SEOUL, Sep. 1 (Korea Bizwire) – With the rapid supply of high-tech smartphones, expensive costs and a drop in carrier subsidies, the domestic secondhand mobile phone market is estimated to have grown by an average of 10 million phones per year.
According to a report issued by Gallup Korea, only 4 out of 10 individuals have sold a used mobile phone. The reasons why people were not disposing of their phones were: ‘a lack of knowledge on how to sell them’ (21 percent); ‘small amount of money in return’ (17.2 percent); ‘concern about the leak of pictures and data stored on the phone’ (13.9 percent); and ‘inconvenience that occurs when selling’ (12.7 percent).
Despite these barriers, people are indeed starting to sell their used phones, in part due to the many changes that have occurred in the mobile phone market.
Korea turned out to have the highest cell phone prices among the 29 members of the OECD, according to research conducted by Gartner, with carrier subsidies dropping drastically due to the enforcement of new laws and regulations. As a result, people are selling their used mobile phones and using the money to buy new ones.
In addition, businesses that purchase second hand phones, which were restricted to private secondhand mobile phone buyers in the past, expanded to telecommunications companies such as KT or LG U+, the post office, online book stores and household goods stores.
Exposing personal information was also one of the main concerns consumers had when it came to selling their used mobile phones. However, buyers say that there is a way to erase all data stored on a phone before it circulates in the market again. KT and LG U+ have formed a partnership with Blancco, a Finnish company specializing in permanent data deletion. They are now providing consumers with a complete data delete service, blocking the source of information breaches.
KT officials say that consumers can feel at ease. “Before, private buyers just initialized the mobile phones instead of deleting the data permanently, which caused personal information leaks. But telecommunication companies can make it impossible to restore data that is deleted, so that consumers can feel comfortable as they sell their used phones.”
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)