Tuesday, August 11, 2009


August 10, 2009
CashforiPhones Offering Premiums for Used 2G and 3G iPhones

By Vivek Naik, TMCnet Contributor

Hold your breath because it is actually true. Someone, rather some company, is willing to cough up nearly $300 for each used 2G and, or 3GiPhone ( News - Alert). CashforiPhones reportedly made this announcement recently.

Of course, conditions do apply. To get the full $300, the phones must not be broken in any way, and this includes no cracks on the casing and definitely no cracks or liquid spread on the touchscreen interface. If the phones are abused, inadvertently or otherwise, then the premium drops according to damages incurred.

Among consumer electronic devices, smartphones have a demand in the current down economy as evidenced by the following commentary: 1.21 billion mobile handsets, including 171 million Smartphones, were sold in the year 2008 resulting in a 5.4 percent increase in sales over the previous year, and with other handset sales struggling to grow substantially, companies are ramping up their marketing strategy for selling Smartphones. This, coupled with a reasonable consumer acceptance in Q408, augurs well for the future of Smartphones. Additionally, consumers feel that they are getting a lot of devices and utilities rolled into one carry-anywhere- access-anything-use-anytime advantage.

Among Smartphones, the iPhone is the most popular because it has captured nearly 50 percent of the U.S. and Canadian Smartphone market, and 33 percent of global Smartphone market.

CashforiPhones officials claim that customers could even consider buying a brand new iPhone from AT&T (News - Alert) for approximately $299, with the money that accrues from selling off their old iPhones. The company points out that AT&T does not encourage trade-ins or second sales with respect to iPhones, and no company provides the pre-paid, insured shipping box and packing materials the way it does. Furthermore, said officials, once the seller receives a quote at the company’s dedicated Web site, he or she can receive a check or even an instant PayPal deposit.

The company claims it refurbishes and recycles old phones of almost any brand, laptops, desktop computers and all types of monitors. These initiatives significantly help in reducing the annual average statistics that indicate more than 2 million tons of electronic waste clutters landfills every year, and only 11 percent of old electronics products or parts are recycled.

CashforiPhones says research has clearly indicated that old computers, cell phones and other electronic devices such as iPhones have toxic components that can actually cause fatal lung, kidney and liver problems. So what the company does on receipt of any device: All data is first wiped out without any backing up; the product is suitably serviced and appropriate parts are replaced; the restored product is re-sold mostly to low income groups and non profit orgs; and the irrecoverable parts are sold to wholesale recyclers.

Motorola and Verizon are other examples of mobile and telecommunication multiple service operators that are actively involved in green initiatives.

Motorola (News - Alert) recently launched world’s first mobile phone, called MOTO W233 Renew, which is made mostly out of recycled parts, is carbon-free certified, and manufacturing it translates to 20 percent less energy utilized per device than a cell phone manufactured from virgin materials. Hence, the company deems it an “environmentally responsible device” that contributes towards reducing the overall carbon footprint.

Motorola’s initiative to globally collect electronic and electrical equipment waste resulted in 2,560 tonnes of materials for possible recycling, and the effort was 256 tonnes more than in 2007. Phones, chargers and equipment that can be reused, either as is or after repair, are given to socially needy areas, via its ‘Phones for Health’ program, such as parts of Africa where mobile health workers use them to interconnect with each other and related organizations to expedite treatment and prevent medicine shortfall.

This is similar to the Verizon Wireless HopeLine e-saving scheme, which collects old mobiles, batteries and accessories including chargers and redistributes them to the public according to their condition. The report noted that this drive had saved 200 tons of electronic related waste from cluttering landfills.

Claiming green space with MOTO W233 Renew is iGo’s charger product line, which uses a single charger for multiple products by simply changing the connector tips, and thus reduces future clutter by the number of adaptors one would have otherwise bought.

Mobile purchasing trends augur well for the future in terms of reducing e-waste. A recent marketing research report titled, “Green Purchasing Trends for Mobile Phones and Services,” conducted in North America unearthed that close to 50 percent of respondents are partially, or very likely to be, or comprehensively influenced by the vendor’s green initiatives that are seen as significant differentiators at the time of selecting and purchasing services or devices.

The main question posed to the potential and established buying public was whether they would be more inclined to purchase mobile services or mobile handsets from an operator that makes use of, or actively supports, environmental initiatives by: giving money to an organization that seeks to help the environment; actively makes use and directs programs that telescope its carbon footprint; and, buys network equipment from ‘green’ certified equipment vendors.

The respondent stats showed that 41 percent replied they would be significantly or somewhat more likely to buy services, and 45 percent gave the same answers as a preferred pre-condition for buying devices. A revealing statistic was that younger age group consumers, some of whom represent tomorrow’s buying power, were more inclined to pursue “eco-groovy” mobile activities than older age groups, claims the research report.

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