Canadian households have $6 billion worth of dead cell phones lying around

Canadian households have 60 million idle phones lying around, leaving a whopping C$6 billion in untapped money, an April 2022 study by Pollfish and Renegade, on behalf of mobile device lifecycle management software vendor MCE systems, discovered. A representative sample of 2800 Canadians was surveyed.

The study found that 57 per cent of the Canadian population have never traded in their phones, stating the process looks complicated, while 31 per cent cited data backup and privacy concerns for retaining old devices.

Most respondents who traded in their phones wanted an upgrade (44 per cent), while others intended to make money by trading their old phones (31 per cent); look for the newest technology, including 5G (8 per cent); or purchase a new phone on sale (14 per cent). Nineteen per cent merely wished to replace a damaged cell phone.

Surprisingly, only 17 per cent intended to trade in their phone for ecological reasons, including recycling and reuse.

Moreover, friction in the trade-in process is dissuading a significant proportion from trading in their phones. Forty per cent of respondents complained that the online process of trading in their phones does not conclude easily in the store, with 29 per cent complaining that the price advertised was changed after their phones were inspected. Accordingly, more than half of respondents who traded in their phones now have trust issues due to a poor experience.

The respondents claimed they would trade their phones if they obtained a fair price for their old phones (35 per cent), their data would be transferred or erased (44 per cent), the trade-in process would be easier and quicker (35 per cent) and available online, in an app or in-store (24 per cent).

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at apamma@itwc.ca

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