Apple dominates the pre-owned smartphone market in India: OLX study

Apple has raced ahead of Samsung, Xiaomi and BBK Electronics brands (Vivo, Oppo, and Oneplus) to emerge as the most popular smartphone brand in the Indian pre-owned smartphone market. At 19% of total listings on OLX, Apple’s iPhone was the most listed smartphone on OLX in 2019. Apple emerged ahead of Samsung with 16% listings, BBK Electronics (Vivo, Oppo, and Oneplus) with 14% listings, Xiaomi with 13% listings and other brands (Motorola, Lenovo, Nokia, Asus, Gionee, Sony, HTC, LG, Lava, Intex, Karbonn, Micromax and other OEM’s) which collectively comprised 38% of the smartphones listed on OLX.

In terms of demand Apple had the highest share with 19%, followed by Xiaomi with 18%, Samsung and BBK Electronics (Vivo, Oppo, Oneplus) joint third with 15%, while other brands (Motorola, Lenovo, Nokia, Asus, Gionee, Sony, HTC, LG, Lava, Intex, Karbonn, Micromax and other OEMs) collectively pulled in 33% of total demand.

OLX, India’s leading C2C digital classifieds marketplace, analysed over 9 million smartphone listings on its platform in 2019. Besides the leading pre-owned smartphone brands in India, the study also revealed key trends and drivers in the growth of the pre-owned smartphone market over 2018-2019.

The market for pre-owned smartphones is growing at a rapid rate, due to increased frequency of smartphone launches in India, leading to wider choice and availability for users across multiple price ranges. Among other reasons, the declining period of ownership for smartphones has resulted in fresh supply of almost-new phones with better specifications in the market.

A significant part of the pre-owned mobile market is still offline – driven by dealers, retailers, and shop-owners. However, online marketplaces are increasingly becoming popular platform for buying and selling mobiles. Almost 59% percent of all smartphones listed on OLX in Q1-Q3 2019 were sold and each smartphone listed gets on an average 20 queries from interested buyers implying the high liquidity the platform offers.

Top Trends on OLX

Demand for legacy iPhone models continues to thrive across small towns and rural areas

As per the study, legacy models such as iPhone 5S and iPhone SE continue to be in heavy demand across small towns and rural areas. This is despite the fact that iPhone 5S and SE were discontinued by Apple in 2016 and 2018 respectively. At a time when consumers are increasingly preferring smartphones with larger displays, owning an iPhone, albeit with a smaller screen real estate continues to remain aspirational across smaller towns and rural areas for many.

Demand for Xiaomi phones continues to be high despite lower listings

Despite Xiaomi being the 4th most listed brand on OLX, it continues to be popular with users and ranks 2nd after iPhone in terms of demand for the brand’s phones.

North India lists the most number of phones on OLX

Top metro cities that list smartphones on OLX are Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Interestingly, non-metro cities from the Northern states – Lucknow, Jaipur, Kanpur and Ludhiana – overshadowed other regions(East,West and South) in terms of smartphones listed on OLX.

Average price of a pre-owned smartphone continues to be on the rise 

Smartphone OEMs are increasingly replicating features found in higher-end phones across budget and mid-tier phones, thereby pushing up the average price of a pre-owned phone by 9%. Some of the key features that are increasingly common in budget and mid-tier phones are faster processors, multiple cameras, and larger displays. In 2019, the average price of a pre-owned smartphone listed on OLX jumped to Rs 12,000, up from Rs 11,000 in 2018, and Rs 9,000 in 2017.

Most popular mobile brands on OLX

Data from Q1-Q3 2019


% listings

% demand













Others(Motorola, Lenovo, Nokia, Asus, Gionee, Sony, HTC, LG, Lava, Intex, Karbonn, Micromax and other OEM’s)



Talking about the trend, Nitin Chaudhury, Head of Commercial, OLX India said, “Despite the prevailing sentiment in the Indian economy, the appetite for premium smartphones and overall demand for pre-owned smartphones has not diminished. A smartphone today is the primary computing device, and the gateway to accessing content on the internet. Users are becoming upwardly-mobile in their aspirations, which is reflected in the rising demand for premium brands, led by Apple’s iPhone. Smartphone OEMs are enhancing their focus to cater to the Indian market, where smartphone penetration is well below 50% and provides significant headroom for future growth, and offers one of the most attractive markets globally. Smartphones with improved specifications are now increasingly available across multiple price ranges. Smartphone ownership period is also on the decline, leading to a very healthy supply volume of pre-owned smartphones on OLX, and in the pre-owned market overall. A combination of these factors has led to Apple’s rise as the most popular pre-owned smartphone brand in India.”

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