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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?