iPhone 12 Launches Friday – and Your Old Device May Be Worth Big Bucks

By: William Sikkens
Host, User Friendly 2.0  Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

Apple has been known for expensive equipment for many years.  Apple users pay premium prices for these devices.  In most cases Apple has a great product that is easy to use.  While that can be a matter of debate, if it’s worth the extra costs, you can almost always be assured of something new and unique.

This year is no different with the new iPhone 12 being launched this Friday.  You can already place your pre-order and there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm.

Apple is working to try and broaden their options in cost.  The new lineup starts with a $699 iPhone “Mini” and ends with options well over $1000.   5G makes its way to iPhones in this update as well as some other new features.

Even with the lower price point many people are keeping their phones through multiple generations without upgrading.  The same thing exists for Android smartphones.  With an average investment of about $900 for a phone, it makes sense to  keep your phone as long as you can.

To help to drive upgrades, phone manufacturers are starting to push credit for trade-ins of your old device.  Depending on which version of iPhone you have and its condition, you may be able to get several hundred dollars out of it.  This can lessen the hit to your pocketbook on your new purchase.


Sustainability is an issue we must face.  eWaste makes up a huge part of what we throw away.  Our old technology generally contains rare earth metals and other materials that can be reused.  In addition, many components may contain chemicals like lead that will leach into the ecosystem if not properly disposed of.

Companies like Apple have been encouraging recycling of old devices for awhile.   Receiving a trade in credit is an idea that has also been around for a long time, but we are starting to see it more at the forefront of the update cycle.  Getting some credit for your old device may make you decide to move to a new one faster.

Recycled (or traded) devices have a number of options for their second life.  Many are resold to those who may not need the latest technology.   Some make their way to insurance companies which are used to replace devices that are damaged.   Others are sold in markets where cost is more of a concern.

When a device has reached the end of its usable life, there are companies that will disassemble the unit and extract materials that may be reused.   This includes rare earth materials and even gold and silver.  The rest of the unit is sustainability recycled.

If you are considering recycling your old smartphone, there are some things you need to take into consideration.

First, the device will contain personal information in its internal memory.  It’s important to factory reset your device to prevent others from getting to this private information.

Second, choose a reputable company to recycle your device.  When you upgrade, ask your phone provider who they would recommend.  Large companies like Best Buy will take in many electronic devices for recycling.

On that note, eWaste recyclers don’t limit what they will take to just smartphones.  Most out of date and non-functional devices can be recycled.  In most cases this is free.   Some devices, especially older televisions and computer monitors will have a fee due to the toxic materials they contain.  Most other devices can be recycled without a cost.

William (Bill) Sikkens has been an on-air technology expert since 2014. With an expertise in I.T., cyber security and software design he has had more than 20 years’ experience with advanced technology. Sikkens conceptualizes and designs custom applications for many professional industries from health care to banking and has the ability to explain the details in a way all can understand.  Article edited by Gretchen Winkler, who along with Jeremy Winkler are the co-hosts of User Friendly 2.0 here on The Answer Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

Links and brand/store information provided are for information only and are not endorsed by Salem Media Group, KPAM or the show’s hosts.   Article research and details this week come from zdnet.com.

Got a technology question or comment for Bill? Follow him on Twitter @sikkensw