Apple is expected to announce its new iPhone 5 within the next two weeks, and without a doubt, public reaction will be huge. Everyone will want the latest and greatest Apple phone, and the existing iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S models will experience huge drops in value. But that price plunge won't happen until after the September 12 announcement — as of now, your iPhone is still worth top dollar. If you want to cash in, you have plenty of options, but you'll have to act fast.
Sell it back to Apple
One of the easiest ways to dump your old iPhone is to use Apple's own Reuse and Recycle (R&R) Program. You simply visit the Apple R&R website and answer a few questions about your phone, such as whether or not it powers on, whether the battery fully charges, and whether or not the glass is scratched. The site will give you an estimate of your phone's value, and if the amount is satisfactory, you can mail in your used phone and get an Apple gift card in return.
The R&R Program is still offering decent amounts of money for used iPhones. On the highest end, you can get up to $345 for a 64GB iPhone 4S in top condition. For those with an older iPhone 4, values still hold up surprisingly well. With some minor scratching, the 8GB iPhone 4 is worth a minimum of $105, provided it works and is returned with a power cord. Even an ancient iPhone 3G can be worth as much as $55.
Sell it to a third party reseller
If you'd rather have cash instead of a gift card — and let's be honest, who wouldn't? — you might want to check out a third-party reseller like NextWorth. It works similar to the Apple R&R program: You answer some questions, print out a shipping label, and then mail in your used iPhone. Values are competitive: We were quoted a value of $351 for our 64GB iPhone 4S, $6 more than Apple was willing to offer. And the best part is that NextWorth gives you three weeks to send in your device after issuing the quote, allowing you just enough time to order and pick up your new iPhone 5.
If you're impatient, you can skip the trip to the post office: NextWorth has a partnership with brick-and-mortar retailer Target. Bring your device into one of the 1,470 participating locations (a full list is on the NextWorth website), and you can be instantly gratified with a Target gift card in exchange for your used iPhone. It may not be cash, but it's quicker.
Sell it on eBay
If you're adventurous enough to list your used iPhone on eBay, you can get an even larger payday. A 64GB iPhone 4S can net you anywhere between $450 and $500 depending on condition, color, and network — almost enough to cover the cost of a new iPhone 5 outright. Your iPhone 4 is worth more on eBay too, with completed auctions for working phones starting around $175. Even cracked and broken phones are worth money to buyers, so it's worth trying your luck there before throwing your old phone in the trash.
More from Tecca: