NEW YORK — The iPhone 5, out later this month, is thinner, lighter and has a bigger screen than its predecessors. For hordes of Apple fans who have some money to spare, the question is: What should you do with your old iPhone after you buy a new one?
1. Give it to your kids so they stop taking yours. Load up your old iPhone with games and give it to a deserving child in your life.
2. Give to your parents so they can finally see the light. Alternately, if a Luddite adult has been thinking of taking the plunge into the world of smartphones, your old iPhone may help him or her get over the hump.
3. Use it as a teeny-tiny iPad. You’ll be able to watch videos, send email and search Wikipedia for random facts to end cocktail-party disagreements with your decommissioned iPhone – as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. There’s even a camera, which means you can avoid being that guy (or gal) at the concert who’s turning heads for taking photos with an iPad.
4. Donate to charity. Several charities accept old phones for donation, though it’s worth remembering that these groups likely won’t physically give your old phones to people in need. Rather, they work with phone recyclers and sell your donated phones to them.
A nonprofit group called Cell Phones for Soldiers will take your “gently used” phone and sell it to recycling company ReCellular. It will then use the proceeds to buy calling cards for soldiers. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence works with another recycling group in a similar manner. About 60 percent of the phones it collects are refurbished and resold. The money goes toward supporting the coalition. The remaining 40 percent of the phones are recycled, according to the group’s website. It pays for shipping if you are mailing three or more phones.
There are a few more suggestions from New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation at: www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8818.html.
5. Use as an alarm clock. Do you still use that old radio alarm you bought for your college dorm room in the 20th century? Join the 21st century by turning your old iPhone into an alarm clock. Hide it in a different spot in your bed each night for an added challenge.
6. Sell, sell, sell! Join the eBay hordes and sell your phone for a few hundred bucks if you can. A company called Gazelle, meanwhile, will make an offer for your old phone based on its condition, your phone carrier and other information. A 32 gigabyte iPhone 4S on Verizon Wireless, for example, was recently going for $237 if it’s in good condition and $90 if it’s broken.
7. Trade in at GameStop. The video game retailer offers cash or store credit for old iPhones (along with iPods and iPads). The service is available only in stores and not online.
8. Stream music. Stick that baby in a speaker dock, spring for a Pandora subscription ($36 per year) or Spotify ($10 per month) and bam, you have a stereo. Or try SoundCloud. Although it’s meant to let you create and share music with people, it’s also a good place to listen to DJs you like or discover new ones. TuneIn, meanwhile, will let you listen to online radio stations playing music, sports, news or talk shows.
9. Keep as a backup in case you lose your fancy new one. Nearly one-third of cellphone owners have had their gadgets lost or stolen, according to a recent survey from Pew Internet & Pew Internet & American Life Project.
10. Use as a camera. At its core, a decommissioned iPhone is a hard drive with a camera.
11. Recycle with Apple. Apple Inc.’s own recycling program will give you an Apple gift card if it is determined to have a “monetary value.” A 32 gigabyte iPhone 4S with some light scratches but in good working condition was recently estimated at $280.