Independent Study Shows UK Consumers Using Apple’s Official iPhone Trade-in Services Could Lose Money, by

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Following the launch of Apple’s new trade-in programme, leading mobile phone recycling comparison site compared Apple’s trade-in offers with UK recyclers to see who came out on top.

CompareMyMobile and Apple trade-in price comparison chart

With potential losses of over 100 GBP for locked iPhones and iPads, it’s always worth checking sites like ours.

Based on annual iPhone trade-in volumes processed by, UK mobile users could lose a total of around 2 million GBP if they use Apple’s official trade-in service without comparing UK phone recycling prices on the online trade-in market first.

The lower offers for devices reflect the average 80% offered by leading high street networks and retailers, discovered in a previous study in November 2012.

A survey of the top ten traded in iPhone models, by, found that consumers selling old unlocked models in good condition could earn an average of 27 GBP more by simply comparing up to 40+ trade-in prices on gadget recycling comparison sites.

The site also notes that Apple will offer significantly less money for a network locked phone, where recyclers on comparison sites usually will not alter their price offer based on this factor.

For example, the iPhone 5 16GB is the second top traded-in model on, and would be bought by Apple for a price of 220 GBP unlocked or 110 GBP network locked. However, prices show that UK recyclers on the site would pay up to 251 GBP for this model whether it was network locked or not.

*The following prices were taking from Apple’s trade-in site and the 40+ stores listed on at 12:30pm GMT on 15/10/2013, they are based on phones in good working order, prices are subject to change.

Top five traded-in iPhone models:

iPhone 4 16GB:
-Apple price: 100 GBP
-Apple network locked price: 35 GBP
-Top site price: 132 GBP

iPhone 5 16GB:
-Apple price: 220 GBP
-Apple network locked price: 110 GBP
-Top site price: 251 GBP

iPhone 4S 16GB
-Apple price: 150 GBP
-Apple network locked price: 52.50 GBP
-Top site price: 176.50 GBP

iPhone 4S 16GB White
-Apple price: 150 GBP
-Apple network locked price: 52.50 GBP
-Top site price: 171 GBP

iPhone 3GS 16GB
Apple price: 25 GBP
Apple network locked price: 8.75 GBP
Top site price: 41 GBP always advises customers to compare prices, whether selling through eBay, Gumtree, Apple or’s website or mobile Android/iOS app. The site compares over 40 UK gadget recycling companies based on price and consumer reviews left from those who have used them before. This means that consumers have the chance to choose which recycler to send their phone to, based on price and who they feel they can trust.

Ashley Turner, co-founder of, says, “Don’t accept the first price you’re offered in the high street retailers or online, always shop around. With potential losses of over 100 GBP for locked iPhones and iPads, it’s always worth checking sites like ours and auction sites first to ensure you’re getting the best value for your old gadget.”

When consumers choose who to sell their phone to, recyclers also often guarantee that price for up to 14 days, so consumers can choose if this is the right decision for them.

The site recently saw a surge in iPhone trade-ins on release of the iPhone 5S, as consumers earned money to put towards their new device.


Founded in 2009, is the UK's #1 source for independent mobile phone, tablet, sat nav, laptop, iPad, iPod and games console recycling price comparison. It delivers customers confidence in making the difficult decision of where to recycle their old phone safely and for the most money. is 100 percent impartial, comparing prices from more than 40 recycling stores.

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Ashley Turner
since: 09/2009
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