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Consumers have $13 billion in old iPhones

Staff writer |
Almost 50% of people say they store old phones in a box, drawer or cupboard at home, according to a new survey, down from the 55% who were asked the same question a year earlier.

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The trade-in value of all those old gadgets is $47 billion based on the total number of smartphone owners in the country, up from $34 billion a year ago, according to the annual Mobile Mountain Study by research group OnePoll for resale site SellCell.com.

"Americans are still unaware of the money they can make by trading in their old mobile," said Keir McConomy, founder of SellCell.com.

Apple has been able to convince consumers to buy the new model each year partly because it is easy to trade in their old ones to get a good deal for new one. But a significant number of users appear to miss out on this opportunity.

Consumers are sitting on $13.4 billion in old iPhones versus an estimated $9 billion this time last year, the survey found. Apple sold a record 51 million iPhones in the most recent quarter, the company announced, but that was still short of the 55 million that the market had forecast.

Of those who haven't sold or traded in their old phones, 20% say they gave them away to a family member, friend or partner, 12% say they gave them to a charity, and 9% say they threw them in the trash, the survey found. Women are more likely to give their old phones to a family member or friend (22.5%) than men (18%).

Security is not a concern: Only 18% had concerns about personal data on their old phones versus 23% a year ago. Why are Americans keeping their old phones? Some 17% of smartphone owners say they were "too lazy" to get rid of them; nearly 40% say they hang on to old models so that they have a spare, and 36% say they "don't know what else to do with them."


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