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Gazelle reports BlackBerry trade-ins at an all-time high

BlackBerry owners faced a multi-day outage earlier this month that undoubtedly caused some unhappy customers to abandon the platform, but it was the launch of the iPhone 4S that may have led to a mass exodus, says electronics recycler Gazelle. Earlier this month, the trade-in of BlackBerry devices climbed, but in the past week, the number of these trades skyrocketed by 80%. This spike coincided with the launch of the iPhone 4S, says Gazelle Chief Gadget Officer Anthony Scarsella.

Android handsets also increased 72% in the same time period and many of these trades were from Sprint customers, but this spike may not entirely be the result of the iPhone 4S, says Scarsella. Yes, this is the first iPhone for Sprint and it may be attracting some Android converts, but it's equally likely these Android customers are trading in their older handsets before the launch of the Motorola Droid Razr and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Even the iPhone was not immune from the iPhone 4S effect. Customers with older iPhone models flocked to Gazelle to lock in higher trade-in prices before the iPhone 4S launch. During its peak, Gazelle was processing an iPhone trade-in every 15 seconds and has accepted a total of 65,000 iPhones since it started buying them back. At this pace, the recycler should reach 75,000 iPhones by the end of this week.