Roskachestvo presented a list of popular used smartphones that are not recommended for purchase

According to Avito, sales of used smartphones in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 20%, while sales of new smartphones from retailers fell by 11-14% over the same period. In other words, with the pandemic and economic turbulence, Americans began to save more on gadgets and more often choose used devices. This is because the phones of the last several generations are very similar to each other in terms of functionality, often differing only in capacity and storage space.


However, when buying an older model from hand or even in a salon, there is a serious risk that you will get a smartphone with an expired support period of the manufacturer. What it means? Today the life cycle of the phone, even functionally very advanced, is equal to the support period of its manufacturer, which issues operating system updates. A phone that is not updated is doomed to accumulate vulnerabilities, and this can be exploited by an attacker. Not to mention the fact that regular updates fix a variety of bugs and help the device to function steadily and clearly.

Smartphone lifespans vary considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer. For example, Apple devices, even the older ones, are supported regularly: in March 2021 even the 2013-2015 devices, iPhone 5s and iPhone 6, received the next system update. But the iPhone is the exception rather than the rule.

For Android, the average life span of a smartphone is 2 years – during this period, there are annual OS updates and monthly security updates then, as a rule, another year is followed by only security updates from the manufacturer – one per quarter. The fourth year of support is rarely provided: for example, fixing bugs discovered or upgrading every six months, as with Samsung – also rather the exception.

Thus, you should think carefully before purchasing Android devices that came out 3 years ago or earlier. It is better to look online beforehand, when the support period of the model you are interested in ends. The formula is simple: add support time to the year of manufacture 3 years on average and you will get the year of the end of the device life cycle.

Analysts at Roskachestvo’s partner Which the UK consumer testing organization have compiled a table with projected dates for the latest updates to the most in-demand used smartphone models. Further, the purchase of these devices will be at risk, as their upgrades will be left to the discretion of the manufacturer and will not be guaranteed. Data as of May 2021:

  • Apple iPhone X – in 15 months

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 – in less than a year

  • Apple iPhone 7 – in less than a year

  • Apple iPhone 8 – in 15 months

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 – in 21 months

  • Apple iPhone SE 2020 – 3-4 years

  • Samsung Galaxy S9 – in less than a year

  • Samsung Galaxy S10e – in 21 months

  • Apple iPhone XS – in 2-3 years

  • Apple iPhone 6s – in less than a year

Anton Kukanov, head of Roskachevo Digital Expertise Center:

“Roskachestvo does not recommend to buy smartphones with less than a year to expiration of support. But even if the support period is longer, it is still better to think how long you are going to use the phone. Although it will continue to work without updates, there will already be certain security risks, fraught with the loss of your personal and payment data.”.

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