iPhone 5 Popularity Leads to Massive Increase in Reseller Market

iPhone 5 Popularity Leads to Massive Increase in Reseller Market

Selling the old ones to subsidize the new one.

Because a lot of the current attention around iPhones has to do with the latest and greatest iPhone 5, it’s easy to forget that there are plenty of older devices to be dealt with around the world. While recycling may be an option for much older devices, the iPhone 4 and 4S, at least, are helping to create a second-hand market that is both robust and global.

The market, says The Wall Street Journal, tends to be mostly US to overseas in direction and is growing in response to the high visibility of the iPhone brand via the iPhone 5. An entire industry has grown up around the resale of older iPhone devices.

“We are supply constrained. There is insatiable demand for this product,” said Israel Ganot, chief executive of buyback service Gazelle Inc.

Many older iPhone owners don’t even realize that their older iPHone may sell for more than the price originally paid for it, due to the way that US carriers, at least, subsidize the cost of the iPhone by requiring annual contracts, which locks users into a higher overall cost than they may understand.

The WSJ notes that a 16G iPhone 4S can fetch up to $240 on Gazelle, over $40 more than most US users paid for the device. Even the iPhone 4 can sell for $145, according to the report. There are other options, of course, as Cult of Mac reported in our very own guide to selling that old iPhone to subsidize your new one.

What about broken iPhones? They are being used for parts, or repaired overseas. The Journal reports that AT&T iPhones tend to sell for more on this second-hand market, since they can be used with more networks across the pond.

The iPhone 5 launch spurred a ton of new selling and buying of older model iPhones–Gazelle alone says it gave out over 500,000 quotes on the day the iPhone 5 was announced, and over 2.5 million in the last month. Almost all of these, according to the company, went to US-based customers. This activity is five times as much as it was a year ago, when the iPhone 4S was announced.

  • german_wolfgang

    iphones hold their value because even the older models are better than any android.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is an Anchorage, Alaska-based writer and editor who has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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