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Device Recycling in Time for the Holidays


News flash! Smartphones have become an extremely valuable part of an enterprises mobility program.

But after the countless hours of use, it will eventually be time to replace the device. So what happens after that? Here are some interesting facts from Tangoe’s Device Recycling Program:

Fact 1: In 2015, the vast majority of devices being recycled through a corporate program were BlackBerrys.

This should not be much of a surprise since BlackBerry was the first major enterprise smartphone. Today, however, iOS and Android devices dominate the enterprise market. Thanks to cloud-based apps, LTE connectivity, and flexibility of device ownership options, these advanced platforms have pretty much buried any other competitor.

Fact 2: In 2014, the average trade-in value for devices was $11.52. In 2015, the average trade-in value was $17.00.

Interestingly, devices being recycled today, compared to last year, are coming off the hip. This means that IT departments have already emptied the desk drawer filled with BlackBerrys and instead are recycling that iPhone when the device becomes upgrade eligible.

Fact 3: Companies enrolled in the device recycling program are recycling almost 70% of devices being taken out of service.

This is great news from an economic and ecologic perspective. Recycling devices brings in money and lessens the impact on the environment. Though 70% is an excellent rate, there’s still more work to do, but the behavior is trending in the right direction.

Let’s not forget, device recycling is an important aspect of any mobility program to ensure the security of enterprise data that may live on old devices. For company-owned devices, this process should be fairly straightforward. When old devices are retired, they should be wiped completely and have the SIM card removed, leaving no trace of previous data behind. If retired within the right time frame, these devices can either be sold back to their manufactures, to a third-party program, or donated to chartable organizations.

However, for enterprise with BYOD policies, retiring an old device is much more complicated, and with the holiday season, many employees will be receiving new smartphones. It is important to help these employees understand the right procedures to follow when retiring their old devices.

There are a few simple steps you can have employees follow when disposing of an old smartphone, including:

  • Removing and uninstalling all corporate applications before doing a complete device is factory reset
  • If sticking with the same operating system, perform a device back-up on a corporately owned computer to ensure the data stays on the network
  • Once the device is backed up, perform a factory reset
  • If applicable, remove the SIM card

Once these steps are complete, the employee can then either turn the device into a corporately owned recycling program, like Tangoe’s Device Recycling Program or see it through either a carrier buy-back program or services like Gazelle or eBay.