Upgrading to the iPhone 15? Here's why you should trade in your old iPhone now

Four iPhones on a blue background
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 15 series is expected to launch on September 12, but the best time to sell your current iPhone is a lot earlier than that. According to historical trade-in data, you should aim to sell or get quotes for your old iPhone sometime between August 19 and August 26, in order to get the best price for it.

The smartphone trade-in price comparison site SellCell says that week is the sweet spot for keeping your current iPhone for as long as possible, while avoiding the sharp decline in value that historically takes place in the few weeks before a big Apple iPhone event.

The trade-in price drops will naturally vary depending on which iPhone you own. For example, the iPhone 14 will likely see a bigger drop in value than the iPhone 13 or 12, which are older models that have already depreciated. 

But in general, SellCell found that during the four weeks leading up to a new iPhone release existing models can plummet in value by up to $261 (around £205). This chimes with data for the UK from Envirofone, which suggests that iPhone 14 Pro trade-in prices could fall by £102 (or by about 16%) between now and after the iPhone 15 release date.

A graph showing historical trade-in prices for the iPhone 13 series

This graph from SellCell for the iPhone 13 gives us a good idea of what will likely happen to iPhone 14 trade-in prices over the next few weeks. (Image credit: SellCell)

So, what do you do in the period between selling your current iPhone and waiting for the iPhone 15? Many of the trade-in sites that the likes of SellCell gather quotes from – like GadgetGone and Swappa – promise to honor trade-in values for a minimum of 14 days, or sometimes more. 

This means it's a good idea to check how long your iPhone trade-in quote will be honored for. While 30-day quote guarantees are more rare these days, you might be able to find a good compromise between losing value on your old iPhone and locking in a quote that lets you keep it until the new one arrives – particularly once the iPhone 15 release date is looking more certain. 

Bear in mind that, while the iPhone 15 series is expected to be announced on September 12 or 13, we probably won't see the phones ship until later, with the latest rumors suggesting September 22 for shipping.

Still, one thing's for sure – you'll definitely want to trade in your old iPhone X or iPhone 8 during that August window or before, as both of those phones will effectively be obsolete once iOS 17 arrives in mid-September.

Where should you sell your old iPhone?

A laptop screen on a blue background showing the Apple Trade In website

(Image credit: Future)

If you've decided to sell your old iPhone rather than do a carrier trade-in, you have quite a few options – all of which will likely offer your more money than trading it in with Apple.

The Apple Trade In site has historically offered quite poor value compared to its many rivals, even though it's often the simplest option with an obvious trustworthiness. If you do want to wait for the iPhone 15, Apple does at least give you the option of getting paid with an Apple Gift Card, which it says can be put towards any Apple product or service.

But a look at trade-in comparison sites like Flipsy, SellCell or SellMyMobile shows that Apple's prices will likely be beaten by the likes of GadgetGone and Swappa (in the US), or Grade Mobile and Twig (in the UK). Here are some example iPhone trade-in prices (below) to give you an idea.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ServiceiPhone 13 ProiPhone 13
Apple Trade-Inup to $530 / £525up to $420 / £415
ItsWorthMore (US)up to $685$523
GadgetGone (US)up to $696$516
Grade Mobile (UK)up to £648up to £496
eBay (typical price)up to $870 / £790up to $599 / £590

Naturally, selling privately on the likes of eBay or Facebook Marketplace will likely get you the highest price for your iPhone, but it also comes with the most hassle – in the form of questions from buyers and a little less control over when you send your old phone away.

Our advice is to start with the trade-in comparison sites to get an idea of how much your current iPhone is worth and to scope out any particularly good offers, then follow our guide on how to sell or recycle your phone.

Once you've got your quote and are ready to trade in, you should also check out our tips on all the things you should do before selling your old smartphone. These include being honest about your device's condition (to avoid hassle down the line), and learning how to factory reset your iPhone.

Selling your old iPhone in the run-up to the iPhone 15 can be a complex dance, but it's one that could also save you a decent chunk of change if you get the timing right.

More iPhone 15 stories

Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.