Apple's iPhone 5 invite sparks new spike in trade-ins
Usell doesn't purchase used devices itself, but instead fields consumer inquiries, then lists a number of outlets that do, with their current prices, mimicking the kind of comparison shopping long available at, say, travel portals like Expedia.
Although trade-in companies have urged customers to sell their used iPhones as soon as possible -- to get the best price, they've said -- that advice seems misplaced: Prices have generally held steady since early August, and for at least one major buyer, actually increased.
An AT&T 16GB iPhone 4S, for instance, was pegged at $300 by NextWorth today, the same figure it's quoted since Aug. 27. And Gazelle's Thursday quote of $277 for the same phone was up 10% in just two days.
Apple also has a buy-back program -- run by PowerON Service -- that produced an estimate of $285 for a 16GB iPhone 4S, a price unchanged since at least Aug. 29.
eBay's appraisal of $300 for the 16GB iPhone 4S was the same it's generated since at least Aug. 27, but the company said other models had increased in value. Over the last two weeks, said Witkemper, the value of a 64GB iPhone 4S has increased by 5%, while a 32GB iPhone 4 has gone up 7%.
The spot increases may be due to competition among the trade-in companies, which battle for a finite supply of iPhones that consumers are willing to sell.
Some of the firms resell the iPhones they buy on e-marts like eBay and Amazon, while others deal to wholesalers who may ship the older smartphones to emerging markets where dollars are tighter and lower-priced, albeit used, devices are much more attractive.
"It's very competitive," observed Usell's Brauser of the used-device market. "The relatively high-value phones [like the] iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are in high demand, and will fetch a good retail price."
Apple will reveal the iPhone 5 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where the company has staged several product launches, including one for the iPad in March. The iPhone event is to kick off at 10 a.m. PT.
iMore.com, the website that in July first claimed Apple would introduce a new iPhone on Sept. 12, said then that the company would begin selling the device Friday, Sept. 21.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.
- Apple will 'set the world on fire' with iPhone 6 sales
- The other Apple economy: $2B in devices on eBay
- Apple sends users scrambling for OS X Yosemite
- Apple grows Mac sales by 18% on the back of the MacBook Air
- What to listen for during Apple's earnings call today
- Timeline: How Apple's iOS gained enterprise cred
- Apple and IBM: A winning combo for IT
- IBM and Apple ties go way back
- Apple quickly counters China claim of iPhone spying
- China calls the iPhone and iOS 7 threats to national security
Read more about Smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.
- Tips for Driving User Adoption in New Technology Deployment Read this checklist on tips for driving user adoption to see where you stand.
- 5 Customers Deliver Virtual Desktops and Apps to Empower a Modern Workforce Learn how Citrix solutions helped 5 companies realize the full value of desktop virtualization through a project-by-project approach based on key business priorities.
- Top 10 Reasons to Strengthen Information Security with Desktop Virtualization Regain control and reduce risk without sacrificing business productivity and growth
- IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Client Virtualization Software 2013 Vendor Assessment IDC has placed Citrix in the 2013 IDC MarketScape Leaders Category once again noting that, "Citrix's position reflects the company's market leadership and...
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily... All Smartphones White Papers | Webcasts