iPhone buyers and sellers are rapidly exchanging phones on eBay upon the eve of Apple’s iPhone 5 release. That’s over ONE MILLION working and non-working iphones, accessories, parts, cases and thousands of related products. Hundreds of iPhones and accessories are taxing ebay’s computers every 30 seconds. It’s like stock brokers feverishly buying and selling Facebook shares.
As a service to MobileBeyond readers, here are the stats as of Wednesday night before next week’s surge
First, some history. I wrote a blog post in 2008 for Mobile Telephone Marketing: “eBay iPhone Worldwide Listings Skyrocket – First 3G $1,500 Listings Appear.” That was only one year after the first iPhone was released. I went on to write:
- “As predicted, eBay iphone listings jumped dramatically the day before and day of Apple’s 3G release. The vast majority of the increase is clearly from the non-gray market–Apple customers who are selling their first generation iPhones to pay for the 3G version.
- But there’s clearly a second group of iPhone buyers who are willing to pay $450-$650 for unlocked 8GB and 16GB USED first generation iPhones. Since all iPhone owners will benefit from the upcoming new software version just released by Apple, the lure of an unlocked iPhone that operates on most GSM carrier networks far exceeds the perceived value of higher download data speed and GPS. The shortage of unlocked iPhones (just over 30%) is also driving prices higher.” (See the post for model breakdowns.)
- See my other phone blog —Mobile Telephony Innovations–for news and commentary about Apple and the iPhone
Latest eBayStats for Wednesday Night 9/13/12
- All iPhones for sale = 21,731
- New = 1,940
- New/Other = 1,206
- Refurbs = 1,011
- Used = 15,049
- Parts = 2,547
- No contract = over 7,000 (!)
- iPhone 4s
- New = 911
- New/Other = 644
- Refurbs = 262
- Used = 5,121
- Parts = 308
The numbers above don’t represent all iPhones for sale. eBay is now only one of many outlets. Hundreds of online merchants continue competing on price and quality, while Amazon is becoming a larger threat to smaller sellers.
If you’re wondering about the remainder of the ONE MILLION products on eBay, wonder no more. Accessories from cheap trinkets to diamond-studded cases abound in the iPhone sales ecosystem. With the release of each new model, demand for these items is rapidly growing.
Like iPhone (iOS) apps, suppliers realize they can make better margins on high-end phones than cheaper ones.Watching the after-market growth of these trinkets is critical since the phone manufacturers and accessory suppliers are cashing in on what still remains a smartphone in high demand.