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iPhone upgraders leave nearly $13.5B in old hardware to collect dust

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
The results of a survey published on Wednesday show U.S. consumers who hold on to last-generation iPhones after upgrading or moving on to another smartphone have amassed some $13.4 billion in mothballed hardware.



According to research group OnePoll's "Mobile Mountain Study," conducted for resale website SellCell.com, iPhone owners are leaving a collective pile of unused legacy hardware on the table estimated to be worth $13.4 billion on the resale market, reports MarketWatch. That number has grown from the year-ago period, which saw about $9 billion worth of iPhones stashed away.

Looking at the bigger picture, the percentage of owners who keep smartphones rather than selling them has decreased from last year, dropping to 50 percent from 55 percent one year earlier. The overall trade-in value of mothballed phones is up to $47 billion, a significant jump from $34 billion a year ago.

As for what people do with their old phones, 20 percent said they gift them to family and friends, 12 percent donate to charity and 9 percent simply throw them away. According to the poll, only 18 percent of users showed concern over security issues related to reselling or giving away handsets, down from 23 percent last year.

As to why Americans "hoard" old phones instead of selling or gifting, the survey found 40 percent keep legacy devices as spares, 36 percent "don't know what else to do with them" and 17 percent of respondents were just "too lazy."

While SellCell.com obviously has skin in the game when it comes to smartphone resales, the results from OnePoll are interesting considering that Apple instituted an in-store trade-in system last year to boost sales of new handsets.

According to SellCell.com, many consumers don't know about trade-in services and thus leave massive amounts of money sitting in sock drawers and shoeboxes across the nation.

A number of dedicated online services, like Gazelle, have popped up to take advantage of the second-hand smartphone market. Even big-box retailer Walmart and Internet sales giant Amazon are getting in on the action with sometimes generous offers on years-old equipment. These big-name companies usually take advantage of the time period surrounding new product releases to build their supplies or push promotions. AppleInsider tracks trade-in values daily in its Trade-in Cash Payout Guide:
post #2 of 79

I'd be glad to help someone with a 4S just collecting dust send me it. I prefer the 64GB Model, non-white.

post #3 of 79

Hmmm... I wonder how much I could get for my 3g, 3gs, & 4. I have more than one of both the 3 and 4. We gave away the 4s and one 4 to needy friends. Anybody want one?

post #4 of 79

That's only 1% compared to the value of all the Android phones thrown in landfills or dumpsters.

post #5 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post
 

That's only 1% compared to the value of all the Android phones thrown in landfills or dumpsters.

 

Surely you jest!

 

The massive amounts of Android phones sitting in landfills aren't worth 1% of those used iPhones.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #6 of 79
This seems like a very high number to me. I have always gifted my used Apple equipment to friends/family. Even my very first Apple II (1998 model s/n 6357) went to a school. I still have a Sprint Treo (plugged in and still working, although I don't have a carrier contract any more) though - if anyone wants one....
post #7 of 79
I account for $13.1B of that. 1hmm.gif
post #8 of 79
Guility as charged. I have every iPod, every iPhone and every iPad and many, many Macs in a cupboard. I am a incurable Appleholic.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #9 of 79
I'm keeping my two 4Ses running iOS 6. They're going to be museum pieces someday. Classics. Right now i'm using one as a phone and both as cameras.
post #10 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
 

I'd be glad to help someone with a 4S just collecting dust send me it. I prefer the 64GB Model, non-white.


Precisely my model, and purchased opening day, too.  Problem is, I still love it.  :p

 

I know, people like me are to blame for slowing the pace of new device sales.  But the form factor is perfect.

Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post
 
But the form factor is perfect.

 

Wait until you hold the 5s in your hand. But hurry, the 6 is coming!

post #12 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post
 

Wait until you hold the 5s in your hand. But hurry, the 6 is coming!

 

I have a 5 at work, for test purposes.  Somehow, I'm just not in love with it.

Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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post #13 of 79

And ... 100% of them are smart, rich, highly educated, successful, loved, fulfilled, classy, cool, sociable, .... and MORE!

 

Unlike android users, wall street morons and dumb ANALYSTS!

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #14 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post
 

 

Surely you jest!

 

The massive amounts of Android phones sitting in landfills aren't worth 1% of those used iPhones.


Citation please!!!!  ;)  /s

post #15 of 79
Surprised nobody said that they keep it as a backup in case they lose their current phone. Having to replace a phone can be quite expensive.
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post #16 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post
 


Precisely my model, and purchased opening day, too.  Problem is, I still love it.  :p

 

I know, people like me are to blame for slowing the pace of new device sales.  But the form factor is perfect.

 

You're not alone. I prefer the solid form factor of the 4S over the 5 series. Hopefully, Ivy gets off his asinine ultra-thin kick and puts some solidity back into the product [you'd think so with an edge-to-edge rumor].

post #17 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Surprised nobody said that they keep it as a backup in case they lose their current phone. Having to replace a phone can be quite expensive.

 

Or how about handing it down to family who being on the family plan don't need the latest. I agree on the back up. Hell, have 2 back ups from the 4 series, especially if someone works in the outdoors of any kind.

post #18 of 79
i think i'm putting mine to good use. my current phone is a 5s. i have a 3GS, 4, and 5. the unlocked 3GS gets loaned to friends who are traveling out of the country. so far it's been to turkey, spain, czechoslovakia, england, and canada. the unlocked 4 is used primarily when i'm traveling out of the country. i use the 5 as an IP camera when i'm away, and both the 4 and 5 are put to good use as extra cameras as i practice my multi-camera editing techniques. and the 5 is my backup, just in case ...
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post #19 of 79
Anyone who wants to send me any old apple stuff I will fill my blathtub and bathe in happiness
post #20 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post
 

Hmmm... I wonder how much I could get for my 3g, 3gs, & 4. I have more than one of both the 3 and 4. We gave away the 4s and one 4 to needy friends. Anybody want one?

I could use one 4 to finally get the last of my colleagues off Android to join the rest of us. :D He's so cheap he won't pay for an iPhone.

 

As stated by others, I have passed my older models to the family members with "feature phones". Right now every single member of our family has at least 4 or 4S.

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Marquiz d' Gabber von Gabberaarde

... and Windows Vista...
... fails on the Moon...
... 6x slower!
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post #21 of 79
I never have a problem selling my old Apple hardware. I get the price from Gazelle.com, then I offer it for sale at that price to family and friends. Always gets lapped up. If I ever can't sell something easily that way I will just go to GameStop at my local mall, they hand you cash at Gazelle's price right there on the spot.
post #22 of 79
I keep all my Apple hardware. I even keep the packaging. The book case behind me looks like part of an Apple Store. I just love to look at the design.
post #23 of 79
"iPhone upgraders leave nearly $13.5B in old hardware to collect stuff"

Not I.

I follow the principles of minimisation so well that I make Steve Jobs look like a hoarder in this photo!


Edited by GTR - 2/12/14 at 8:02pm
post #24 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
 

 

You're not alone. I prefer the solid form factor of the 4S over the 5 series. Hopefully, Ivy gets off his asinine ultra-thin kick and puts some solidity back into the product [you'd think so with an edge-to-edge rumor].

 

So it's impossible for something to be both thin AND solid? I think the iPad Air, iPod touch, and MacBook Air would disagree with you.

post #25 of 79
Give them away to friends and family. Even if they don't want to use them as phones, they're perfectly fine for other purposes.
post #26 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

You're not alone. I prefer the solid form factor of the 4S over the 5 series. Hopefully, Ivy gets off his asinine ultra-thin kick and puts some solidity back into the product [you'd think so with an edge-to-edge rumor].

As much as I like the 4S for its glassy solidity, I also look forward to a time when I can snap up a 5s cheap, mostly because of the camera, but also because of its weight and thinness. Minimum mass needed to get the job done is always the best engineering principle.
post #27 of 79
My 3G and 4 are permenanrly plugged into cars as iPods, my 5, I gave to my wife, I use a 5s, my kids use my old Galazy Nexus, a Nexus 4 and my Galaxy S4 is a spare.

Older than that have been sent to India and Fiji via various contacts.
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post #28 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

i think i'm putting mine to good use. my current phone is a 5s. i have a 3GS, 4, and 5. the unlocked 3GS gets loaned to friends who are traveling out of the country. so far it's been to turkey, spain, czechoslovakia, england, and canada. the unlocked 4 is used primarily when i'm traveling out of the country. i use the 5 as an IP camera when i'm away, and both the 4 and 5 are put to good use as extra cameras as i practice my multi-camera editing techniques. and the 5 is my backup, just in case ...

So you have lent an iPhone to people that have traveled to a country that hasn't existed since 1993?
post #29 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

So you have lent an iPhone to people that have traveled to a country that hasn't existed since 1993?

Don't be a jerk.
post #30 of 79
And then there are people that choose to keep them to reminisce. I have all of my old phones back to my Motorola RAZR and I power it up now and then.
post #31 of 79
With iPod Touches being as much as a damn phone, my old iPhone is my kids new iPod Touch. With a google phone number free on wifi, she uses that to talk to family and friends and it stores a lot of songs and movies on it's 64GB drive. I'm sure all those phones are definitely not being wasted.
post #32 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Don't be a jerk.

I'm with jfanning on this one, when someone says they've been to Czechoslovakia with a phone made not more than four years ago I'm left wondering, did they go to the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, to both countries or to neither?
post #33 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post

I'm with jfanning on this one...

 

Then you BOTH missed the point of his post.

post #34 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Guility as charged. I have every iPod, every iPhone and every iPad and many, many Macs in a cupboard. I am a incurable Appleholic.

 

This is the only thread where we can boast of how many Apple products we have and not be called trolls!

 

So here goes:

iPod 3rd Gen

iPod Photo

iMac 27" late-2009

iPhone

iPhone 3G

iPhone 3GS

iPhone 4

iPhone 4S

iPhone 5

iPhone 5s

MacBook Pro 15" early-2011

Mac Mini 2006

2 Mac Minis 2013

MacBook Air 2012

Apple TV

iPad

iPad 2

iPad 3rd Gen.

iPad 4th Gen.

iPad Air

iPad Mini

 

Of course, not all of them are in use!!

post #35 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Then you BOTH missed the point of his post.
I haven't if the point of his post is that his old 3GS is being reused, for want of a better term, as a travel phone and has proven itself to be still versatile and useful wherever in the globe it may be.

My issue is that the inaccuracy undermines confidence in believing the post.
post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post

I haven't if the point of his post is that his old 3GS is being reused, for want of a better term, as a travel phone and has proven itself to be still versatile and useful wherever in the globe it may be.

My issue is that the inaccuracy undermines confidence in believing the post.

 

Here we go.

 

Cretin's Law in full effect.

 

"Cretins Law - As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a civilized conversation based on the ORIGINAL TOPIC approaches zero.."

post #37 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

And then there are people that choose to keep them to reminisce. I have all of my old phones back to my Motorola RAZR and I power it up now and then.

I'd love to get my hands on a StarTAC.
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post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Here we go.
Cretin's Law in full effect.

The greatest irony being your post quoting Cretin's law moved the discussion towards that zero probability than my previous post contemplating what happens with old iPhone hardware.

So, GTR, are you keeping the discussion civilised?
post #39 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Here we go.

Cretin's Law in full effect.

"Cretins Law - As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a civilized conversation based on the ORIGINAL TOPIC approaches zero.."

The dilemma with mentioning Cretins law is that it makes the poster a cretin. lol.gif
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #40 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post

The greatest irony being your post quoting Cretin's law moved the discussion towards that zero probability than my previous post contemplating what happens with old iPhone hardware.

So, GTR, are you keeping the discussion civilised?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


The dilemma with mentioning Cretins law is that it makes the poster a cretin. lol.gif

 

I realise you gentlemen would love to get in to a pointless argument possibly about country locations, histories, timelines, people of interest, their achievements, word pronunciation, and spelling of said countries but how about we return to the original topic of the thread about people loving their devices so much that they regularly continue to use them?

 

If anybody would love to discuss other anal-retentive matters, please feel free to contact me in private.

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