Talk of a September 12 iPhone launch triggers trade-in flurry

eBay reports a 70 per cent increase in used iPhone activity

Speculation last week of an impending new iPhone triggered a 70 per cent increase in the number of owners trying to unload their current smartphones, online auctioneer eBay said.

Smartphone trade-in offers at eBay's Instant Sale site during the period July 30-Aug. 1 were 70% higher than the same three-day span of the week before, said eBay on Thursday.

Instant Sale generates quotes for used iPhones, iPads and other electronic devices.

Although Apple is expected to unveil a new iPhone this fall, until recently most experts believed the company would repeat the schedule it used in 2011. That would have marked Oct. 2 as the public launch date and Oct. 12 as the first day of sales.

On July 31, however, a little-known website called iMore.com claimed that the new iPhone will debut Sept. 12. Others, including the Wall Street Journal's All Things D blog, also pegged the Sept. 12 kick-off and, like iMore.com, said the phone will go on sale Sept. 21.

eBay attributed the spike in Instant Sale quotes to the July 31 news of a September launch.

In the three days following the news, eBay's Instant Sales generated 100,000 trade-in offers, with the 16GB iPhone 4S the most frequently jettisoned model.

On Sunday, Instant Sale quoted $299 for a 16GB iPhone 4S able to connect to AT&T's network, or $289 for the same model on Verizon.

It's not unusual for rumors of an Apple iPhone or iPad refresh to lift trade-in volume. Last February, as speculation circulated about a March 7 event Apple had scheduled -- but not divulged its purpose -- iPad owners pushed tablet trade-ins to record levels, said Gazelle, one of several companies that purchase used devices.

Gazelle and its ilk refurbish the devices, then resell them on eBay and Amazon.com, and to wholesalers, some of whom ship them overseas for sale in emerging markets.

Current sellers are trying to get the best price for their used phones, as values usually fall as soon as a vendor shows a new model. Last spring, iPad 2 trade-in values dropped 23% after Apple unveiled the new iPad.

Gazelle's Sunday price for an AT&T 16GB iPhone 4S was $277, while NextWorth, another used smartphone buyer, offered $263 for the same model.

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 gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Read more about smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?