Resale value: 16GB vs. 32GB a year later, and how it affects my decision now

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by coolwater, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. coolwater macrumors 6502a


    Jun 8, 2009
    Someone mentioned 3G's current resale value as 8GB=$200 and 16GB=$350.

    If that's true, then, 3G S's resale value will most likely have the same difference in amount next year.

    I thought I didn't need 32GB and was going to save $100 by choosing 16GB, but this completely changes my equation.

    I am buying my first iPhone in a week.
  2. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    If you are looking at the iphone as an investment, you'll be disappointed. If you just want a great phone: buy it, use it, and worry about its value when the time comes to replace it...not now.
  3. hojoon0724 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA

    if you're thinking of resale value buy the 3G for 99 bucks
    It will still sell for at least 100 bucks a year later
    that's 1 dollar profit from 1 year use of a great phone
    And even if you don't sell it after 2 years, you only spent 99 bucks for 2 years. That's about 13 cents a day.

    I bought the original iPhone on launch day for 600 bucks and 2 years later I sold it for 200 bucks. With the 100 bucks refund from Apple, I ended up spending 300 bucks for 2 years and that was 41 cents a day

    Think of it this way
    you're buying a phone not a house (even that worked out GREAT)
    don't plan on selling it.
    Buy what you can afford now
    Buy what you want
  4. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Who the hell buys a phone for resale value? It's a phone, not a house or a stock.

    Buy what you need and don't be one of those people who must have a new one every year. If you can get someone to buy yours for enough money so you break even, awesome. But don't plan on that stuff happening. If Apple were to unlock the phone or if that investigation of contracts were to force all phones to be unlocked, your phone's value would drop like a rock.

    I got my original iPhone as a refurb at $250 to last me until the latest model got to at least 32GB. That time came. I was going to try to sell it online or something, but I've got a co-worker who is interested in upgrading his phone and getting on the bandwagon. So I'm most likely selling it to him for $75.
  5. paulcdb macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2009
    resale value all depends on the supply and demand in a years time. If theres too many 32gb for sale then prices will drop.

    Just hope everyone is a tight sod and buys the 16gb ;)
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd not use resale value as the metric to decide which phone to buy but rather need, and how the particular model fits that need. While you'll be able to sell the phone and offset the cost of the new one later there's no way to tell now how much you may or may nor get.
  7. adr1974 macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2007
    I have to respectfully disagree. While I wouldn't use the residual as the primary factor in a decision, I don't think the OP is wrong or should be judged for doing so. Apple has established a pattern: early adopters get AT&T subsidies. So long as Apple maintains this pattern, there's a pretty large window for someone to roll into a new iPhone for cheap $$ when they're released. I just sold my 3G on eBay for $350, which financed (and then some) my 3GS. Could I have given it to a co-worker for a deal? Sure...but it's equivalent to giving him cash. I'm not cheap, but I'm not into giving away my money, either (ignoring potential political capital gained in helping co-worker). As far as being "one of those who must have a new one every year", I definitely AM one of those. I like the iPhone, I like the new features, and like I said, so far Apple has provided me with enough incentive to do so. I very much doubt I'm the only one here who likes getting the new iPhones when they're released. So, to the OP, I would definitely consider getting the 32GB...obviously there are numerous supply/demand factors to consider, but I doubt demand for used 16 GB will > used 32GBs. Just my $.02.
  8. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    If someone can upgrade to a new phone every year for $100 or less than why wouldn't they?

    Eventually the market for 2nd hand iPhones will become saturated and prices will start to come down. In the meantime it makes it very easy for owners to upgrade the handset regularly, especially if they take good care of it and can get decent resale bucks out of it.

    I don't pay for my line, just my equipment, so upgrading every year is a no brainer for me.
  9. notjustgc macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2009
    Are you kidding? The only reason I was able to get my 3GS was because I was able to net a $100 PROFIT on my 16gb 3G (thanks mostly to the fact that I unlocked it before selling). Selling the 3G allowed me to get the 3GS -- which cost me $499 -- for under $100 effectively, when I wasn't even upgrade-eligible until December!

    I think it's a fantastic idea to try and preserve your iPhone's value as much as possible, and yes, I would agree, based on everything I've seen, anyway, that the $100 cost of upgrading to a 32gb model will most likely yield a profit of its own in a year's time.
  10. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    Come to think of it, these days my iPhone IS more valuable than my house or my stock!
  11. cellocello macrumors 68000


    Jul 31, 2008
    Toronto, ON

    I willing to bet the 32gig will be worth more later.

    I dunno though ... don't hold me to that.
  12. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    My Iphon 3G is currently listed on Ebay with a starting bid of $185-. It's in decent shape, I'm including my IFrogz case. I'm hoping the auction will end in the mid $200's.

    I wasn't eligible for the full subsidy until December. By selling my old Iphone I was able to justify getting it now. I often do technology refreshes like this to buy a newer model. I've done it several times with digital cameras. If I waited for the next generation of Iphone my 3G would have very little resale value.
  13. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    More power to you. The thing about my sale was more of an aside, not a "you should do this!" I just don't think people should be plotting resale value on an electronics product in a year because they are historically money-losers. The only reason they have any value is because of the ability to jailbreak and unlock. As the features get added, the reasons for doing such dwindle.

    If you can get some dude (or dudette) to pay you $300 or whatever for a used phone, by all means do it. My main point is don't count on it.
  14. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Mine is for sale right now on Ebay, and I'm counting on at least $200 for my 16gig 3g
  15. ECJ macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2006
    Memphis, TN
    Go for the 32GB model. I've done this exact same thing for the past two years. I sold my iPhone 2G last year for $350 on eBay, which paid for me and my wife's iPhone 3G. It only cost us $50 out of pocket. Last week, I sold both iPhone 3G's for a total of $625, which paid for a 32GB and 16GB iPhone 3GS.

    I think it's a great deal. The buyer pays a $100 premium for a contract free phone in mint condition, and I get the new hotness.

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