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Value of old iPhones rises with new model

As the nation’s electronics retailers and wireless companies plot ways to cash in on this week’s expected announcement of Apple’s latest iPhone, consumers can think of older versions as money in the bank.

Long lines that will wrap around Apple and Best Buy stores when the product is released will likely feature both buyers and sellers, since the value of used and refurbished iPhones has been consistently high enough to support a secondary market that lives and dies by new releases.

The iPhone 5S is expected to bring consumers the newly released iOS 7 operating system, a fingerprint sensor that locks the phone, a better camera and a body in a shade of gold.

The iPhone 5C, a lower cost version of the smartphone, is expected to come in an array of colors and will serve as a replacement to the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S.

“Any time a product transitions, all previous generations of the product get cheaper,” said Bob Auray, CEO of Fox Chapel, Pa.-based Genco Marketplace, which deals in reverse logistics, consumer electronic returns, and repair and refurbishment, among many other supply chain services.

The company also sells discounted electronics and other goods through its consumer site,

“This is an opportunity for those who haven’t taken the plunge into the smartphone market to take the plunge through the secondary market,” he said.

Apple iPhones, despite recent market share encroachment by increasingly popular Samsung smartphones, have consistently maintained higher trade-in values than similar products.