How does an Apple customer with a not-quite one-year-old iPhone XS Max justify the purchase of a new iPhone 11 Pro Max? Longer name? No, we resort to the time-honored bullet points stacked in the proper direction.
First, the positives. iPhone 11 Pro Max has three cameras. That’s 50-percent better than last year’s model. It has five hours more battery life. That’s 50-percent better. See how that works?
Ace In The Hole
Every red, white and true blue spreadsheet aficionado knows the score. Keep adding to the list of bullet points. Use PowerPoint if you must. Numbers and Keynote work, too. But keep adding to the list. Somewhere down the list you have to add Apple’s secret weapon; a feature so insidious to the competition that it is never spoken by name.
Resale value. Sometimes referred to as trade-in value, though they have a similar end result, they are different. Resale value is the amount you get when you sell an old iPhone. Trade-in value is what Apple or some retailer will give you for your older iPhone. They accomplish the same purpose.
Reduce the original price. That means a $1,000 iPhone that brings in $500 at resale or trade-in two years later actually costs less than many Samsung Galaxy-whatevers.
Apple has a trade-in program for iPhone 11 Pro. An older iPhone can be worth as much as $599. Well, not that much older. Last year’s iPhone XS Max to be exact. If it’s in good condition you can swap it for a new iPhone 11 Pro Max for about half price.
Other retailers have similar deals including the popular Gazelle, where you can buy used smartphones and sell your old smartphone. For cash. Just for grins, I went to Gazelle to check out what my iPhone XS Max would be worth. AT&T. 256GB. Gazelle’s wholesale price– you’re selling it to them for cash– is $490.
If you want to buy an iPhone XS Max with 256GB it’ll cost you $904 at Gazelle. Some, not in the same condition, are priced even lower.
Deanna Ritchie cobbled together a few steps to get cash for your old iPhone. Just remember that you’re likely to get more for your phone with a trade-in program than selling the phone for cash. She even lists some of the buyback websites, including Gazelle and others. I tried the recommended SellCell to see how it compared to Gazelle. That same iPhone XS Max with 256GB brought more as a Verizon network iPhone than either AT&T or T-Mobile. $730. Far more than Gazelle which was less than a trade-in at Apple.
Obviously, values change overnight so shop around.
I put myself on the iPhone Upgrade Program a few years ago and do not regret it. It’s interest free, but you pay for the much needed AppleCare for the length of the contract. Pay for 24-months and you own the iPhone. Or, at the end of 12 months you can swap it back to Apple, get a new iPhone, and start the 24-month process all over again.
Just remember that cost and price are not the same. An iPhone 11 Pro does not cost $999. That’s the price. Once you sell it a year or two later, the amount you receive for the sale is deducted from the original price tag, and that gives you the total cost (minus case, AppleCare, apps, etc.).