Apple's new iPhone looks to be an across-the-board upgrade, improving upon last year's 4S in several ways. Apple has enlarged the "retina" screen we first saw in the iPhone 4, if only slightly. The iPhone 5 now sports a 4-inch screen that's taller but not wider than previous iPhones. The new shape is 16:9, similar to an HDTV. Apple has also included a faster LTE antenna and a processor that it claims is twice as fast, both of which should make the iPhone 5 feel significantly snappier than its older brothers. Rounding out the deal is a longer-lasting battery and a slimmer design (though no camera upgrade this round).
So, what to do with your old phone?
There are a few ways to make some money on an aging iPhone, possibly more than enough to cover the unsubsidized portion of the purchase price of a new phone. A 16-gigabyte iPhone 4S, last year's model, can fetch more than $550 dollars on Ebay at the time of writing, and used-electronics buyer Gazelle will pay you up to $400 for a 4S in "flawless" condition. Craigslist might be another option for sellers looking to make deals locally.
Sellers can also trade in their used iPhones at games retailer GameStop, who is offering up to $400 for the top-of-the-line iPhone 4S.
At first, it might seem odd that buyers are willing to pay so much for your used phone. After all, you can pick up a brand-new iPhone 5 for $199. Why would anyone pay $500 for an old one? The answer: because there's no contract attached. Buying an unlocked, unsubsidized, bare-bones iPhone 5 will likely cost $650.