Act Fast If You Want to Resell Your iPhone

The wait is finally over: On Tuesday, Apple revealed the specs for its upcoming iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. It's the 10th anniversary of the paradigm-shifting device, and the Apple team has announced a ton of changes. You may be tempted by wireless charging, facial recognition, and augmented reality capabilities; if that's got you champing at the bit, wait until you hear about the $1,000 iPhone X, which Apple is calling "the future of the smartphone."

Mobile phone users are upgrading their phones on average every 22 months, though some analysts think costumers waiting on the iPhone 8 are skewing that number. Last year, before the iPhone 7 came out, surveys indicated that just under a third of iPhone users were considering trading in their older handsets. Part of that came from the resale market making that upgrade worthwhile — some sellers could nearly pay off their new phone from the profits of the old one. But with the new models running $699 and up, the window to cover half those costs, given what resellers are willing pay, is closing fast.

A spokesman for the resale website Glyde told Marketwatch that older iPhone models sell for about 15 percent less after Apple releases a new model; a Gazelle representative put the number between 10 percent and 20 percent. That's not all: If you want to level up on your Apple products and not wait on your carrier to provide the new iPhone, remember that if you're still within a two-year contract for your current device, this will most likely mean fees. Your carrier will expect you to cover an early termination fee, which effectively increases the price of your new phone. Carriers also may not be offering as-good promotional packages with the iPhone 8, if the resale market is sluggish.

The iPhone 8 seems to provide some genuinely new experiences for customers. Given the frequency of iPhone releases, some of which are more incremental than others, the resale market may see an uptick in recent models available. That's good news for buyers, who may have been waiting for such a dip in prices to upgrade. It's worth looking out for other lightly used Apple products too; this week, without fanfare, the price of certain new iPad Pros inched up $50.