iPhone 4 announced; what's new and what to do with your old iPhone

new iPhone 4As expected, the new iPhone, called the iPhone 4 was announced by Steve Jobs at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference today in San Francisco. The new iPhone is running the iPhone 4.0 OS, which enables multitasking, new notifications, iBooks, a Game Center and more. In addition to powering the new iPhone, iPhone 4.0 OS can run on older iPhones and iPod Touches, but some will have limited features.

The new iPhone features a higher resolution 960 x 640 screen with a retina display for sharper, more readable text, all in a 24% thinner package than the iPhone 3GS. Unlike the iPad, the new iPhone will fit in your pocket and reading books in iBooks or watching a movie will be more enjoyable.
The new iPhone also has a faster processor and a better battery than the $97 iPhone 3Gs sold at Walmart. The new iPhone 4 will allow you to talk for seven hours, browse on 3G for six and on WiFi for 10 as well as offering 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music and 300 hours standby. The new iPhone 4 has a gyroscope for better gaming, a front facing camera for video chat and an improved camera system to make your pictures look better. The iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch third generation can both be upgraded to run the new iPhone 4.0 OS, but the better specs make the new iPhone 4 a better buy.

If you purchased an iPhone 3Gs last year, then you normally wouldn't be eligible for the upgrade pricing on the new iPhone, which is a discount in the hundreds of dollars, but AT&T is offering many users early upgrade pricing. The easiest way to check is to dial *639# from your current AT&T phone or log into your AT&T account and look for an iPhone Upgrade offer. If you are eligible for an early iPhone upgrade you can pay an $18 upgrade fee and get the new iPhone for the standard two-year rate of $199 for the 16GB or $299 for the 32GB on June 24.

If you aren't eligible, you can always check with a local AT&T salesperson after the phone launches. AT&T is offering anyone within six months of their contract end date an iPhone 4 at standard upgrade pricing. Also AT&T salespeople have reportedly had their sales quotas raised dramatically so they may be able to get you upgraded if it helps them make their numbers.

What to do with your old iPhone? Well, the most financially sound thing to do is to resell it to pay for your new iPhone. If you time it right you can upgrade to the new iPhone for free. Gadget recyclers and resellers like Gazelle and NextWorth will buy your old iPhone for cash.

At Gazelle, a "Good" rated 16GB iPhone 3Gs will net you $201 and a perfect one $226; enough to buy a new iPhone and pay the $18 upgrade fee. NextWorth is paying $208 for a "Normal Wear" iPhone 3Gs 16GB and $260 for one in "Like New" condition. Gazelle gives you 30 days to send in your old iPhone and NextWorth has a window as well so you should be able to use your iPhone until the new one arrives. Selling is a good idea as prices for used iPhones are expected to drop.

Gazelle is running a contest on Twitter for the best phone eulogy and will give away $100 every Friday in June and a new iPhone at the end of the month for the best eulogy. To enter, follow @gazelle_com and tweet them your phone's eulogy with the tag #RiPhone.

If you want to sell yourself, you can always turn to eBay where recently completed auctions for AT&T iPhone 3GS ranged from $180 up to $450 though you will need to take into account eBay fees, the price drop that may occur over the term of your auction and the possibility that you will need to ship your iPhone 3Gs out before the new iPhone arrives.

If you'd rather not sell a perfectly functioning gadget you can always turn your old iPhone into an iPod Touch and give it to your kid or another family member. Apple outlines the steps to turn your iPhone into an iPod Touch in their support forums. The process is different depending on which iPhone model you have, but either way it is a few easy steps and you have turned your iPhone into an iPod Touch.

Given the new iPhone's better specs, longer lasting battery and the way that cell phone contracts work, the new iPhone is much better buy than the older iPhone 3GS.

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