With everyone’s heads exploding over the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, you might not realize that this is one of the best times to buy used with iPhone prices dropping faster than usual.
Apple’s new offerings have all the early adopters abandoning their older-generation iPhones for the latest and greatest. Many try to recoup the cost of their upgrade by selling off their used devices, which makes sense since iPhones tend to hold their value well over time.
The benefit for buyers is that the flood of older models on the market has brought down the price of these used phones. That means you can pick up an iPhone in great condition for a decent price. The question is: how decent?
Average Resale Value
We took a look at the average price for the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5, and the iPhone 4S over the 24 days since the iPhone 6 has been out. The chart below shows just how the average iPhone prices of these three models has declined, dropping about 8% total.
As you can see, the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 4S each has suffered a drop that averages between 7-8% of its resale value. But despite the fairly uniform decline in resale value, the differences between the price points models will impact how much money you actually walk away with after selling. Because the 5S tends to sell at a higher price point, an 8% actually means that the iPhone 5S has lost a larger dollar amount than the iPhone 5. All the while, the price of the iPhone 4S has dropped only 7% in the same 24 day period. Given its lower price point, this percentage translates to less than a $20 reduction in the iPhone 4S resale value.
We took a look at our historical price data and noticed a developing trend in the way one-year old iPhones are holding their value. In 2012, the resale price for an iPhone 4S dropped just over 1% in the three week period after the launch of the iPhone 5. Then, in 2013, the iPhone 5 experienced just over a 4% drop in its resale price in the three week period after the iPhone 5S hit the market. Now, with the success of the iPhone 6/6 Plus, we’re seeing the iPhone 5S lose 8% of its resale value in the same timeframe. That’s double the loss from the year before!
So over the last three generations of iPhones, the drop in resale value has been increasingly severe. We predict that when people are selling their iPhone 6’s to pay for Apple’s next offering, their resale value will drop more quickly than other models.
Our iPhone Prices
Luckily, Orchard’s prices are based on the average selling price for a particular iPhone across marketplaces like Craigslist and eBay. Our vision is providing our customers with a fair and objective price, so our inventory will always reflect this commitment.
If you want some more information on how we expect the used iPhone prices to fare, check out the research we did before the iPhone 6 launch. It maps how prices have dropped in years before over the 15 weeks after the launch of a new iPhone. The data we’ve gathered from this year suggests that your device value will drop a bit more quickly than we predicted, but our charts should give you a rough idea of how these prices work.