Used iPhones flood the market anticipating the iPhone 5

With rumors spreading that the new smartphone will be long and sleek, with 4G LTE and a smaller dock, iPhone owners work to get rid of their old devices to be ready for the upgrade.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

With hours ticking down before Apple is said to unveil the new iPhone 5, old iPhones are flooding the market. eBay and Craigslist are full of them, and companies that specialize in buying back used mobile devices are reportedly busier than ever.

According to USA Today, NextWorth, which buys back used phones and gives quotes on their worth, had a record number of iPhone quote requests the past three weeks. From August 17 to September 6, requests for quotes increased by 610 percent over the same period before the launch of the iPhone 4S.

This may be because many iPhone owners didn't upgrade from the 4 to the 4S since the device didn't appear to be much different. However, with rumors of the iPhone 5 having a completely different body shape, dock connector, and displays, people may be ready for a change.

Currently on eBay, there are more than 6,000 used iPhone 4 for sale, while there are around 4,000 used iPhone 4S. According to USA Today, half of NextWorth's quotes are for the 4 model, while just 20 percent are for the 4S.

CNET's Marguerite Reardon offered readers advice on when they should sell their used iPhone if they plan to shell out for the upgrade. Her recommendation was based on advice from NextWorth, which said that as the rumor mill churns prior to the launch of a new iPhone trade-in prices start declining and that it's best to sell used iPhones as soon as possible.

Although the new iPhone is sure to wow many users, there are still people that believe the older versions will continue to suffice since progress on smartphones has slowed. So, not to worry -- unlike a few years ago, last year's model won't look like an outdated relic.

Tune in Wednesday starting at 9 a.m. PT for our Apple iPhone event live blog.

Watch this: Apple iPhone 5 preview