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iPhone 5 event rumors pump eBay smartphone trade-ins

The online sales site says more people than usual are eyeing smartphone trade-ins on rumors that Apple has a new iPhone just around the corner.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
iPhone 4s lined up at an Apple Store when the product launched in 2010.
iPhone 4s lined up at an Apple Store when the product launched in 2010. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Multiple reports that Apple will hold a special event to unveil its next iPhone have resulted in a noticeable boost in people trading in their old devices, eBay said today.

According to the online sales site, submissions to its trade-in program increased 70 percent in the past three days, when compared with the same period the week before.

The company says that during that span "nearly" 100,000 smartphones were offered up for trade-in by people using the company's Instant Sale program. Among the Apple phones that people offered to trade-in, eBay says the 16GB model of the iPhone 4S tops the list, followed by the 8GB iPhone 4 and 32GB iPhone 4S.

How does this compare with when an Apple device is actually announced? According to statistics from last year, eBay got 375,000 trade-in offers for smartphones from October 4 to 6 -- the 4th being the day the iPhone 4S was announced. Of that bunch, 89 percent of the devices were iPhones.

The Apple event rumor stemmed from a report by tech blog iMore, which said Apple will hold it on Wednesday, September 12, to unveil its next-generation iPhone model, which would subsequently go on sale Friday, September 21. Extra outlets, including The New York Times, All Things D, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Loop, and The Verge, added on with their own confirmations.

eBay is just one of a few places where people tend to sell off their old gadgets when new versions are expected. There are also trade-in sites like Gazelle, NextWorth, and BuyMyTronics, along with trade-in programs from Apple itself, as well as from retailers like RadioShack. eBay, for its part, says it has racked up more than 10 million "trade-in offers" since it launched its program in October 2010.

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