updated 12:26 am EDT, Thu September 26, 2013
Launch of iPhone 5c, 5s sparked dramatic numbers of traders overall
While the numbers from Apple's first weekend of new iPhone sales were very impressive, others also saw a significant rise in business as a side effect. While many older iPhone owners traded in their handsets towards a newer iPhone, consumer electronics recycler Gazelle also reported a 210 percent jump in users trading in Samsung phones over the iPhone launch weekend as part of an overall 400 percent rise in trade-ins from last year.
At the peak of the iPhone launch day (about 10-11AM Eastern), the company says it was making 18,000 trade-in agreements per hour, and added that average trade-in prices were up $50 from last year. The company has indicated that only iPhone launches generate such significant jumps in smartphone trade-in traffic, noting that trades were up four times compared to the iPhone 5 launch, which in itself was a previous company record.
Gazelle also surveyed some 3,000 traders about their choices, and found that significant percentages of their customers were trading in their old phones simply because they were due or overdue for an upgrade, suggesting there was a lot of pent-up demand. For iPhone 5s buyers, 36 percent said they were upgrading (which may also include switching from other smartphones) -- with only 16 percent naming the Touch ID fingerprint sensor as their primary reason for getting the 5s.
Among those trading to get an iPhone 5c, the largest single group (29 percent) said the 5c offered a better camera than their present smartphone, and about an equal number said they were upgrading because of the lower price of the iPhone 5c compared to the nearly-identical iPhone 5 or the premium 5s. The large jump in Samsung trade-ins may represent a number of "switchers" moving to the new iPhone from older Samsung phones such as the Galaxy S III.