When it comes to upgrades, what happens to your old phone?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| December 28, 2012


Upgrading my phone is one of my favorite things to do. Every phone fanatic can’t deny the excitement “upgrade day” can bring to us – a new phone with upgraded graphics, speed, and features. However, getting a new phone means getting rid of our old phone. This is where some decision making comes into play.

You basically have two options when it comes to your old phone: you keep it or you ditch it. That’s the basis of it, anyway. If you decide to keep your device, then you at least have a back-up plan in the case that something happens to your new phone. If you get rid of it, then you have the option to sell it (most of the time) and you can get credit towards the purchase of your new device. For me, it varies depending on the upgrade and on the device I had.

If I’ve had a good run with my old device, then chances are I’d rather keep it than sell it. It’s proven to be a trusty phone, and just because it’s time for an upgrade doesn’t mean that it’s not worth hanging on to. If I didn’t particularly enjoy a device I’ve had, then chances are I won’t want to hang on to it and I’d rather trade it in for credit towards something I actually want.

I think with my last upgrade, from my HTC EVO 3D to my iPhone, is the only time I’ve felt pressured enough to keep my device even though I wasn’t too pleased with my EVO 3D. But, even with Apple Care+ on my phone, I realized that I would be SOL if my device got lost or stolen. On Sprint, with any device other than an Apple device, you can have Total Equipment Protection. Total Equipment Protection is a type of insurance that gives you the option to replace your device (with a deductible) instead of having to pay full-price if you lose or liquid damage your phone. That’s one thing I miss about having an Android – the comfort of knowing I had TEP on my side. Oddly enough, I don’t feel that protected with Apple Care+.

I imagine when I upgrade from my iPhone to my next device (probably not an iPhone) I think I’m going to end up selling it. Although I do like the device, the price I can sell the iPhone for far exceeds what I paid to get it. That is one thing iPhones are good for: holding their value. Even a measly iPhone 3GS can sell for a pretty penny today. If I get an Android, at least with Sprint, I’d get more value out of selling the iPhone and getting insurance on the device.

You also have the option to recycle your old device, which is always a good way to give back to the community. Recycled devices can go anywhere where they’re needed: other countries, militaries, shelters, etc. If my device is still in good condition and it doesn’t put much of a dent in the price of a new phone anyway, I’d rather donate it to a good cause.

So readers: when it’s time for you to upgrade what happens to your old device? Does it stay with you or would you rather get rid of it?  Maybe you do a little bit of both like me? Let me know!