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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 (opens in new tab), "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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.