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TRADING UP

Your iPhone 6 is actually holding its value pretty well

AP Photo/Vincent Yu
Time for a new one?
  • Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Apple introduced the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus yesterday (Sept. 9)—among myriad other things—immediately making the iPhone 6 obsolete. Much like new cars, cellphones lose a large chunk of their value the second you leave the store. But if you’re planning on selling an iPhone 6 to free up some cash for the latest version, here’s some good news: The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have held their value better than the 5S did a year ago, according to data provided by Gazelle, the tech reselling site.

Gazelle told Quartz that the price it offered for an iPhone 6 a year after its launch is up from the price offered for the iPhone 5S a year later, even though both cost the same when they were released. However, the iPhone 5S was the most traded-in item on the site last week, accounting for over a third of all iPhone trade-ins, Gazelle said.

iPhone 5S (Verizon)
$649
$275
57.63%
iPhone 5S (AT&T)
$649
$240
63.02%
iPhone 6 (Verizon)
$649
$387
40.37%
iPhone 6 (AT&T)
$649
$311
52.08%
iPhone 6 Plus (Verizon)
$749
$441
41.12%
iPhone 6 Plus (AT&T)
$749
$326
56.48%

(Note: Prices are for 16 GB iPhone models.)

Verizon iPhones are also holding their value better than their AT&T counterparts, with the AT&T iPhone 5S losing almost two-thirds of its value in a year. According to Gazelle, iPhone 6 models are holding up better than 5S models did because there’s a perception that the new features offered in new number models are more substantial than those in new “S” models. So Americans are less inclined to pay more for phones that they perceive as only being minor upgrades over the previous models.

With all the major US cell providers offering financing options for new phones, and Apple launching its own financing program for selling iPhones directly to consumers, it’ll be interesting to see if this resale market trend continues. In a year from now, when Apple likely introduces the iPhone 7, will drawers around the country be stuffed with 6S versions that consumers need to resell, or will they have all signed on to a program so they no longer have to worry?

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