Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will soon be coming out with the much awaited iPhone 5. So, the wait is finally over, now the question should be “How Will I meet the cost of new iPhone?” The answer to the question becomes a lot easier if you are a proud owner of previous versions of iPhone. You might not be aware, but there is a very strong resale market for older iPhones, so strong that even the carriers are stepping in to help you with the process. So with little out-of-pocket cost one could easily own the soon to be launched ‘iPhone5’.

iPhone 5

There are a number of sites and buyers who are willing to help you to get rid of your old Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone. You need not have to worry about unlocking the phone, as a new website launched by AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) provides codes to unlock your phone.  AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is also buying back the devices, but through a third party for around $150, depending upon the physical and software condition of course. Another site that will help in finding the worth of your device is, which estimates the auction market price at $261 ($233 in your pocket). Our very own eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) can pay as much as $171, but you could fetch more- up to $200-$250 if you have an unlocked 16GB iPhone 4. Even if you are going to AT&T to sell your iPhone for $150, you could easily pocket the new phone for less than $100, assuming a $50 net purchase price, plus $36 activation fee.

Even if you’re still on a contract for 16GB iPhone 4S, one could still trade it. A report from PiperJaffray elaborates upon it by saying “You can still do well by trading in your phone. Depending on how far into your contract you are, AT&T may let you upgrade early for a $250 fee (essentially the iPhone 5 would cost you $450 instead of $200 – assuming no pricing changes).” After getting an early unlock, one could sell their iPhone via same channels as mentioned above, however with one difference. This time the value of your unlocked phone will be higher, with estimating a market price of $362. AT&T is willing to pay something around $240 in store for such devices, and eBay’s instant price for the same is $294. With such offers in hand, one could easily offset the early upgrade fee and have the new iPhone for $200 or less.

After reading the above, you must be wondering what if I purchased from carriers like Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) or Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). Used devices from these carriers are almost as valuable as from AT&T; the above mentioned sites can pay you within 10% of the AT&T iPhone pricing. “Used Verizon or Sprint iPhone’s are also still quite valuable and pricing on the aforementioned sites is usually within 10% of the AT&T iPhone pricing”, the report from PiperJaffray says. The valuation of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s used iPhone from Sprint, which offers an upgrade program, will depend upon how far into your contract you are. About such offers from Verizon, the report says “We do not believe Verizon has an official early upgrade program, so the iPhone 5 would have to be purchased at full retail, if you were still on contract with your old device. Verizon does have its own trade-in program, though.”

About the best time to trade in the used iPhone, the report says it must be done ‘now’, as the offered prices will start declining “once people start ordering/receiving their iPhone 5s.”

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