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Flex IT en HP Inc. gaan hun gemeenschappelijke productenlijn ‘HP Approved Selection by Flex IT’ ook uitbreiden naar Scandinavië. Deze geplande expansie markeert een belangrijke mijlpaal in de uitrol van dit innovatieve portfolio met refurbished IT-devices. Met deze nieuwe stap spelen beide partners in op de groeiende vraag naar duurzame IT-oplossingen, óók buiten Nederland.
E-waste is de snelst groeiende afvalstroom in de Europese Unie en naar verwachting zal de vraag naar een meer duurzame aanschaf en hergebruik van computers en laptops de komende jaren significant toenemen. Om deze reden introduceerden Flex IT en HP Nederland in samenwerking met Microsoft in 2021 de ‘HP Approved Selection by Flex IT’, een selectie laptops en desktop-pc’s die wordt gerevitaliseerd om op grondstoffen te besparen en een zo lang mogelijke levensduur te realiseren. Bovendien worden deze devices voorzien van een nieuwe OEM Microsoft-licentie.
In 2021 was Flex IT de eerste distributiepartner wereldwijd die dit circulaire initiatief samen met HP Nederland in de markt zette. Met de lancering van dit portfolio in de Scandinavische markt willen HP, Flex IT en Microsoft de activiteiten opschalen en de toegevoegde waarde van het programma onder de aandacht brengen in andere Europese landen. De ‘HP Approved Selection by Flex IT’ ging in Nederland aanvankelijk van start als pilot en dient nu als business case voor veelbelovende duurzame IT-oplossingen.
“De plannen voor de uitbreiding naar Scandinavië bieden een uitstekende mogelijkheid om dit portfolio, gericht op het verhogen van de duurzaamheid, breder in de markt te zetten. We zijn ervan overtuigd dat we ons productaanbod nog verder kunnen verbeteren door expansie in een markt die vooroploopt op het gebied van duurzaamheid. We zien er naar uit om dit project op te schalen”, zegt Aat van de Polder, Directeur Business Development van Flex IT Distribution.
“De HP Approved Selection krijgt tractie in Nederland en het is een logische keuze om deze propositie ook breder beschikbaar te maken. Dit portfolio is een uitstekende manier om nog verantwoorder inkoopkeuzes te maken, door de kwaliteit van producten te combineren met een lagere ecologische footprint”, vertelt Hjalmar van Veen, Head of Commercial Channel Benelux bij HP Inc.
Door in te zetten op een langere levenscyclus van het product en een transparant Lifecycle Management via verschillende verkoopmodellen kan ‘HP Approved Selection by Flex IT’ de transitie naar meer circulaire IT versnellen. Met mogelijkheden als Buy-Back, Nieuw, Huur en Refurbishment zetten de partners zich in voor duurzame en milieuvriendelijke IT-oplossingen. Later dit jaar wordt gecommuniceerd met welke partners Flex IT en HP de nieuwe regio gaan bedienen.
Klik hier voor meer informatie over HP Approved Selection by Flex IT.
By 2031, it is predicted that the market for refurbished and used mobile phones will increase from US$ 49.9 billion to US$ 143.8 billion, expanding at a CAGR of 10.2%. Currently, almost 11% of the worldwide smartphone market is made up of sales of refurbished and used mobile phones.
Companies covered in the research of Persistence Market Research, are Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei, Xiaomi and Motorola among other. On the basis of pricing range, the premium-priced brands dominated the market with a market share of 42.9% in 2020. However, the mid-priced brands segment is estimated to grow with a robust CAGR of 11.9% between 2021 & 2031. Online e-commerce is currently leading the market, and according to the report this segment is likely to expand at a CAGR of nearly 11% through 2031.
Cell phones have become a vital part of our lives and the rapid increase of online content has been responsible for the rapid growth of the global refurbished and used mobile phones market. Nowadays, almost every developed country has over 80% mobile phone penetration, whereas 5G technology is further driving this market. Additionally, the growing reliance on electronic devices in non-industrial nations is fuelling the demand of refurbished and used mobile phones. Alongside, the developing demand for low-estimated items, the expanding reception of smartphones, and growing economies are expected to drive worldwide refurbished and used mobile phones market growth.
The mid-priced brands segment is estimated to grow robustly in the coming years
The market for circular mobile devices is progressively becoming the new standard and moving into the mainstream electronics retail arena. Across all regions, used gadgets have equally infiltrated and are widely adopted. Refurbished and used mobile phones with advanced technologies and features at low costs are attracting a growing number of consumers in most developed and developing countries. Refurbished phones are cheaper than new ones and are very popular among budget-minded shoppers, as well as among people who prefer to buy a high-quality phone without having to pay a very high price for it. Due to the brief upgrade cycle of high-quality mechanical hardware, many of them are unwilling to commit much time to their new devices. As a result, a sizable portion of the population worldwide is demonstrating a preference for circular mobile phones, which have all the desired features, but at an affordable price.
Moreover, if a smartphone is repaired and sold – instead of being discarded and being dumped in landfills – it will contribute significantly to the reduction of e-waste. Many smartphone components are made of plastic, and it is extremely difficult to recycle lithium-ion batteries. Therefore, it would be preferable to sell these as refurbished phones that could be offered at a lower cost while still being in excellent shape. Since a growing number of refurbished phones come with a warranty, buyers can also be confident that their investment will be protected.
As refurbished and used mobiles are adopted by every income group, key vendors are starting to focus more on offering high-end model phones at affordable rates. Top manufacturers, such as Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi, are actively reselling pre-owned phones after refurbishing, in order to increase their competitive advantage. Consumers are becoming more and more cost-conscious and retailers are fulfilling that demand by offering used and refurbished smartphones at a fraction of the cost of new mobile phones. Hence, customers are rapidly shifting towards the adoption of refurbished and old mobile phones and the before-mentioned factors are expected to drive the demand for refurbished and used mobile phones globally.
Lithium-ion batteries prove difficult to recycle, and this hampers the reduction of electronic waste
Other research also shows an explosive growth, as the demand has been increasing rapidly in the past few years. In its research entitled Global Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market 2022-2030, Custom Market Insights (CMI) expects this quicky expanding market will hit around USD 146.43 USD billion by 2030. According to the report, the market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.45% from 2022 to 2030. Across all regions, the practicality of used gadgets has equally infiltrated and opened up new use-case possibilities.
For several reasons – including a lack of precious metals, a growing number of cost-conscious consumers, increased access to high-quality refurbished devices, the availability of quality assurance and warranty, as well as environmental concerns – CMI predicts Asia to be one of the top markets for refurbished smartphones in the coming years. The main markets in this region are China, India and Indonesia and this region will grow more quickly than in Europe, the Middle East and North America.
During the forecast period, the North America region also expects a significant growth rate. One of the main factors behind this growth are the increasing advances in smartphone features and the expanding range of 5G devices. In most developed countries, such as the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy, consumers are very tech-savvy and prefer advanced features and technologies in their electronic gadgets. However, due to a shorter upgrade cycle of most mobile phones, a growing number of consumers is not willing to spend a significant amount on new mobile phones and is moving towards refurbished and used mobile phones.
The European Commission has proposed to expand the right to repair for consumers to make it easier and cheaper to repair goods, even beyond the legal guarantee period. Brussels anticipates that the expansion will help with decreasing the amount of waste and the use of new raw materials.
If it were up to Brussels, manufacturers would be required to offer repair options five to ten years after purchase, and should choose repair over offering new products, if it is cheaper within the warranty period. As a result, repairs of goods should become easier and cheaper, whereas the Commission also supports the implementation of a quality test for repairers, as well as an online platform where repairers and repaired items can be found. Consumers should also be able to request a European repair information form from any repairer, making repair conditions and prices more transparent. Finally, the Commission foresees the introduction of a European quality standard for repair services.
Brussels hopes the plan will contribute to the reduction of the amount of waste and the use of new raw materials and, as a result, will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the European Union, every year 35 million tons of discarded products are ending up as trash. “We must get rid of the ‘make and throw away’ model that is so damaging to our planet,” said Euro commissioner Frans Timmermans.’ The ‘Right to Repair Plan’ is part of the Green Deal and a broader package of measures to make products more sustainable. In addition to the Right to Repair directive, the Commission also launched a proposal to prevent greenwashing and came up with an earlier proposal that would require producers to design their goods to be easier to repair. Those requirements will be incorporated into the already existing Ecodesign Directive. Digital product passports have also been introduced, showing how economical and easy something is to repair. Based on that information, consumers are able to make more sustainable choices. The proposal against greenwashing should also help with this.
The ‘Right to Repair Plan’ is part of the Green Deal and a broader package of measures to make products more sustainable
The proposal aims to reduce waste and increase repairs over replacement, but whether these goals will be achieved remains unclear. Experts suggest that more information about self-repair options and the availability of replacement products is necessary to support these proposals. Additionally, the University of Delft (TU Delft) proposed displays in devices showing consumers what is wrong with their products when they break down, in order to make it easier for people to self-repair. TU Delft’ research also shows that people tend to replace their devices too quickly. According to Ruth Mugge, professor of Sustainable Consumer Behavior, this is because consumers often underestimate the lifespan of products. Mugge calls Brussels’ proposal a positive first step, but wonders if it will achieve its goals – more repair, less new products. “The proposal doesn’t refer to the costs and duration of repairs. Therefore, for consumers it is not clear if repairs are more attractive than replacement or buying something new. This is a missed opportunity”.
The proposal has also been criticized by Rreuse, an international network for social enterprises in the circular economy. This organization argues that the repair law needs a repair itself, because the affordability of products will not improve. Rreuse states the plan is not ambitious enough and does not fundamentally change anything about “the increasing monopoly on repair by manufacturers”. The organization believes this monopoly hinders fair competition with independent repairers and social enterprises operating in renovation. Moreover, the Right to Repair Europe comments that a right to repair beyond the legal guarantee period will only be the case for too small a number of consumers. She also stresses that the Commission’s proposal doesn’t clarify whether a repair is more affordable than a replacement.
A University of Delft (TU Delft) research shows that people tend to replace their devices too quickly, a result of underestimating the lifespan of products
The European Refurbishment Association (EUREFAS), of which Flex IT recently became a member, welcomes the Commission’s proposal promoting the repair of goods. EUREFAS is the association representing the refurbishment industry in Europe, to promote the circular economy and help building a greener world. In order to encourage sustainable choices for consumer electronics, EUREFAS stresses that consumer legislation needs to not only recognize, but also promote refurbishment and repair to foster more consumer trust. “The proposal of the Commission is a step in the right direction, as it will allow consumers to have more confidence in the repair sector, and nudge them to make more sustainable choices”.
The European Commission’s proposal has yet to be approved by the European Parliament and member states.