iPhone 5 Launch To Spark "Massive" iPhone 4 Sell Off

The iPhone 5 is set to be launched on Tuesday the 4th and, according to online auction giant eBay, it will prompt a massive scramble amongst iPhone 4 users (and possibly earlier models) to get rid of their handsets.

This may cause a significant drop in the cost of second hand smartphones altogether, as thousands of units from Apple and other manufacturers are dumped on the used market, either on eBay or on other sites like Gumtree or mobile recycling websites.

[ed: You can read our extensive coverage of the iPhone 5 from the very beginning here. Follow Us Live From 18:00 UK time (10am local time) for the iPhone 5 event here.]

eBay says that more than half a million iPhone 4 smartphones have been sold on the UK website since it was launched last year, that's almost one smartphone per minute on average.

Angus McCarey, Retail Director for eBay UK, told the Telegraph, "Figures show that savvy shoppers are ready and waiting to get their hands on the iPhone 4 at a cut down price," adding, "the UK leads Europe in terms of smartphone adoption, which is helping to drive the triple digit growth of mobile shopping on eBay."

Unsurprisingly, the launch of the iPhone 5 will almost certainly impact sales of new handsets, although this won't stop vendors accelerating the introduction of new models and cutting prices on existing ones.

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