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July 31, 2014

Survey: Smartphone Trade-Ins Lessening Loyalty to Carriers

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Survey: Smartphone Trade-Ins Lessening Loyalty to Carriers

Loyalty to cell-phone carriers may be waning as more smartphone users say they’ll consider trade-in programs the next time they decide to upgrade their phones, according to the NPD Group.

In an NPD survey of 1,000 smartphone users in July, only 13 percent said they had traded in their last mobile device. However, 55 percent said they would take advantage of trade-in programs the next time they upgrade their phones.

“This means that the consumer may not necessarily shop at the carrier store for their next device, but instead may look to big box retailers if the trade-in price is right,” wrote NPD analyst Eddie Hold in a blog post. “Roughly 30 percent of respondents are willing … to switch carriers in order to gain a better trade-in value, suggesting that carriers need to get the trade-in values right if they want to maintain consumer loyalty. Further, over 60 percent of respondents are willing to change retailers (but not necessarily the underlying carrier) in exchange for a better trade-in value.”

Some carriers, such as T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, have recently revamped their trade-in programs. Blackberry is offering a trade-in program called Trade Up, and Samsung now offers an Upgrade program. Apple is rumored to be launching its own trade-in program for the iPhone, but no announcement has been made, Forbes reported. 

Source: “More U.S. Smartphone Users Willing To Trade In, Shift Loyalties The Next Time They Upgrade,” Forbes (Aug. 5, 2013) and The NPD Group

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