IPhone 5 Release Spurs Flurry of Trade-Ins

Consumers are rushing to trade-in their old iPhones, as Apple gears up to unveil its next-generation model on October 4.

Gadget trade-in site Gazelle is reporting an 85 per cent increase in people looking to sell their old iPhones, saying this kind of volume is unusual before the newest model is available. Apple has neither confirmed the October launch date nor publicly acknowledged the iPhone 5′s existence.

Consumers, however, seem to believe an early October launch is imminent and may be trying to secure the best trade in value to get a jump on the action. NextWorth, another tech buyback service, is reporting trade-in values for old iPhones have been dropping as the expected announce date nears.

Gazelle, NextWorth, and eBay Instant Sale, all sites that pay individuals for old electronics based on their trade-in condition, will lock trade-in values for certain grace periods, ranging from 10 to 30 days. Buyers may be taking advantage of an overlap between the reseller grace period and the new device release, aiming to obtain the higher price for their old phone while still waiting for the iPhone 5 to come out.

If the timing proves right and Apple releases the handset sooner than later, these consumers may get the best value for their existing phones before the new one comes out. However, a delay in the iPhone 5 release may cause customers to miss out on a higher value for their old handsets with resellers.

The frenetic pace also underscores consumer belief that rumoured details about the iPhone 5 are enough to warrant an upgrade.

The iPhone 5 will reportedly have an A5 processor, an 8-megapixel camera capable of 1080p video capture and a larger screen.

In addition, other analysts believe Apple might unveil two new devices – one that that looks like the iPhone 4 called the iPhone 4S, and another with a completely different design and improved hardware called the iPhone 5. Apple has not confirmed any specs on the device, and several reports have contradicted each other over the past several weeks.

The sudden uptick is unprecedented and dwarfs similar activity when the iPhone 4 was launched. At that time, according to Gazelle chief Anthony Scarsella, the company was getting 100 iPhone trade-ins a day in anticipation of the announcement. Now, the company is on pace to buy back about 2,500 a week, or more than 300 per day.

Currently, eBay Instant Sale has the best trade-in values on used iPhones, offering $261 for a 16-gigabyte iPhone 4 in “good” condition, followed by Gazelle’s $235 and Nextworth’s $210.

This post originally appeared at Mobiledia.

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