iPhone vs. Samsung: Which Holds Its Value Better?

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Most people are either “Team Android” or “Team iPhone” when it comes to purchasing a new cell phone.

But which brand holds its value the most?

Cell phone retail site SellCell.com recently compared one of the most popular new Android phones, the Samsung Galaxy S21, to the Apple iPhone 12.

The results may surprise you!

iPhone 12 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21: Which Phone Holds Its Value the Best?

SellCell.com compared different versions of the Galaxy S21 with the iPhone 12 by measuring the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for each model against its monthly and total depreciation.

The results are based on prices for used phones in”good condition” listed on the SellCell website.

Let’s look at a side-by-side comparison of the prices and value loss of a Galaxy S21 vs. iPhone 12, according to SellCell as of April 1, 2021.

In the table below, I’ve used the highest and lowest models with 128 gigabytes (GBs) of each phone series.

AppleMSRP / Top Price on SellCellDepreciation ($) / %SamsungMSRP / Top Price on SellCellDepreciation ($) / %
iPhone 12 Pro Max 128GB$1099 / $900$199 / 18.1%Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 128GB$1199 / $637$562 / 46.9%
iPhone 12 Pro 128GB$999 / $810$189 / 18.9%Galaxy S21 Plus 5G 128GB$999 / $551$448 / 44.8%
iPhone 12 128GB$849/ $585$264 / 31.1%Galaxy S21 5G 128GB$799 / $393$406 / 50.8%
iPhone 12 Mini 128GB$749 / $505$244 / 32.6%

See the full comparison results from SellCell.com.

From the table above, you can see that the iPhone 12 fares better across the board when it comes to retaining its value.


Not only that, the Galaxy models cost more than their iPhone equivalents in the first place, according to SellCell’s top prices available for new and used models.

But why should you worry about depreciation? Even if you’re crazy about your phone right now, it will be outdated soon enough.

Someday you’ll probably decide to trade it in with your carrier or sell it through an online marketplace such as Swappa, NextWorth or BuyBackWorld

If you are interested in the latter, here are the best places to sell your old phone.

Of course, if you choose to trade in your device, it would be understandable if your brand loyalty caused you to stay with the same phone manufacturer.

“Apple owners looking to upgrade their device will, in the majority, stick to the Apple brand. In that sense, demand is high for pre-owned iPhone 12 handsets, meaning that they keep their value as consumers are happy to pay a premium, even for a refurbished or pre-owned iPhone 12,” according to SellCell.

Final Thoughts

Money expert Clark Howard says if you’re in the market for the latest iPhone, it pays to wait a bit.

“If you’re willing to let the people who just gotta have the newest phone right then and there get theirs and you wait three weeks, you’ll likely find deals that they didn’t get,” Clark says.

If you want to save big money, you could choose to buy a refurbished iPhone.

I purchased a refurbished iPhone a few years ago. I found that it’s important to buy only from a well-regarded seller. If you choose to buy from a third party on Amazon, make sure the seller has five stars, and don’t forget to read the reviews.


Looking for the latest bargains on a cell phone? See what’s on sale at ClarkDeals.com.

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