The Top 10 Most Traded in Phones of 2014

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2014 has come and gone but we thought it would be interesting to compile some stats showing you the top 10 most traded in phones. With 90% of people in the US now owning a cellphone, this means that a massive 252 million people across the country now use a cellphone on a regular basis (source:

Top 10 Traded in Phones

This is just taking into account that everyone owns just the one cell phone. Believe it or not, the average American cell phone user owns three or more expired cell phones. (source: The problem is these phones are often left unused, unwanted and chucked to the back of cupboards never to see the light of day again.

Worst of all, they are put in the garbage and sent to landfills.

70% of Americans don’t know that they could recycle their old cell phones for cash, which not only puts money in their pockets, but also keeps cellphones from polluting our Earth (source:

With each cellphone that lies in landfill sites up and down the country, dangerous chemicals are leaked into the Earth, which can end up in our water and food supplies.

In 2014, SellCell saw hundreds of thousands of cellphones traded in, and here are the top 10 phones in order by volume:

#1- Apple iPhone 4S- 11.2%

Apple iPhone 4S

The most popular phone during the course of 2014 was the iPhone 4S, which was crowned at the top of our list of 10. The iPhone 4S was launched way back in October 2011, just after the death of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and was the first iPhone to contain SIRI.

The 4S had a screen size of 3.5-inches a resolution of 640 x 960 pixels and an 8MP camera. Sporting an A5 chip, iOS 5 and 1080p video, it’s no real surprise that people hung onto this phone for a few years because of it being such a significant phone in Apple’s history.

#2- Apple iPhone 4 – 9.9%

Apple iPhone 4

In at number two was the iPhone 4, which believe it or not this phone was introduced during the middle part of 2010. The screen size was the same as the 4S, but it came with iOS 4, a 5MP camera and 720p video recording.

A solid phone, the iPhone 4 has stood the test of time but in 2014 it seemed that people felt it was time to upgrade to a newer model and ditch the 4 year old handset.

#3- Samsung Galaxy S3 – 9.1%

Samsung  Galaxy S3

Samsung first emerged onto the market with their Galaxy S range around the same time that Apple launched the iPhone 4S. It wasn’t until the Galaxy S3 was launched back in May 2012 that Samsung really started to contend the Smartphone throne with Apple. The S3 was one of Androids best phones in that year, sporting a much bigger screen (4.8-inches) and an 8MP camera. The Galaxy S3 also had 1080p recording capability and was launched with Ice Cream Sandwich as its operating system.

The S3 is an older phone now, as technology in the cell phone industry tends to move quite quickly. As a result S3 owners have decided to part-ways with their once-upon a time loved handset in search of the newest tech on the block.

#4 – Apple iPhone 5S – 6.7%

Apple iPhone 5S

One of the newest phones in our top 10 list actually made it up to number 4, and the reason for this was that the iPhone 6 was launched in September 2014. For those hardcore followers of Apple iPhone’s they would have upgraded from the 5S to the 6 in the fall of the year.

The iPhone 5S was the first iPhone to ‘go bigger’ sporting a 4-inch screen, an A7 chipset, and an 8MP camera.

#5 – LG G2 – 4.4%


It’s not all Apple and Samsung in our top 10 list, the LG G2 popped up in the middle of the table, as a high volume trade-in phone. The screen size of this beast weighs in at 5.2-inches making the G2 one of the biggest phones in its release year of 2013.

With a 1080 x 1920 resolution, 13MP camera, and 1080P video recording, the LG G2 was a popular alternative to your leading top 2 brands in the marketplace.

Just a year after its launch though, people decided to trade this device in to either upgrade to the LG G3 in May 2014, or to head to another manufacturer.

#6 – Apple iPhone 5C – 4.1%

Apple iPhone 5C

The Apple iPhone 5C was introduced to the market the same time as Apple launched the iPhone 5S, this was the first time Apple launched two phones together, a trait they have carried through to 2014 with the iPhone 6 and 6+.

The bright and colorful 5C had a 4-inch display, an 8MP camera and came with the A6 chipset. For many US iPhone 5C owners, they decided that owning the 5C for a year was enough and headed to to trade it in.

#7 – Samsung Galaxy S2-3.6%

Samsung Galaxy S2

The second Samsung to hit the top 10 most traded in phones for 2014 is the Galaxy S2 with its rectangular, blocky design. The S2 is older than most the phones on our list dating back to before the iPhone 4S launch, with the S2 being available in early 2011.

Since the S2 we have seen the S3, S4 and S5 hit the scene with the S6 due next month, but this good old faithful handset is still making it into the top 10 traded in phones for 2014.

#8 – Samsung Galaxy Note 2- 2.8%

Galaxy Note 2

Another Galaxy takes 8th place in our list, and is also the largest phone to make it here. Sizing up at 5.5-inches the Note 2 was launched in 2012 with an S Pen Stylus, 1080p video and an 8MP camera. The Note 2 also shipped with Jelly Bean, and you can currently upgrade this to KitKat.

The Note 2 was prone to random bouts of crashing and freezing, but there have been many more Note devices launched onto the market since the Note 2.

#9 – Apple iPhone 3G -2.1 %

apple iphone 3g

The penultimate phone that still managed to get a high volume of trade-ins. The Apple iPhone 3G hit the markets in July 2008, and was Apples second attempt at an iPhone. With a TFT touchscreen, 3.5-inch screen and a 3.15MP camera, and 480p video, this phone may seem very outdated now but at the time it was a revolutionary cellphone that sold in millions across the World.

It’s no wonder that 6-7 years later that these are still being traded in here at, they are collectible retro devices that remind us all of a time where Apple surged to the top of the Smartphone tree.

#10 – HTC One X -1.4%


Finally, to bring up the bottom of our list we are greeted with a HTC, namely the One X. Released back in early 2012 the One X was HTC’s attempt to rival the big boys in the Smartphone market and take on the likes of the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S3.

With a screen size of 4.7-inches, an 8MP camera, and 1080p video recording capabilities the HTC One X was an alternative to the mainstream phones of that time. It was also a phone that sported Beats Audio.

2 years later and HTC One X owners started to trade-in their devices, making the HTC One X our 10th most traded in cellphone of 2014.

The other 44.7% of phones were made up from many other phone manufacturers and models, from the likes of Blackberry, Kyocera, Nokia and Sony, who just missed the top 10 list for the most traded in cell phones for 2014.

In Summary

Apple have lead the way unrivaled for many years after the introduction of its first Smartphone back in 2007, but in 2014 the rest of the market has caught up. With the likes of Samsung, LG and HTC all launching top-of-the-line flagship handsets, people are getting some food for thought when it comes to their next upgrade.

Will Apple still hold onto the crown in 2015? Only time will find out.