Holiday hand-me-ups

With the latest gadgets filling stockings around the country, Brits are finding a new home for their old technology this festive season. More than a quarter of Brits[1] (26 per cent) have said that they will ‘hand up’ older technology and smartphones to their parents, according to new research from mobile operator Three.

This trend is even more apparent amongst young adults (18-24 year olds), with almost half (43 per cent) re-gifting their pre-loved smartphone and handing it up to Mum or Dad. Women are more likely than men to pass on an older smartphone to a parent (29 per cent) while most UK men would choose to give theirs to a friend instead (22 per cent). Just 4 per cent of the UK will donate their old smartphones to their “silver surfing” grandparents.

In previous years the market has seen sales of new smartphones almost double in the month of December2, meaning over half a million pre-loved smartphones could be looking for a new home this Christmas. With SIM plans on Three starting from £6.90 per month, friends and family can take on hand-me-up smartphones with SIMs loaded up with data, minutes and texts, all on the network built for the internet.

For 50 per cent of Brits, the main reason they will pass on older technology to family and friends is because their existing device is ‘outdated’ and with purse strings tighter than ever at Christmas, a third of Brits (33 per cent) say they would like to help family and friends save money by giving them their older device. 10 per cent of under-35’s say the main reason they’ll hand-up a device to Mum and Dad is so they can access social networks on the go.

Sylvia Chind, Head of Devices at Three says, “Christmas is a time for giving and this research has found that Brits are making the most of their older technology and connecting Mum and Dad, siblings and friends to the mobile internet when they upgrade.

“As our customers take advantage of this to save family and friends time and money, we’re continually working to provide the best internet experience we can, made possible by the ongoing roll-out our Ultrafast network which now covers half of the UK’s population.”


Notes to Editors

  1. Research was competed by One Poll in December 2012 with sample size of 2,000 across the UK.
  2. Based on data from GfK Retail & Technology, 2012.


Contact information.

Name Three Consumer PR Team
Phone 020 7234 9150

About Three

Three is a communications company. We are focused on challenging the industry to make mobile better for everyone.

We want to give customers a quality mobile experience and address the industry issues that frustrate them.

We were the first UK network to introduce all-you-can-eat data and offer 4G at no extra cost. We let customers roam abroad with their domestic bundle for no extra charge and do not charge for calling 0800 numbers.

We continue to look at ways of improving the experience we offer our customers.

Three carries over 45% of the UK’s mobile data. Our 3G network covers 98% of the UK population.

We launched 4G in 2014 and plan to have 50 cities and 200 towns covered by 4G by December 2014. By the end of 2015 98% of the population will be able to access 4G through a combination of new sites and deploying new spectrum.

Three is a member of the HWL group of companies, with investments in mobile operations in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Macau, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Vietnam.

Three employs over 4,400 people across its offices in Maidenhead, Glasgow and Reading and its 345 retail stores.

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