Over the past several years, new mobile phones have seen a steady decline in sales. As devices offer less for more, consumers are refusing to fork out more money for limited improvements and features, opting to keep their phones until they’re broken. What’s more, we don’t use nearly all the features that phones offer, and let’s be honest—most of the usage we get out of those fancy cameras is for selfies that then go on social media. But with the revolution of 5G, everything can change—for the better—for everyone involved. With a promise of significant advancements, it seems 5G can rescue the mobile market and open revenue streams for device manufacturers, wireless retailers, and wireless resellers. Here are five things to know about the incoming wave of 5G phones: 

1.9 Billion 5G Smartphones in Five Years

Industry analyst Canalyst predicts that over the next five years, 1.9 billion 5G smartphones will ship. This means that a wave of “old” smartphones will hit the trade-in counter, creating a need for proper management of older assets, including resale channels.

5G Success = Mobile Industry Success 

By 2023, mobile device volume will skyrocket to 774 million. A healthy upgrade cycle will mean that revenues for mobile devices keep churning. In come the 5Gs, out go the 4Gs, and the mobile market wheels keep on turning. 

Output Must Equal Intake 

Despite the lag in mobile phone sales in the past few years, 5G promises to bring consumers out of their buying snooze, and for every upgrade, there’s most likely a trade-in. OEMs and retailers have to be prepared to take in old devices with the same velocity at which they put new 5G devices on shelves. Having a plan in place to handle all the outdated phones will be essential. This includes leveraging buyback, refurbishment and resale programs. 

Buyback and Trade-In Are Key 

In order to ensure the uptake of new devices, having an efficient process  to take in old devices is key. In fact, the success of 5G hinges upon this very idea. This serves the market twofold: One, it allows OEMs to maintain their pricing for new devices, and two, it allows buyers access to affordable high-end devices. 

Secondary Market Imperative for Recovery

The next 12-18 months will see an increase in 5G phones entering the primary market as well as 4G phones exiting. In this codependent stream of phones, it’s imperative that you have a well-thought-out secondary market channel to get the most recovery from those 4G phones. 

The world’s largest wireless manufacturers, carriers, and trade-in companies are currently leveraging B-Stock’s B2B marketplace platform for their trade-in and excess mobile devices and accessories. Across our network, more than three million phones and five million accessories are sold annually.

For a look at our 10+ marketplaces dedicated to mobile inventory, please visit our mobile sourcing page. For more information on selling via our mobile marketplace platform, please download our Mobile Brochure

Learn how GameStop increased its buyer base and sales cycle for trade-in mobile phones. 

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