apple-gazelle

Are you thinking of upgrading to Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C, expected to be announced in early September? One handset trade-in firm is offering customers a guaranteed price on their current iPhones despite the usual drop in value following new product releases.

Gazelle said Monday it will lock-in pricing for iPhone trade-ins through Oct. 15, giving consumers time to wait until the iPhone 5S is announced before sending in their current smartphone…

“Our price lock promotion allows savvy consumers to maximize the value of their old iPhone and lets them wait until after the new iPhone is here to send in their old one,” said Sarah Welch, Gazelle’s chief marketing officer, via AppleInsider.

Although the company has for years been “quietly” giving customers this option, the ability is now open to everyone, Welch said. The offer is available at the Gazelle website.

A “flawless” 16GB iPhone 5 from AT&T can receive a locked-in price of $330, while a 16GB iPhone 4S from┬áVerizon in perfect shape will fetch $185.

High prices are guaranteed for unlocked iPhones, allowing the handsets to be easily activated on any carrier. A 16GB unlocked iPhone 4S will get the owner $225, for instance.

Gazelle will accept any iPhone, except for the iPhone 3 released in 2007. Sellers simply go to the company’s website, receive free shipping details and return the handset by October 15 for the locked-in price.

It’s interesting that Gazelle’s offer arrives at a time when Apple is expected to deploy a wide-scale iPhone trade-in program across its U.S. retail stores, don’t you think?