Wondering what to do with your old iPhone?
If you are planning to upgrade, what are your options for your unwanted handset? Plenty, it seems
Wondering what to do with your old iPhone? Here’s a few suggestions. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Obviously the nicest thing you can do with your old iPhone is donate it to charity. Grace App takes donations of iPhones to give children with autism a voice. Your old iPhone will go to a non-verbal child who will be taught how to use the device with the Grace App, a simple picture communication system that is named after the creator’s daughter.
There are plenty of charities that also will take your iPhone or other mobile phone off your hands including Irish Autism Action, which swaps them for iPads for children with autism, and Jack and Jill, which collects mobile phones to help fund nursing care and support for children with neurological development issues. It takes about 500 phones to provide a month’s worth of care. Choose your cause, feel good about yourself.
If you want to make a bit of cash from your old handset, there are plenty of ways to do it. You could sell it to online – the iPhone 4S currently sells for upwards of €190, depending on the capacity and the state of the handset. The iPhone 5 will get you around €250.You could try for a bit more on Ebay too.
Apple has apparently started its own recycling programme, which allows iPhone customers to return their iPhone to the company and get credit towards a new one. Although Ireland doesn’t have a dedicated Apple Store – there are authorised resellers throughout the country, however – you can send your old device to Apple by post and still get credit for it. You don’t even have to pay for the postage, beause Apple will send you out a freepost envelope. It’s not clear exactly how much you’ll get for your iPhone though, as the programme is only in its early days. however, reports in the US suggest that the rate is slightly below what the competition are offering, so maybe check around before you commit to anything.
Turn it into a universal remote
If you aren’t quite ready to let it go just yet, you can turn your iPhone into that most useful of objects: the universal remote. If your devices are on your home network, all you’ll need is an app. If not, you’ll need to invest in a simple attachment that fits to the iPhone’s lightning or 30-pin charger attachment, like the L5 remote, download the accompanying app and ditch the five different remote controls that are probably lost down the back of the sofa.
Use it as a backup
There are times when you need a backup phone. Maybe you’re planning a trip somewhere you’d rather not take your expensive new kit. Maybe you travel a lot and a second phone is a necessity. Or maybe you dropped and smashed your new phone precisely 23 hours after taking it out of the packaging (it’s been known to happen).
In these cases, having a backup phone, with all your contacts, information and high scores for Plants vs Zombies 2, will be a godsend.
It can also be a useful distraction for small children who strongly feel that the iPhone is theirs. More common and more difficult to extract your smartphone from than you’d think.
Use it for media:
Whether you are a fan of mobile games, have a lot of music or want to watch videos on the move, you can use your old iPhone to fill that gap, and potentially save your battery on your brand new device into the bargain.
The downside is that you can’t add to your media while you’re out of wifi signal, but if you get desperate you could always tether your old device to your new smartphone and give it a bit of a refresh.
Who has an alarm clock these days when your smartphone fills the gap adequately? People who don’t trust their phone battery to last through the night, that’s who. There must be plenty of people who have woken up to a flat battery and the sinking realisation that they should be walking to the office at that very moment.
It makes sense if you have docking devices that may not work with the new handsets – if your current device has the 30-pin connector that Apple ditched with the iPhone 5 for example – to turn them into a permanent alarm clock. One that doesn’t leave the bedroom, thus eliminating the danger of failing to set alarms every night.