Apple buys back used iPhone 4S models

Apple is now buying back used models of its iPhone 4Sas part of its Reuse and Recycle Program

Apple is now buying back used models of its iPhone 4S as part of its Reuse and Recycle Programa possible harbinger of the unveiling of the company's next-generation iPhone.

Assuming your iPhone 4S is in good condition, Apple will pay you anywhere from $285 for a basic 16 GB model up to $345 for a white 64 GB phone. That payout wont be in cash, however: Youll get a gift card that can be used to buy productsperhaps even the next iPhone modelat both your local and online Apple Stores.

The buyback program was first reported by The Next Web. Although Apple hasnt formally announced a media event to unveil the iPhone or any other new product, several media outlets have pegged Sept. 12 as the likely debut of the new modelnews that set off a flurry of trade-ins as iPhone owners try to obtain the best price for their used models before buying anew.

Apples wireless partners are also buying back the iPhone 4S. On Thursday, Verizon was offering $245 in store credit for the basic 16 GB model, while Sprint was offering $253 in company credit for the same. (AT&T asks users to bring their phones into one of its brick-and-mortar stores before offering an appraisal.)

iPhone 4S users who would rather get cash money for their device will have to turn to third-party resellers. Many such placesamong them NextWorth, Gazelle,YouRenew, and CashforiPhones.comwill gladly pay to take your iPhone off your hands, with buyback prices (as of Thursday morning) ranging from YouRenews $190 to NextWorths $300 apiece for a basic, uncracked, 16 GB iPhone 4S in good or reasonable condition. (As always with third-party resellers, users might want to do their online homework and check the Better Business Bureau website to ensure theyre working with a reputable company.)

Users who wait until the next iPhone is launched may lose some money. Values usually fall as soon as a vendor shows a new model. Last spring, iPad 2 trade-in values dropped 23 percent after Apple unveiled the new iPad.

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Joel Mathis

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