US customers hoarding $13.4 billion of old iPhones

Around half of U.S. consumers are hoarding their old iPhones in cupboards and sock drawers — representing an inventory worth around $13.4 billion in total.

Guilty as charged. I’ve got three.

According to the annual “Mobile Mountain Study” conducted by research group OnePoll for resale site, this figure is down from the 55% of people who admitted to holding onto their old smartphones last year — although the total amount of money being left on the table is up from last year’s sum of $9 billion, thanks to the growing smartphone market.

  • Joseph Blake

    I don’t think they’d be worth $13 billion if they all hit the used device market though. That’s at today’s used device pricing.


    the devices are so awesome! I didn’t buy a 5S because I don’t know what to do with 4, 4S and 5 :-/ (can’t hand it down, all my relatives have one) and selling in US doesn’t feel worth it (especially since it is locked). waiting to sell outside US.

  • Moeskido

    I’ve held onto old iPods long after they stopped working, mostly because they still look beautiful to me and occasionally make nifty display pieces. But I can’t imagine holding onto an iPhone that I’d replaced, knowing what the resale market would give for it.

  • I re-purposed my old 4 into an iPod for traveling and work. Wiped it, pulled the sim (this is not as simple as it sounds – you still need the sim for activating the device and OS updates if you care), and set it on airplane mode. I was selling devices previously (I think gazelle once and through Steven Frank’s Internet Garage Sale) but this one was pretty beat up and the home button seemed to be about to die.

  • JunkDrawer

    Why is it “hoarding”. I unlock my old devices and either pass them on to family members or use them when traveling abroad with a local SIM.