Can Samsung phone trade-in values ever match Apple's?

Savvy smartphone owners know that trading in their existing smartphone can help finance the purchase of their next device.

This is especially true of Apple iPhone owners. But what about Google Android users? Samsung has seen great success with its high-end Galaxy series of smartphones. These phones typically costs as much or sometimes more than the Apple iPhone when they're first introduced. Do these devices hold their value as well as the iPhone when it comes to reselling them?

I asked the folks at the gadget trade-in site Gazelle for some help to answer this question. And I offer … Read more

Gadget trade-in sites offer cash bonuses this holiday season

Consumers strapped for cash or those expecting a shiny new tech gadget in their stocking this year may want to consider some of the deals trade-in sites like NextWorth and Gazelle will be offering pre- and postholiday this year.

Many of these sites are offering cash bonuses to people looking to sell old smartphones, laptops, tablets, e-readers, and other electronic gadgets through their Web sites. The idea is that people, who may need some extra cash to buy presents for loved ones, might want to consider selling their old products. And as more people are likely to get a shiny … Read more

What happens to used iPhone prices before and after an Apple event? (chart)

It's no secret the price of a gadget typically goes down right after a new model comes out.* The real question is just how much?

Gadget trade-in service Gazelle has mapped that out for the last two models of Apple's iPhone and has projected trade-in values for the iPhone 5 following Apple's expected announcement of new models early next month:

The gist: the price Gazelle pays for iPhones declines day by day until the device launches, when there's a big drop.

The prices, of course, are only for Gazelle, which is one of several gadget buyback … Read more

Facebook Gifts ditches the teddy bear

CNET Update feels bad for the bears:

In this episode of Update:

- Send flowers and chocolates on Facebook one last time before the site drops physical gifts this week.

- Hunt down a new username on Yahoo, now that old names are getting new owners.

- Watch prices drop for 4K ultra high-def televisions made by Samsung and Sony.

- Get a price quote for your used iPhone on Gazelle and keep it until October 15, which will be after the new iPhone is released. As we get closer to a new iPhone launch, read up on tips for buying and selling used iPhones. … Read more

In search of the perfect, diaper-free gadget trade-in box

Shortly after its rebranding in 2008, year-old gadget trade-in service Gazelle had a problem.

People were sending in diapers.

Not used diapers, of course. But after agreeing to send the company their old smartphone in return for cash, some customers were eschewing typical pack,aging materials in favor of whatever was in their house. As it turned out, this could be spare diapers, worn-out shoes and even pillows.

Why was this happening? The service, which buys used gadgets then sells them off to third-parties, was giving customers U.S. Postal Service shipping boxes and an envelope. People took one look … Read more

Get prepared for Windows 8

Thursday's CNET Update prepares for a new era:

Windows 8 arrives at 12:01 a.m. local time Friday -- are you ready? CNET has everything you need to prepare for the new system, including a buying guide, as well as tips and tricks to navigating the new interface.

Microsoft's Surface RT tablet also arrives Friday, but Surface is just the start of a new line of devices from Microsoft. CEO Steve Ballmer has said Microsoft will build more devices under its name. So maybe we'll see a Surface Mini someday, or even a Microsoft Phone.

Google … Read more

iPhone 5's record preorders, early lines

Monday's tech news roundup is bringing the snacks:

People are already in line for the iPhone 5 at the iconic Apple store in New York City. They lined up eight days before it launches on Sept. 21. But motivation to sit there isn't only fueled by fandom. It's fueled by marketing and media attention. The first guy in line hopes to promote his social networking app, Vibe. A few others are there sponsored by the electronics trade-in Web site Gazelle. There's also someone promoting his online financial service. On launch day you can expect more businesses … Read more

What happens to the value of Samsung's 'outlaw' phones?

Earlier this week I heard from Gazelle that the buyback site saw a 50 percent jump in trade-ins of Samsung phones, particularly the Galaxy S II, in the three days immediately following a jury's finding that the GSII and a number of other Samsung phones had infringed on Apple patents.

Now, on its own, that's not really enough evidence to conclude that Samsung device owners are discarding their phones in utter disgust at the lack of respect for our ridiculously murky and inefficient patent system. After all, a lot of those trade-ins could be people simply unloading an old phone in favor of another blockbuster Samsung phone like the Galaxy S III, which is not part of the patent suit. Or there's always the specter of a new iPhone around the corner that could encourage a trade-in for some extra cash.

After hearing from Gazelle earlier this week, I immediately contacted another buyback site -- eBay Instant Sale -- to see if it had seen the same pattern. They hadn't yet but promised to pull more data for me to check closer.

That data came back to me earlier today, and it offers even stronger evidence of a run on old Android smartphones following the jury's smack-down on Samsung last week.… Read more

Game not over yet for OnLive

Any objection to Monday's top tech headlines is overruled:

The Apple vs. Samsung trial is almost at a close. The jury is expected to begin deliberations Tuesday. The two tech giants spent three weeks battling over patents and accusations of copying.

OnLive is facing some rough days ahead. The cloud-based gaming service sold its assets to an investor Friday and laid off employees, but said it will rehire many back as the newly restructured company (which will still be called OnLive). The company says subscribers shouldn't see any problems or interruptions in service during this restructuring.

College students … Read more

Trading up to the next iPhone? Gazelle has a deal for you

For those planning on upgrading to the next iPhone model in September, Gazelle is taking the gamble out of early trade-ins with an extension of its price-lock guarantee.

Consumers who plan on selling a used iPhone to Gazelle can get a price quote locked-in now, but don't have to mail in their iPhone until October 1. It's widely rumored that the next iPhone model will go on sale September 21. If rumors are true, this would give sellers enough time to hold onto their current iPhone before replacing it with a newer model.

The extension only applies to … Read more