You bought an iPhone 4. So how do you trade in the old iPhone?

Don't trash your iPhone 3G just because you bought an iPhone 4. You've got a range of options when it comes to your old handset, from recycling to exchange offers.

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    The scene at an NYC Apple store earlier this week. So let's say you braved the lines and managed to grab an iPhone 4. What should you do with your old iPhone 3G or your iPhone 3G S? Options abound.
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So you've braved the lines, managed to look past the blotchy yellow lines under the screen glass, and learned to hold your new iPhone 4 with your right hand, instead of your left. What should you do with your old iPhone 3G or iPhone 3G S? Whatever you do, don't throw that thing away. There are a range of options for folks upgrading from one iPhone to the other – and some of them will even earn you a couple of bucks.

Option A: Sell your old iPhone

A iPhone 4 isn't cheap – the handsets will set you back at least $199 with a contract – but by selling your old iPhone, you can defray part of the cost. Plenty of services will pay cash for iPhones in good condition. Options abound. Looking for a place to start? Check Gazelle.com, which offers $96 for a 16GB iPhone 3G, or the oh-so-subtly-named CashForiPhones.com.

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Option B: Donate your old iPhone

If you're not pressed for cash, you might consider donating your old iPhone to a nonprofit organization. CellPhonesForSoldiers.com, for instance, is currently accepting smartphone donations, and the site offers a free shipping label, to make the process easier. Another possibility: Call To Protect says it has raised more than $3.5 million from refurbished phone sales. The earnings go toward grants for smaller groups fighting domestic violence.

Option C: Trade in your old iPhone

RadioShack – which was rumored to be close to selling out of the iPhone 4 – is currently offering a trade-in deal for the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3G S. Assuming your phone is in good condition, with no scratches or dents, you can take it to RadioShack, where you'll earn at least $100 bucks off a new iPhone. RadioShack is also offering free shipping if you arrange the trade-in online.

And now, for the obligatory iPhone warning

Be careful. If you're anything like us, your iPhone holds your entire life – your numbers, your saved addresses, your notes, your cached Web pages, your music, and your photographs. Before you get rid of the old iPhone, and start using your new iPhone 4, make sure the entire phone has been scrubbed clean of personal data. You won't regret it.

More tech explainers:
Why are HDMI cables so expensive?
Why ‘more megapixels!’ doesn’t mean better pix
Straight talk about cellphone ‘Gs’

IN PICTURES: Apple iCandy

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