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Old iPhones back in vogue as new models remain beyond reach

By Luu Quy   November 24, 2022 | 03:00 pm PT
Old iPhones back in vogue as new models remain beyond reach
An iPhone 12 Pro carried to Vietnam in October 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Quy
With the iPhone 14 series expensive and difficult to obtain, many Vietnamese consumers are turning to used models.

Huy Quoc of Hanoi has been looking to buy a phone with about VND20 million ($800) in hand. Originally, he planned to buy an iPhone 14 or an iPhone 14 Pro Max via instalment payments. Retail prices of iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are in the VND28.9-32.5 million ($1,165-1,310) range.

However, after a few weeks of deliberation, in mid-November, he decided to buy a used 13 Pro Max. Quoc said the "99%" (almost new) iPhone 13 Pro Max 256 GB cost him VND 20.5 million.

He felt the price and six-month warranty provided by the store made his purchase a reasonable choice given his current budget and needs.

"Even though it’s not the latest product, this is still a phone model with a more advanced configuration and design than the regular iPhone 14, with more stock, no waiting and not as costly as the 14 Pro Max," he said.

Many people seem to have adopted Quoc’s approach. Several retailers in Vietnam say that the number of people looking to buy used iPhones has increased significantly in November.

The most bought used models are the Pro series of iPhone 12 and 13, and the regular and Pro Max versions of iPhones 11.

The CellphoneS chain said that sales of second-hand iPhones in October and November increased by 40% compared to the previous months.

"The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the most popular item among consumers, accounting for 40-45% of old iPhone sales," said Nguyen Lac Huy, the company's representative.

At the HnamMobile chain, the iPhone 11 Pro Max model launched three years ago and currently priced at VND11 million continues to be the most popular old model, accounting for nearly 40% of second-hand phone sales, followed by 12 Pro / Pro Max, 13 Pro / Pro Max, each with 20%.

According to Xa Que Nguyen, CEO of HnamMobile, pre-owned iPhones are now quite large in number and vary in models.

"In the context of the genuine iPhone 14 being in short supply and of high price, older models, especially the Pro and Pro Max versions, are becoming the go-to option for many domestic users," Nguyen said.

According to store representatives, after sales of the iPhone 14 began mid-October, many people bought new models, indirectly creating a supply of used iPhones in the market.

The new 128 GB VN/A iPhone 13 Pro Max is currently selling for about VND27 million, while an old one can be bought for VND20-21 million. The old iPhone 11 costs VND7-8 million, VND3 million lower than the new one. The iPhone 11/12 Pro Max can only be purchased as used devices.

 
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