LOS ANGELES - You know a new iPhone is coming in September, and you're dying to upgrade and get your hands on the new one.
Many more outlets this year want to buy your old model - from websites such as NextWorth and Gazelle to retailers Best Buy, Target and RadioShack. You can sell it directly yourself at sites such as Amazon, eBay and Craigslist.
Additionally, Apple is expected to begin accepting iPhone trade-ins in September at Apple stores, according to several Apple rumor websites.
The carriers are making the process easier, too. Instead of making you wait a full two years before qualifying for an upgrade, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile recently rewrote the way we buy phones. Now, you can get the new device without waiting out the contract. You'll probably pay more for the phone than via the current subsidized phone and two-year contract renewal method, but as T-Mobile points out in its ads, you'll have the latest and greatest and be keeping up with the Joneses.
The new iPhone, dubbed the "5S" by the tech press, is expected to have a faster processor, improved camera and fingerprint technology for security.
We asked consumers thinking of upgrading what they plan to do with their old phones:
• "I just put it in a drawer for forget about it," says Bernadette Aguiao of Fremont, Calif.
• "Think of selling it? Probably not," says Catherine Galton of Princeton, N.J. "In case the new one breaks, I'd have a backup."
• Get rid of it. Anton Rixon of the United Kingdom ditched his iPhone 4S on eBay for about $340 in U.S. dollars, and plans to do the same to buy the new phone.
You can fetch a higher price via eBay and Craigslist - but many folks may not want to take the time to hold auctions or meet people in person to make the transactions.
That's where the resale websites come in.
"We've made close to 1 million offers so far this year," says Anthony Scarsella, the chief gadget officer for Gazelle. The offers "look to be three times bigger" than the build-up to the iPhone 5 last summer. "There's a lot more awareness that people can get cash for their devices."
The wireless carriers traditionally subsidize a new iPhone (retail price $650) by signing you up for a two-year contract. The phone tends to pay for itself for the carrier within a year, says Charles Golvin, an analyst with Forrester Research.
Despite the growth of Android, a used iPhone still generates more interest around the world, says Gazelle. "They hold their value higher than Android," he adds. "The demand for iPhones is insatiable. Especially when a new one comes out."
Should Apple start its buyback program, the company benefits by letting it redistribute "the older iPhones that are in such high demand all over the world," instead of others, says Golvin.
Gazelle is offering $340 for an iPhone 5 in good condition and around $220 for the previous model, the iPhone 4S. Competitor NextWorth matches $340 for the iPhone 5, and a little less for an iPhone 4S in good condition - $197.
NextWorth provides the back-end trade services for retail giant Target, which exchanges used phones for gift cards. Best Buy and Radio Shack also take trade-ins for new devices.
While NextWorth Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Trachsel concedes you'll get less from the Web trade-in sites, he says it's an easier process.
"We take a lot of the uncertainty and guesswork out of the process," he says.
Meanwhile, Aguiao is eager to get her hands on that new iPhone. "You always want the newest thing," she says. "Whether it's a phone or car or whatever, you always want the newest model. No matter how small the additions may be to it."
WHERE TO TRADE YOUR OLD PHONE
• Online: Websites like NextWorth and Gazelle will buy the phone directly, offering a bid with a 30-day "locked" guarantee, depending upon the model.
• In-store: Best Buy, RadioShack and Target accept trade-ins for credit. The Apple enthusiast sites 9to5Mac and MacRumors have the Apple Store offering in-store trade-ins with the September release of the new iPhone.
• Do-it-yourself: Auction and resale sites eBay, Craigslist and Amazon let you buy and sell used devices.