Users of older iPhones are trading in their Apple handsets in record numbers and most if not all are planning to use the proceeds to purchase Apple’s new iPhone 4.
That is the opinion of consumer trade-in service Gazelle, which said trade-in traffic for older iPhones has jumped nearly 1,000% this year over last year’s activity.
"Last year on the day of the iPhone 3GS announcement, we received 141 trades," said Gazelle spokeswoman Kristina Kennedy in an email before the start of business Friday. She added that Gazelle recorded more than 1,000 trades on the day of the iPhone 4 announcement this year. "Currently iPhone 3GS 16GB is the most popular trade. 3GS in general are representing 65% of trades, which is much higher than we thought it would be."
Before the iPhone 4 announcement this week, Gazelle’s iPhone volume was much lower – on May 25th, for instance, Gazelle received just 25 iPhone trades.
Consumers logging onto the Gazelle iPhone site simply report which model they want to trade – the 2G, 3G or 3GS; after answering a few questions about the condition and status of their phone, Gazelle makes a cash offer for the handset . The final deal is contingent on the company examining consumers' trade-in phones. The offers are valid for 30 days from the day the quote is made so customers have time to purchase an iPhone 4 on 24th of June, the launch date for the new handset.
The used market is dynamic and Gazelle expects prices of older iPhones to drop rapidly. "Last year," said Kennedy, "prices dropped by about 50% the week after the announcement (and) we expect the same thing to happen this year -- with offer values dropping rapidly during next week and the following."
Gazelle's electronics reCommerce service is primarily aimed at individual consumers although the company also serves the corporate trade and recycle programs of major retailers including Costco, Kmart, Sears, Walmart.com and ZAGG.
"Smart sellers will 'gazelle' it now and lock in their offer," Kennedy said.