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Now what? 11 things to do with your old iPhone

By Barbara Ortutay
AP Technology Writer

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:41 a.m. HST, Sep 12, 2012


NEW YORK » In case you haven't heard by now, Apple unveiled its latest iPhone today. That leaves the question: What should you do with your old one?

The new phones will join some 244 million iPhones sold since the first one launched in 2007. Some have been lost or stolen. Some of us are still hanging on to our old gadgets in some futile attempt to resist the constant upgrade cycle that technology companies are forcing on us.

But it's fair to say that millions of iPhones are languishing in desk drawers or gathering dust. Here are a few things to do with yours to keep it from meeting that fate once you buy the iPhone 5.

1. Give it to your kids so they stop taking yours...

Every parent, aunt and uncle knows that no toy in the history of toys has ever been as appealing to a kid as an iPhone. They are shiny, they have games and grown-ups use them for important things. More importantly, they are either off-limits or doled out in limited quantities as a reward for, say, sitting still for a minute. Load up your old iPhone with games and give it to a deserving child in your life.

2. ...or to your mom so she can finally see the light

Alternately, if a Luddite adult has been thinking of taking the plunge into the world of smartphones, your old iPhone may help him or her get over the hump. If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S, you might also find someone who's still hanging on to an earlier model and give them the gift of an upgrade. You may just buy a friend for life (or at least until iPhone 6 comes out).

3. Use it as a teeny-tiny iPad

You'll be able to watch videos, send email and search Wikipedia for random facts to end cocktail-party disagreements with your decommissioned iPhone — as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. There's even a camera, which means you can avoid being that guy (or gal) at the concert who's turning heads for taking photos with an iPad.

4. Donate to charity

Several charities accept old phones for donation, though it's worth remembering that these groups likely won't physically give your old phones to people in need. Rather, they work with phone recyclers and sell your donated phones to them.

A nonprofit group called Cell Phones for Soldiers will take your "gently used" phone and sell it to recycling company ReCellular. It will then use the proceeds to buy calling cards for soldiers.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence works with another recycling group in a similar manner. About 60 percent of the phones it collects are refurbished and resold. The money goes toward supporting the coalition. The remaining 40 percent of the phones are recycled, according to the group's website. It pays for shipping if you are mailing three or more phones.

There are a few more suggestions from New York's Department of Environmental Conservation at: www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8818.html .

5. Alarm Clock

Do you still use that old radio alarm you bought for your college dorm room in the 20th century? Join the 21st century by turning your old iPhone into an alarm clock. Hide it in a different spot in your bed each night for an added challenge.

6. Sell, sell, sell!

Join the eBay hordes and sell your phone for a few hundred bucks if you can. There will likely be a flood of the gadgets soon after people start getting their new phones, so it might make sense to wait a little.

A company called Gazelle, meanwhile, will make an offer for your old phone based on its condition, your phone carrier and other information. A 32 gigabyte iPhone 4S on Verizon Wireless, for example, was recently going for $237 if it's in good condition and $90 if it's broken.

Glyde.com also offers to help you resell your old phone. A recent check showed the above 4S getting roughly $325 to $350 after fees are deducted — provided there is a buyer. A "speed sale" that guarantees to sell it in seven days will get the seller slightly less money.

7. Trade in at GameStop

The video game retailer offers cash or store credit for old iPhones (along with iPods and iPads). The service is only available in stores and not online. A 32 gigabyte iPhone 4S on Verizon will get you up to $335 in store credit or up to $268 in cash.

8. Stream music

Stick that baby in a speaker dock, spring for a Pandora subscription ($36 per year) or Spotify ($10 per month) and bam, you have a stereo.

Or try SoundCloud. Although it's meant to let you create and share music with people, it's also a good place to listen to DJs you like or discover new ones. TuneIn, meanwhile, will let you listen to online radio stations playing music, sports, news or talk shows.

9. Keep as a backup in case you lose your fancy new one.

Nearly one-third of cellphone owners have had their gadgets lost or stolen, according to a recent survey from Pew Internet & Pew Internet & American Life Project.

10. Use as a camera

At its core, a decommissioned iPhone is a hard drive with a camera. Snap photos with it. No Canon needed. You can also use the iPhone to move photos and other files from one computer to another.

11. Recycle with Apple

Apple Inc.'s own recycling program will give you an Apple gift card if it is determined to have a "monetary value." A 32 gigabyte iPhone 4S with some light scratches but in good working condition was recently estimated at $280. That's higher than Gazelle, but you'll have to spend the money at Apple. The company also accepts broken phones for recycling but you won't get any money for them.







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Kuokoa wrote:
Do you realize that Apple has released a new iPhone every year since 2007? Go figure! What a way to make more money! Now that there are 5 out there, I figure that maybe one of the models will be cheap enough or even free with a 2-year plan.
on September 12,2012 | 08:39AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Apple announced already, that the 4S is $99, and the 4 is free, both with 2-year plans.
on September 12,2012 | 11:23AM
hnlstar808 wrote:
I was waiting for iPhone to come up with a bigger screen. Since I had the 3GS, I decided NOT to get the new phone and switched to Samsung Galaxy Note. Now I'm happier with my phone.
on September 12,2012 | 09:43AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
To those thinking of selling you old phones to GameStop, don't. They will pay you the least amount of dollars like they do with used video games. They pay pennies on the dollar for games. And I am sure that they do the same with other items. It's best to sell them elsewhere.
on September 12,2012 | 11:00AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Avoid selling your iPhones to a video game store. They will pay the least amount of dollars.
on September 12,2012 | 11:02AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Also, avoid selling your used iPhones to pawn shops as they, too, will pay the least amount of dollars. Go to reputable dealers to sell your used item.
on September 12,2012 | 11:04AM
Mike174 wrote:
Keep it. Recognize you were foolish enough to buy in to the Ihype on the first 4 and now you need to get a life.
on September 12,2012 | 05:22PM
Nesmith wrote:
I have never owned an IPhone - am I weird?
on September 12,2012 | 08:40PM
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