Last updated June 20, 2023
Apple’s iPhone holds the smartphone crown, but Sony’s PS5 takes top spot as tech’s best performing device.
– The best performing smartphone is the iPhone 13 Pro Max, depreciating by only 44.6%.
– The best performing device overall is Sony’s PS5, losing only 25.0% of its value.
– Apple trounces Samsung across smartphones, losing on average 68.8% of its value vs. Samsung’s 84.2%.
– Google’s smartphone’s fare the worst, losing 89.5% of their value on average, across all models.
Smartphone and tech depreciation is an unpredictable game. A new phone or device may release and suddenly it is worth next to nothing, despite pre-release hype. Likewise, a smartphone or tech device might release fairly quietly, yet it may hold its value for several months.
Given that not all depreciation is the same across devices, SellCell.com—the US number one tech trade-in comparison website—has compiled minute-by-minute device depreciation data between January-December 2022. SellCell has analysed data relating to total depreciation for phones from Apple, Samsung, and Google, over that 12-month period, alongside lifelong depreciation for a wide range of other tech, including smartphones, tablets, smart watches, and games consoles.
Want to know which devices hold their value best, and which devices spell disaster for owners’ wallets? Check out SellCell’s data, below.
- iPhone undeniably holds its value better than any other handset. For smartphones launched in the past three years, the iPhone 14 Pro Max 128GB loses only 26.9% of its MSRP since launch in September 2022, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max 128 GB relinquishing only 39.9% of its value between January-December ’21.
- In terms of Apple flagships launched in the last three years, the iPhone 14 Pro Max 1TB has performed the worst out of Apples 14 Pro Max range, losing 36.8% of its value since September 2022. The iPhone 13 Mini 512 GB is Apple’s overall poorest performer in 2022, seeing its value depreciate 58.5% (which is still excellent, compared to some Android phones).
- For Android smartphones released in the past three years, the best performance in terms of depreciation is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G 128GB, which has lost 58.2% of its value since launch. The Pixel 6a is Google’s most valuable handset, losing 66.6% of its value since launch in July 2022.
- Apple performs well with tablets, too. The iPad Mini 6th Gen is its best-performing 2021 slate, losing only 52.2% of its value. The Samsung Tab S7 FE (2021) has lost 75.3% of its value since 2021.
- The Apple Watch Series 7 (41mm Aluminum model) has lost a mere 16.2% of its value between January and December ’22, while the 2021 Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (44mm) only saw its value depreciate by 13.6%.
- For games consoles, Sony’s PS5 is the undisputed champion. Despite a 2020 release, the console is still holding its value well, with a 15.0% depreciation in 2022, depreciating by a total of 25.0% of its MSRP since launch.
2022 Biggest Winners (Devices That Have Held Most Value)
- Smartphone: The biggest winner in the smartphone sector is the 2021 iPhone 13 Pro Max, which has depreciated by 44.6% of its MSRP by December 11th 2022, making it 2022’s winning smartphone for value retention.
- Tablet: Apple comes out top yet again, with its 2021 iPad Pro 11 3rd Gen depreciating by only 56.7% of its value by December 2022.
- Smartwatch: Depreciating by 71.2% of its MSRP up to December 2022, the Apple Watch Series 7 45mm Aluminum takes the best smartwatch for value retention.
- Games Console: Unsurprisingly, the Sony PlayStation 5 has held onto its value best, with devices only depreciating by 25.0% of their MSRP.
2022 Biggest Losers (Devices That Have Lost Most Value)
- Smartphone: Google’s 2016 Pixel XL has depreciated by 98.6% of its initial value, meaning it has lost the most value of all smartphones evaluated.
- Tablet: Samsung’s 2018 Tab A 10.5 has depreciated by 94.8% vs. MSRP by December 2022, making it the worst performer. For more recent devices (launched in the past three years), the 2021 Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite fares the worst, depreciating by 86.9%.
- Smartwatch: As of December ’22, the 2020 Samsung Watch 3 45mm has lost 95.6% of its initial value, meaning it is the worst performing smartwatch.
- Games Console: The 2019 Switch Lite is the worst performing console, as it has lost 65.0% of its value by December 2022. The Xbox Series S follows with a depreciation value of 53.3% of its initial MSRP.
Depreciation Across Key Smartphones Launched in the Past Three Years (by Brand)
SellCell considered smartphone values across the three top-selling brands in the US; Apple, Samsung, and Google. Data was collected from launch until December 11th, 2022.
As you can see from the data above, Apple rules the roost in terms of depreciation, losing least value, while Samsung is clearly the weakest performer all round.
- Apple’s latest iPhone 14 Pro Max 128GB appears to perform the best, depreciating by 26.9%, although Apple only released it at the end of Q3, so it doesn’t have 12 months’ data.
- The iPhone 13 Pro Max 128Gb is the best performer with a full 12 months’ data, losing only 39.9% of its initial 2021 launch value.
- Apple’s worst performer is the SE 2nd Gen (2020) 64GB, which has lost 79.7% of its launch MSRP.
- The best performing Samsung smartphone is the Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G 128GB, which has lost 58.2% of its value. The 256GB model has lost 58.8% of its value since launch.
- Samsung’s S20 5G 128GB is its worst performer. In fact, it is the worst performer overall, losing 85.8% of its value.
- Google occupies the middle ground. The Pixel 6a retained the most value, with depreciation at 66.6% vs. launch MSRP. Google only released the handset in July 2022, though.
- Google’s most-depreciating handset is the Pixel 5 128GB, which has a depreciation value of 80.7%.
Depreciation of Tech in 2022 (January ’22-December ’22)
SellCell evaluated a wide range of different devices, from smartphones, through tablets, smart watches, and games consoles.
iPhone Value Depreciation
- iPhone average depreciation across all models stands at 68.8% in December 2022, having previously been 58.7% on January 1st 2022, showing a 15.5% loss in 2022.
- With depreciation at 98.1%, the iPhone 6S is the least valuable of all iPhones dating back to 2015. It depreciated by a further 4.9% in 2022.
- Despite only being three months old, the iPhone 14 Plus has depreciated by 40.5%, which isn’t far behind the best performing iPhone 13 Pro Max, which has only depreciated by 44.6% since release in 2021.
Samsung Smartphone Value Depreciation
- Across all models dating back to 2015, Samsung has lost an average of 84.2% of its value by December 2022. That figure started out at 76.4% on January 1st, 2022.
- The 2015 Samsung Galaxy S6 has lost the most value of all Samsung handsets since 2015, depreciating by 99.2%. It lost 3.2% of its value in 2022.
- Samsung’s Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 (both 2021) have lost 76.1% and 76.0% respectively, as of December 11th, 2022.
- Despite a February 2022 release, The Galaxy S22 5G has already lost 63.6% of its value, while the S22 Plus and the S22 Ultra have already seen depreciation of 61.6% and 58.9% respectively.
Google Smartphone Value Depreciation
- Across the entire range of Google Pixels, since 2016, the average depreciation stands at 89.5% up to December 11th, 2022.
- The 2021 flagship Pixel 6 Pro has depreciated by 72.5%, while the standard edition Pixel 6 has lost 67.4% of its value. The Pixel 6 is Google’s best performing handset for value retention.
- With depreciation at 98.9%, the Pixel 2 has lost the most value across Google’s entire smartphone range.
LG Smartphone Value Depreciation
Note: LG exited the smartphone market in July 2021
- Over a year since exiting the smartphone market, LG handsets have lost an average of 93.3% across all models, as of December 2022.
- With a 96.8% value depreciation, the V30 is LG’s worst performer. However, this is still better value retention that Google and Samsung’s worst performers.
- The 2020 LG Wing has lost 87.9% of its value, and lost 9.6% of its value in 2022, but remains the best LG handset in terms of value retention.
Motorola Smartphone Value Depreciation
- On average, across all models, Motorola smartphones have lost 92.3% of their value, from launch to December 2022.
- The 2018 Z3 performs worst for Motorola; it has depreciated by 97.1% of its initial MSRP, and has lost 3.8% of its value in 2022. Again, this outperforms Samsung and Google’s worst performing handsets.
- The 2020 flagship Razr 5G has lost 91.7% of its value; this model cost $1,400 at launch.
- The 2019 Motorola One Zoom has depreciated by 87.8% of its value since launch, making it the brands highest performing handset.
OnePlus Smartphone Value Depreciation
- Taking all models back to 2019 into account, OnePlus smartphones have lost an average of 82.3% by December 2022.
- OnePlus’ most-depreciated handset—2019 7T at 86.6%—performs better than Motorola, LG, Samsung, and Google’s worst performers.
- The OnePlus 9 Pro is the brand’s most valuable handset; it has depreciated by 79.3% since launch in 2021.
Apple iPad Value Depreciation
- On average, across all iPad models since 2017, depreciation stands at 67.9% as of December 11th, 2022.
- Apple’s worst performing tablet is the iPad 9.7 5th Gen, which has lost 85.4% of its value since launch in 2017.
- With only 52.2% depreciation, the 2021 iPad Mini 6th Gen is Apple’s most valuable iPad.
Samsung Tablet Value Depreciation
- Across all models released since 2017, Samsung tablets have lost an average of 84.3% of their value compared to the launch price.
- With depreciation at 94.8% as of December 2022, the 2018 Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is Samsung’s least valuable slate.
- The 2020 Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is Samsung’s most valuable tablet, with depreciation at 72.6%, which is better than the 2021 Tab S7 FE (75.3%) and 2021 Galaxy Tab A7 Lite (86.9%).
Apple Smartwatch Value Depreciation
- On average, across all Apple Watch models launched since 2018, the devices have lost 83.3% of their MSRP at launch.
- Apple’s most valuable smartwatch is the Watch 7 Series 45mm Aluminum model, which has lost 71.2% of its value since its 2021 launch. The flagship 7 Series 45mm Titanium variant has lost 78.1% of its value.
- With depreciation at 91.5%, the Watch Series 4 40mm Stainless Steel edition is Apple’s least valuable smartwatch as of December 2022.
Samsung Smartwatch Value Depreciation
- Samsung smartwatches have depreciated by 87.9%, on average, which is only 4.6% more than Apple’s range.
- Having lost 95.6% of its value by December 11th, 2022, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 45mm (released in 2020) is Samsung’s worst-performing wearable.
- Samsung’s most valuable smartwatch is the 2021 Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 46mm, which has lost 84.5% of its value compared to the launch MSRP.
Games Console Value Depreciation
- Predictably, Sony’s PS5 has depreciated least out of all major consoles released since 2017. The PlayStation 5 has lost only 25.0% of its value since launch, but lost 15.0% of that during 2022.
- Nintendo’s Switch Lite holds the least value; it has depreciated by 65% since Nintendo released it in 2017, but only lost 5% of its value in 2022. The standard Switch holds its value better, losing only 43.3% of its value.
- Microsoft’s Xbox Series X has depreciated by 36.0% since launch in 2020, while its digital-only sibling—the Series S—has depreciated by 53.3% of its launch MSRP.
As we can see, as of December 11th 2022, Apple is holding strong in the smartphone, tablet, and smartwatch categories, losing least value on average across all models in those sectors. OnePlus is a surprise; the Android smartphone brand has outperformed Samsung and Google in certain cases.
Sony’s PS5 value retention comes as little surprise, given the demand for units that simply weren’t available for many customers; the PS5 has supply has only just started meeting demand, so it makes sense that its value remains high, yet it has also dropped slightly as the demand starts to plateau.
What will 2023 hold for these brands? Will Apple’s iPhone 14 range prove as successful as the iPhone 13 series? Can Samsung pull a value retaining handset out of the bag? And will the release of Sony’s updated PS5 see value rise or drop? We’ll have to wait for 12 months to find out…
SellCell gathered trade-in value data across a range of devices—smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and games consoles—in order to see which devices, from which brands, held their value well, and which devices depreciated the most in value. Data on each device was collected from launch to December 11th 2022.