The BlackBerry is popular again. Ha ha ha. Sorry, just kidding. That popularity extends only to owners rushing to trade them in after a recent nationwide service outage.
Indeed, one firm specializing in buying your unwanted phones says BlackBerry trade-ins are up 80 percent this week — and it can be entirely attributed to long beleaguered Blackberry owners trading in their devices for the iPhone 4S.
BlackBerry owners did suffer a nationwide data outage and then Research in Motion tried to mollify angry owners by offering $100 in apps, but trade-in company Gazelle reports the spike in BlackBerry trade-ins also coincided with the iPhone 4S launch. The iPhone also just happened to have iMessage, a convenient replacement for RIM’s BBM service. Earlier this week, we reported that 40 percent of unhappy BlackBerry owners were about to jump ship to the Apple device.
BlackBerry owners aren’t the only smartphone owners trading in devices. A 72 percent increase of Android trade-ins — many from Sprint — was noticed during the same period that the carrier obtained rights to sell the iPhone, says Gazelle’s ‘Chief Gadget Officer’ Anthony Scarsella. Of course, some of those trade-ins likely were people swapping their older Android handsets for the upcoming Motorola Droid Razr or Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
The flurry of trade-ins even hit iPhone owners. Before the iPhone 4S even launched, owners of older iPhones were coming to Gazelle while their devices still had some value. A total of 65,000 iPhones were traded in so far – or one Apple smartphone every 15 seconds, according to Scarsella. At this rate, 75,000 iPhones should be traded in by the end of this week, according to Gazelle.