utilizing machine studying methods like Auto ARIMAA, KNN, XGBoost LightGBM, and DeepAR.

machine learning

The chart above graph exhibits historic and forecaster costs for iPhone 13 Professional Max unlocked grade-C. The purple line that you simply see is the historic B2B per unit worth and the orange line is a weekly per-unit worth forecast for the subsequent 16 weeks, with the inexperienced space representing most variance

B-Inventory MobileMind

That is B-Inventory’s cell pricing instrument via which sellers can have entry to all of this historic and predicted pricing and gross sales knowledge. Via a simple to make use of interface you’ll be able to filter your outcomes by 12 completely different iPhone fashions in addition to grades, carriers, and lock states, to see the market worth developments and predictions. 

mobile mind

With this information, you’ll be able to higher plan when to promote your stock and perceive what margins you’ll be able to count on, and what trade-in worth to supply to an finish person.

So far as accuracy is anxious, our dynamic modeling course of ensures that each week, the highest performing algorithm’s output is mirrored in MobileMind’s output. For example, for various variants and circumstances of the iPhone 12 and 13—well-liked trade-in gadgets at time of writing—common prediction accuracy ranged from 96-98%.

What’s Coming Subsequent for B-Inventory’s Predictive Analytics?

To additional our purpose of enabling clever secondary market recommerce operations, B-Inventory plans to develop its MobileMind instrument to incorporate extra fashions and variables that may have an effect on gadget pricing. This work has already begun, with sights set on full pricing predictability for well-liked Samsung fashions along with iPhone.

Additional, B-stock plans to feed an increasing number of data into the AI and Machine Studying fashions with the purpose of near-100% pricing accuracy. 

Regardless of B-Shares belief in its predictive capabilities, there’s nonetheless a human intelligence component to our companies, and nice care is taken to bounce all predictions up towards our crew of consultants to find out if the outputs actually mirror the market with which our shoppers are literally interacting, and what phenomena the AI may not be telling us.

What’s Subsequent for Your Enterprise?

B-Inventory is engaged on delivering knowledge options to assist all sellers to drive their retail , trade-in, and insurance coverage selections by constructing this intelligence straight into their cell resale packages. However whereas data is efficacious, no worth is realized till a enterprise achieves a sale—that’s why B-Inventory’s purpose is to be a really end-to-end resolution—one which serves as each an integral advisory  companion and a extremely efficient market platform.

Inquisitive about how B-Inventory might help your small business get probably the most out of its pre-owned cell stock? Contact us at this time.


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