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Is it time to get a new (refurbished) 1.0 iPhone?

What to do with your 1.0 iPhone

With iPhone 2.0 coming soon, a question I've heard many a current iPhoneowner wanting to get the next iPhone ask: what do I do with my old one? This emerging question highlights the early-adopter's plight against the law of diminishing returns. It's doubtful that a current iPhone will fetch more than $100 on eBay. But you never know. This presupposes that people will dump their old iPhones for a new one, but the incentives are there this time around especially with the lowered price, and given our disposable cell phone culture, it's more than likely that people will replace. (This leads to other questions: if you plan to get a new iPhone anyway, why would you buy Apple Care when a new iPhone comes out each year? And, now, with an even lower price, why bother?)

For those who haven't replaced with iPhones and bought them near to day 1 last year when the 1.0 iPhone came out, the clock is ticking to replace them. I've seen these original 1.0 iPhones with batteries that are deteriorating and many 1.0 iPhone screens and cases that are scratched, rendering them even less valuable once iPhone 2.0 comes out.

In my case, I've been a bit luckier as this is my third iPhone which means it's still relatively 'new' (if not refurbished). There hasn't been noticeable battery deterioration (yet) nor is the iPhone scratched especially after I encased it in plastic - sounds like a good eBay tag, doens't it?

Given Apple's previous willingness to swap out iPhones over this past year, will Apple see a sudden surge of iPhones returned this month before the 1-year warranty window runs out? Will this willingness to accept returns for 1.0 carry over to 2.0 and be as generous? After all, when they replaced my dropped iPhone they said it was for research purposes, presumably for the 2.0 iPhone, but if this carries over to 2.0 iPhones is not clear. With mandatory in-store activation and a lowered price point, it doesn't seem like 1.0's goodwill will carry over into 2.0.