Product recovery has become a field of rapidly growing interest for product manufacturers as a promising solution for product stewardship as well as economic viability. As product recovery is a process highly dependent upon the way a product is designed, it should be considered early at the design stage so that the product may be designed to facilitate efficient and effective recovery at its end-of-life stage. To make a product easy to recover, manufacturing companies first need to understand the links between product design and recovery profit. They should be able to evaluate which design is better than others and why that is so. To accommodate such companies that seek for a design-for-recovery method, in this paper, a comparative study is conducted to analyze how design differences affect product recovery and what architecture characteristics are desirable from the end-of-life perspective. Three cell phone handset designs sharing the same design concept but entailing different architecture are created, for which the individual designs and the recovery potential of each design are evaluated under three different scenarios. The results highlight preferred design alternatives with their design implications for sustainable product design.