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Gazelle: BlackBerry trade-ins at all-time high

Gadget trade-in service says BlackBerry users are turning in an all-time high volume of phones to buy up newer devices. The news follows an extended outage of BlackBerry service earlier this month and the launch of a new iPhone.

RIM's BlackBerry Storm handset.

Gadget buyer Gazelle, which purchases gadgets in return for cash, today said it's seen an 80 percent increase in BlackBerry trades since last week, up from record highs earlier this month.

The metric follows an extended outage of Research In Motion's e-mail and BlackBerry messaging services, which left users unable to communicate with one another or send and receive e-mails globally. To placate angry users, RIM offered users $100 in free "premium" applications. The spike also coincided with the release of Apple's new iPhone 4S.

Gazelle's "Chief Gadget Officer' Anthony Scarsella told CNET that this is "easily the highest volume of BlackBerry trades ever seen period." That includes a "spike" following this month's outage. "In the grand scheme of BlackBerry growth over the past month, it can be pretty much entirely attributed to the launch of the iPhone 4S," Scarsella said.

Besides BlackBerry seeing a recent boost, Scarsella says Android trade-ins have seen an increase of 72 percent during the same time period. That number may be a little fuzzier to attribute to any single event though.

Gazelle says that the majority of Android trade-ins have been on Sprint's network, which began carrying the iPhonefor the first time this month. Users may also be planning ahead for one of the many new Android devices announced in the past few weeks. That includes Motorola's dual-core 4G LTE Droid Razr smartphone, and Samsung's Galaxy Nexus, which were both unveiled within just hours of one another and represent the latest and greatest on Google's Android platform.

All told, Gazelle has seen some 65,000 trade-ins of Apple's iPhone since it began buying them from customers, and Scarsella said he expects that number to reach 75,000 by the end of this week. Earlier this month the company reported a used iPhone being turned in for cash once every 15 seconds in a move to lock into buyback prices on the day the iPhone 4S was announced.