Microsoft's Surface tablets are ranked among the top 10 most-depreciating devices. What's the issue?

Surface Pro 7+
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • According to a new report, Microsoft devices depreciate in value over time.
  • The Surface Pro 7+ tablet is considered the company's "most depreciated device," dropping in value by 35.23% since 2021.
  • The study has also revealed that buyers prefer used devices to new products due to the tough economic times.

The PC market has shifted tremendously in the past few years because of the tough economic times, negatively impacting the user's purchasing power. But be it as it may, this hasn't stopped technology from evolving, ultimately leading to the emergence of new, exorbitantly priced, and sleek devices.

If the recent events are anything to go by, there's always going to be a new and must-have device popping up every so often. In the just-concluded Surface and AI event, Microsoft unveiled two new devices. The same applies to Apple's new iPhone 15 lineup, and Google's Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, which will get up to 7 years of support. Studies show that one out of every ten Americans gets a new phone yearly

But as the economic times worsen, users have flooded the resale market for secondhand tech devices. In fact, the market is so huge that 282 million used and refurbished devices were shipped globally, with the number expected to hit 415 million by 2026.

Like clockwork, a smartphone depreciates in value the moment you purchase it. It depreciates in value further by a whopping 42.7% within the year of launch. And this cuts across the board, at least according to a report by SimpleGhar

For instance, per the study, Microsoft's Surface Pro 7+ tablet has been ranked as the "most depreciated tablet," experiencing a 35.23% drop in value since 2021. Apple's iPhone 14 has also dropped in value by 24.68%, making it the most depreciated Apple product overall.  

A screenshot showcasing the most depreciated tablets in value over the past few years.  (Image credit: SimpleGhar)

SimpleChar used the following methodology to arrive at the figures highlighted above:

To discover the consumer tech brands and products that lose the most value over time, SimpleChar considered 29 leading consumer tech brands that produce smartphones, earbuds headphones, tablets, and smartwatches.

The researchers compiled the information from over 1000 used tech products listed on Amazon US and UK, comparing their prices when sold as new versus when sold as used products. They further disclosed that they picked the product with the largest yearly change in value between new and used condition when there were several products released within the same product line in the same year.

Analysis: Repairability could be the issue

Surface Pro 9 with 5G powered by Qualcomm

Repairability has only recently been a thing Microsoft has shown much thought to on Surface, but its tablets have always been a problem in this area. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Until recently, Microsoft had made the repairability of its devices, particularly Surface devices, an uphill task. Which in turn caused a lot of reluctance on the buyer's end. Why would you buy a device if you can't get it fixed?

Of course, Microsoft's warranty repair service often does the trick, but what happens when it runs out? Luckily, the company started selling replacement parts for Surface PCs, including screens, kickstands, batteries, SSDs, and more directly from the Microsoft Store. 

It's not yet clear if Microsoft will extend this support to its tablets. It's likely that Microsoft tablets depreciate in value over time because of the repairability issue. There's also the implication that there's not a lot of interest in Microsoft's handheld devices, such as the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2, which don't get any meaningful updates over long periods of time. Last month, the company cut ties with the Surface Duo, dropping official software support.

Why are Microsoft products depreciating in value over time? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Surface replacement parts

Surface replacement parts

Whether you're looking for a new screen, SSD, power supply, kickstand, speaker, or other components on your Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, or Surface Studio, Microsoft has you covered with official parts available on the Microsoft Store.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.

  • naddy69
    "Microsoft's Surface tablets are ranked among the top 10 most-depreciating devices. What's the issue?"

    Do you really need to ask this question? You can't do the obvious Economics 101 math?
  • Iamdumbguy
    naddy69 said:
    "Microsoft's Surface tablets are ranked among the top 10 most-depreciating devices. What's the issue?"

    Do you really need to ask this question? You can't do the obvious Economics 101 math?
    Guy who says "economics 101".