Since Steve Jobs announced the latest update to Apple's smartphone, customers have begun to hit up gadget trade-in sites to sell their old iPhones, which could be a sign that they're ready to upgrade to the latest version of the iPhone. According to consumer electronics trade-in Web site Gazelle.com, 10,000 iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS handsets have been turned into the service in the week since June 7, and in the case of some 3GS models, for payments as high as $222.
The 10,000 already sold to Gazelle in the last week is 10 times the number that were traded in to the site after a week following the announcement of the iPhone 3GS one year ago. The increase was a surprise to the company, according to Gazelle CEO Israel Ganot.
"It's much different behavior than we saw when the 3GS was announced, and I think it shows what an impact the iPhone 4 will make when it launches on June 24th," he said.
A search on eBay shows more than 3,500 iPhone 3GS devices for sale on the site Tuesday afternoon. And Craigslist had more than 300 iPhone 3GS and 3G models for sale in the last week in the San Francisco Bay Area alone.
The iPhone 4 goes on sale starting at $199 with a two-year wireless service contract on June 24, though preorders began Tuesday. Apple and AT&T's preorder process appeared overwhelmed by customers looking to reserve an iPhone in advance. Both companies' Web sites and some stores were plagued by delays starting around mid-morning on Tuesday.
The online gadget re-sale market or "gray market" is getting more robust, especially when devices like the iPhone 4 are released in only a few countries at first. Following the iPad's initial release in the U.S. only, eBay became the hot place to sell the device, sometimes fetching more than the original retail price.